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New to Dallas: Ice cream, bread, etc...

Hi, I just moved to Forney (eastern suburb of Dallas) from Massachusetts. This forum has gotten my mouth watering with all the great food choices here. I'm excited! Although very bummed out that BBQ in Dallas is supposed to be lackluster. What the heck?
My question is this: is there any really good, creamy-premium ice cream here? Either for sale in stores or at a stand? I fear this'll be a tough one since I used to live 20 minutes from Herrell's Ice Cream, the INVENTOR of Ben & Jerry's style cream. Herrell's blows Ben & Jerry's away, IMO. Anyway, any suggestions would be great. Location is no object, I will drive with a cooler full of ice to get the good stuff. Also, are there any good bread bakeries around? Particularly near the Dallas Farmer's Market? I'm really looking for a good olive loaf, or that sort of thing for tomato/mozarella/balsamic sandwiches. Thanks so much!

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  1. I'll let others handle the ice cream and bread... but you're only about 30' away from Meshack's (in Garland) which has some pretty respectable BBQ. You should look up the recent D Magazine article (a few months ago) and/or read the Full Custom Gospel BBQ website: http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/

    And, speaking as a former inhabitant of the north east, it is really worth a trip down to central TX for the good stuff.

    3 Replies
    1. re: gavlist

      Thanks, I'll check Meshack's out asap. The crystal ball says, "a food tour road trip for BBQ is in my near future." First I have to acclimate to 100 degree weather though. Yikes!

      1. re: gavlist

        Whoa! I just looked at the link you mentioned, holy crumb! I WANT that BBQ map blown up for my wall! I was just saying to my husband that we should get a big map of Texas and mark all the great food places we try/hear about on it. Otherwise, sometimes I'll just keep going back to one or 2 places and getting bored with them.

        1. re: sillypup

          You know some of us do already have these types of maps. Just a heed of warning though not all of them might live up to the others. We tried a cafe down in Midlothian and it was not that great.

          Here is my contribution from Texas Monthly's - Texas Small Town Cafe's
          http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...

          I am in the process of making one for meat, dairy and vegetable vendors within a 100 mile radius of the mettroplex.....the 100 miles might be broad because 100 miles from the edge of western Fort Worth/White Settlement is almost 100 miles out to say Forney. It is a work in progress though

      2. Agreed with Meshacks, it's not too far from you.

        If it is acceptable to you, there should be a Braums within Forney, or at least really close by. If you are really willing to drive, try Old Town Creamery in Plano. They have some very unique flavors too.
        http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2010/...

        1. You'll see a fair amount of Henry's Ice Cream around here. I think the main store is in Plano but you can also get it at places like Jimmy's or Central Market.

          Natsumi is a pretty nice gelato shop, especially if you enjoy Asian flavors.

          We have a fair number of Paciugo locations. This is more of the traditional gelato although recently they've had some pretty interesting flavors.

          You can try Eatzi's bakery and see if that floats your boat. Empire Baking Company is pretty good but further away.

          13 Replies
          1. re: amokscience

            sillypup, from which massachusetts town do you hail?

            speaking as a fellow former massachusettsian, i'm not a fan of Henry's in Plano at all. try leaving it out on the counter to melt. it just sits there like a block of cheese. yuck

            the closest i've found to what i grew up with is all the way on the other side of the metroplex in Southlake - it's called The Ice Cream Place. the ice cream there is similar to new-england-style ice cream in that it's better than supermarket ice cream and braum's but not as rich as the superpremiums like Haagen Dazs, which for me taste greasy, and their texture is too tight.

            The Ice Cream Place is right in between. it has the creaminess but you don't feel dead after you eat it.

            they have rather too many chocolate flavors for me and few of the classic new england flavors like orange pineapple or grapenut custard; but i had a great cone this weekend, a potent coffee called Eyes Wide Open.

            it's at 1957 West Southlake Blvd and the # is 817-749-0888

            i agree with amokscience that Paciugo is very good, and also that Eatzi's is one of the best places to get bread. Also: Empire Baking Co., which, as amokscience points out, is inconvenient, with only the one branch at Lovers & Inwood.

            1. re: teegee

              Well..... if you're going to end up in Southlake.... ;) and if you enjoy frozen (dippable, not soft) custard, Milwaukee Joe's has killer lemon custard. But I can barely finish one scoop due to richness. When I want ice cream, I want the rich stuff (ie, Haagan Dazs), so MJ's isn't for me, but they churn their own, so it may be worth a try for you. http://www.milwaukeejoes.com/

              Neighboring Southlake to the east is Grapevine. The Bread Haus is a highly regarded bread bakery that you'd have to try while out this way. http://breadhaus.com/

              I've been unaware of the Ice Cream Palace, but now that it's on my radar......

              1. re: CocoaNut

                as an ex-new-englander, i don't much care for Milwaukee Joe's, either. sticky and gross. (altho i haven't tried the lemon custard...)
                i should say that growing up in new england makes you spoiled/picky when it comes to ice cream. has to be a certain way! ha

                1. re: teegee

                  "Haagen Dazs, which for me taste greasy"

                  Definitely, you would NOT like the custard!! :)

                  1. re: CocoaNut

                    Dipping Dots is the only way to go. wait...

                2. re: CocoaNut

                  Ritzy's Diner in Grapevine is a good choice for ice cream. Wide variety of interesting flavors like Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Cherry Amaretto.

                3. re: teegee

                  teegee, I was born in Freetown (down near New Bedford/Fall River: most people have never heard of it) and have the sweet accent to prove it, lol. After college I lived in Boston suburbs for about 5 years, moved down to Westport (Gray's Ice Cream in Tiverton, yum) for a couple years and then moved to the Pioneer Valley area for the last 6 years. That's a lot of moving. Thanks for the ice cream recommendations. I'll be testing some out. Thankfully, I've found Ben & Jerry's at least in one supermarket here. That's my fallback. What bugs me about them is #1 too many flavors with chunks in them #2 just when you find a flavor you do like, they pull it. I'll never forgive them for pulling Bovinity Divinity on me. Scoundrels.

                  1. re: sillypup

                    i hear you on the disappearing flavors. i forget what was in Bovinity Divinity?

                    i really liked "Black & Tan", a 2006 flavor described as "Chocolate & Cream Stout Ice Creams Topped with a Cream Stout Ice Cream Head". basically chocolate ice cream + malt ice cream, awesome. but they pulled it because the name offended some people.

                    i just tried Boston Cream Pie, a new Ben & Jerry's flavor... it was OK. a bit rich

                    1. re: teegee

                      Bovinity Divinity was chocolate truffle ice cream swirled with white chocolate truffle ice cream with chocolate and white chocolate cows. sigh.... Just found a new good flavor, can't remember the name, but its liquor related. coffee and chocolate with chocolate cookie swirl. It'll do. Black & Tan sounds like a good one. Haven't seen the Boston Cream Pie yet either. Different stores stock different flavors. I honestly wish they would get rid of Cherry Garcia. Who eats that? But I guess its one of their original flavors, so they keep it.

                4. re: amokscience

                  Welcome to (near) Dallas! The Dallas Chowhound board is not nearly as active as the Boston Chowhound but we have some diehard foodies here.

                  I have to agree with amokscience regarding Henry's Ice cream. Yuk! I love Natsumi's gelato but thats a far piece for you to go for ice cream. Check to see where your nearest Braum's ice cream store is. it's pretty good but nothing in Dallas will compare to all that good ice cream in New England. There is a place in Plano called "Old Town Creamery" thats owned by an Asian couple. I've heard they turn out some decent ice cream.

                  There is a seafood restaurant in Plano called Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill. Good for lobster rolls and similar New England seafood items. You might want to try it when you yearn for a lobster roll.

                  Be sure and let us all know what else you need and I'm sure myself and/or other Dallas Chowhounds will oblige.

                  Y'all try and stay cool.

                  -----
                  Braum's
                  2210 E Park Row Dr, Arlington, TX 76010

                  1. re: twinwillow

                    I've actually only had one thing from Henry's and I don't really remember anything good or bad about it. I know it shows up on restaurant menus here and there and gets promoted locally. Mostly I make my own so I only eat ice cream out when I want to explore flavors (hence Natsumi).

                    My favorite recent ice cream is a grilled cantaloupe gelato that Central Market carries.

                    1. re: amokscience

                      Henry has made a fortune selling his ice cream wholesale to retail grocery stores and over 400 restaurants.
                      Some people rave about it but I don't like ice cream made with corn syrup!

                    2. re: twinwillow

                      Thanks for the welcome! I did try Braum's, and its not bad, but it is definitely more airy than what I'm looking for. I do like gelato and passed Natsumi's the other day after lunch at The Porch. If we hadn't been so stuffed we would've stopped in. Now we'll certainly go back. Love all the wacky flavors most gelaterias sell. And thanks for the fish tip. I do love me some shellfish!

                      -----
                      Braum's
                      2922 W University Dr, Denton, TX 76201

                  2. I will skip the ice cream as it looks like that has gotten answered.

                    Bread I would go with Empire Bakery or Village Baking Co. I just tried Village for the first time this weekend and while underwhelmed by my Pain Au Levain (the crust was so dense it was almost inedible) I would try them again. I really like Ravelin in Denton alot. The croissants cannot be beaten. I also like the bread selections at Bread Haus in Grapevine (more of the Eastern European/German style)

                    http://www.empirebaking.com/
                    http://www.villagebakingco.blogspot.com/
                    http://www.madewithair.com/?p=391
                    http://breadhaus.com/

                    Word of caution not going to find much at Dallas Farmers Market. Better trip would be to head out to Terrell and scope out what is fresh out closer to the producers. These are some in Kaufman County. All of them listed on LocalHarvest

                    Barking Cat Farm
                    Sutton Fruit and Vegetable Co, Inc.
                    Harmony Harvest Family Farm
                    Akin Farm
                    Wild Plum Farm
                    Warsaw Pecans
                    Farmer Jones Eco-Friendly Plants and Produce

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                      Just an addendum on the Dallas Farmers Market note. Other than going once last year, it had been years since I've been - back to a time when the "real" farmers had their pick-up trucks backed in to the stalls. Now, it's just filled with vendors - all with the same inventory and pricing. When I was there last weekend, they now have a sign posted actually stating that information.... something about re-sale of produce. So if you are headed there believing you'll be getting farm-fresh produce, well, like LH said, better off going elsewhere.

                      1. re: CocoaNut

                        There are still a few vendors who actual grow the goods locally and they should also be marked with a sign that says as such ("I grew this" or similar). Most of them are in the east building. The west building is almost entirely resellers. Doesn't mean you can't get some good produce at a decent price but keep CocoaNut's caution in mind. There are also a few more unique vendors and being able to sample fruits and veggies is pleasant.

                      2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                        Further to the above, you might also give La Spiga Bakery in Addison a try. Donato Milano and his wife have been turning out delicious baked goods for many years.

                        1. re: twinwillow

                          La Spiga has morning to afternoon hours and I think are closed on Sunday so check before you visit. They also discount their bread 50% off shortly before closing.

                          Empire Baking can run out of breads but you can call ahead and reserve your loaves.

                        2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                          I'll check out the BreadHaus, saw them mentioned on this board as being a good bakery. Thanks for the list of local farms too. We made our way to the Dallas Farmers Market and while very cool, its not something I'd do more than once or twice a month probably, just because of the distance.

                        3. I grew up in Michigan, and my preference is still for Hudsonville ice cream, which isn't available anywhere around here! Their chocolate-cashew was TDF. I wish I could find something that good here ...

                          I quite like Central Market's bread, and for me they're very convenient.