Ripples ice cream (Montreal, Plateau)
Is the ice cream really as phenomenal as a few people say? Also, what's the quality of their soft-serve?
I don't live in the Plateau, but when I'm there, it seems to be at times when Ripples is closed...should I make a special trip when they're open or am I not missing that much?
I don't know the ripple you're talking of, but for soft-serve ice cream, go to Kem-Coba (fairmount st.) or Les Givrés (st. denis st.) but at les Givré, be careful what cone you have, the last one was really crumbly.
For regular ice cream, I go to Havre aux Glaces at Jean-Talon Market (open late 10pm-ish most days in the summer)
It's pretty good...but is it worth a trip? I'd rank it along the lines of Bilboquet or Havre aux glaces in terms of quality (though a completely different product). In other words, I'd gladly have some, were I in the area - often after smoked meat - but I have a hard time justifying a cross-town trip for Ripples.
Disclosure: it's been a good two years since I've been; the product may be better or worse now
I really like Ripples. It's a lot more traditional that some of the places more talked about on this board, but they do make some good ice cream. Is it worth going out of you way for? I don't know. It's certainly worth it if your around those parts. I don't remember their soft serve being anything special.
Ripples is great. Very traditional flavours, as SH said, some exotic, and all very good. Fantastic people-watching spot too, on the benches right across from Schwartz and lots of pretty girls walking by on your side of the street. It's the best place on the Plateau, imo (I dunno about Mile End 'cause I avoid the area like the plague). It's also cheaper than most places. (Or maybe it's just that Meu-Meu and other spots in the 'Frenchier' parts are wicked overpriced; actually yes, that's it because Little Italy prices are more reasonable, too.)
I couldn't say if it's worth a special trip though because as luck would have it, I live 10 minutes by foot. Havre-au-Glace and a number of spots in Little Italy whose names escape me are definitely worth a special trip. But that's mostly gelato, so its a bit apples-to-oranges.
Actually, regarding gelato: I'll put in a plug for Cafe Magma at 4095 St-Laurent. Limited selection but all the classics like lemon, hazelnut, etc., & good prices (also, never a line-up). My go-to for gelato around my 'hood.
"(Or maybe it's just that Meu-Meu and other spots in the 'Frenchier' parts are wicked overpriced; actually yes, that's it because Little Italy prices are more reasonable, too.)"
I reckon you've only been to Meu-Meu and not to other ice cream places in "frenchier parts". Le Patio and Bo-bec are both as traditional as Ripples and the prices are quite similar. Leo le glacier, Point G and other fancier places are priced similarly to Havre-aux-glaces or Kem Coba. Prices at Meu-Meu are the exception not the rule.
Haven't been in a while, but I don't recall them having soft-serve. I think they did have that frozen yogurt where they put frozen fruit and a block of plain frozen yogurt into a big machine, and the flavored "frogurt" squirts out, kind of like soft-serve. I would agree that it's pretty good overall but probably not worth a special trip.