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Jun 28, 2009 07:54 AM

Soft ice cream / "Frozen custard"

Where can one find the smooth, creamy genuine frozen soft ice cream (aka frozen custard made with real dairy products) that I relished as a child of the '50s? I gave up on DQ years ago after having their poly-sorbatized abomination one sweltering summer night and never returned. Last week, I tried Rita's blasphemy that was at almost room temperature and so full of air and fillers, it could have been mistaken for non-dairy dessert topping ( I chucked the white fluff and ate the waffle cone.)

To all who resided in or frequented Glenside back yonder, who remembers the Jack Frost stand at the corner of Limekiln Pike and Mt. Carmel Avenue? THAT was REAL soft ice cream and to which I hold all others as a standard. Where, out here in the western 'burbs, might we indulge again?

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  1. You think YOU'VE got it bad. Try finding frozen custard in Birmingham, AL. I feel your pain. Especially in the summertime. By the way, even "good" soft ice cream is not the same as frozen custard...custard has egg yolks and is denser, among other things. See:

    We had a truly outstanding custard place called Papa's College Custard near us (in Tuscaloosa, AL) the first year or so after we arrived here, but as always seems to be the case in my culinarily jinxed life, once we discovered them, they went belly up. Great hybrid business model...they had great quality custard that they cut delicious ingredients into (in the style of Marble Slab or Cold Stone Creamery)....they did a thing with rich vanilla custard and oreo chunks that made me swoon. Anyway, I'm not helping you here, and for that I'm sorry. But good luck!! I'd say your chances are better than ours!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: curej

      Thanks, and it looks like I might have found something local.

      Maybe you're devoid of good soft ice cream but at least you guys have waffle houses - an unknown phenomena up here. Many a Sunday morning I wish I could go out for a crispy pecan waffle, hickory smoked bacon and a side of grits with gravy. Only when I visit the cousins in South Carolina can I indulge......I think I'll give them a call and invite myself.

    2. I would try the two "dueling" custard/soft-serve places in Roxborough on Ridge Avenue...Custard and Cakes Creamery and Dairyland. Also, I believe Zwahlen's in Audubon is supposed to be very good, though I am pretty sure they are closed on Sundays.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Laura D.

        Yep, Zwahlen's is closed sunday's, but if you can go another time, it's pretty darn good. He travelled the country to find the best and then came back to recreate it. Their chocolates are good too. here's their link:

        1. re: JohnnyKBar

          Wow! And in my own back yard! I never heard of Zwahlen's and they've apparently been open for five years. I emailed them suggesting that they have a map link for directions.

          Mucho thanks and, for tomorrow night's dessert, I'm "outta here" (and will raise a soft ice cream to Harry K.)

          1. re: Chefpaulo

            these were my recs. roxborough is the only place i know of (within city limits) that has custard stands....

        2. re: Laura D.

          Stopped at Custard and Cakes for the first time today, after lunching on cheesesteaks at D'Alessandro's. I truly haven't had frozen custard like that since ... well, I'm going to say since the '70s. I bought a six pack of the custard 'cupcakes' to share with the family fir dessert tonight. They are cupcake paperforms, filled with custard and frozen.

          1. re: the dog ate my homework

            Scratch the praise for the custard cupcakes. Half of it is icky frozen frosting. The cones still deserve four stars, though

        3. Zwahlens in Lower Providence Township is one of the only places around here for authentic custard. Just ate there again this afternnoon. Dairyland in Roxborough moved to Main Street in Manayunk. They were kicked out due to a Ritas (which I don't care for) opening in their space. Custard and Cakes across the street is pretty good and makes good milkshakes. In the fall they start having Egg Nog and Pumpkin flavors which are awesome. I can never decide between the two so I get both. May as well die happy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TeamPhilly

            I've been to Zwahlens, but I remember ice cream (very good ice cream) rather than custard. Do Zwahlens serve both?

          2. Wow, Jack Frost. I used to go there in High School in the late '90's, it was great.

            Anyone know what's up with this place? It was completely renovated on the outside, and I assume inside, a few years ago but never reopened! What gives?

            1 Reply
            1. re: barryg

              It reopened late April 2009. It's open every day but Sunday from 11am to 10pm. They're burgers are THE BEST - fresh meat formed into burgers on-site and flame-grilled. Fresh cut fries are AMAZING and NO ONE can hold a candle to their ice cream (hard & soft serve). Their water ice is WAY better than Rita's too.

            2. What a great thread Chef!

              When I was kid growing up in Plymouth Meeting we had a place called Kolva's on Butler Pike (right across the street was Rosie's but that would take some good memory) that we would walk or ride our bikes to and I've never found anything to compare. I guess those moments will never be repeated.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Den

                Years ago, I had friends on Spring Lane in Roxborough and had a few Kolva cones on the way over Butler Pike to Ambler.Can't say I remember Rosie's.

                It seems that the other thread for Jack Frost in Glenside is still alive and well. Wow! They make hand cut french fries to order. Where do you see that anymore? I just spent the day visiting my old day camp in Fort Washington and am in a nostalgic mood. I needs me some french fries and a vanilla malt.