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How can I find out Toscanini's current flavor offerings?

Prav Nov 12, 2012 10:02 AM

Without going to their store? I scoured their website, Twitter feed and Facebook page, and found nothing. Ironically, their social media person seems to tweet every 10 minutes, yet rarely is it about ice cream.

  1. yarm Jan 2, 2013 05:21 PM

    They obviously read here and listen. Their facebook feed now has every flavor in a list posted about once a week:

    1 Reply
    1. re: yarm
      Gabatta Jan 3, 2013 04:00 AM

      Hey, great. That earns them a like. Now, just get Butterchip on that list!

    2. h
      hargau Dec 8, 2012 09:19 AM

      I find this entire conversation strange. I eat a ton of ice cream (often daily!) When i go to the grocery store to buy ice cream or when i go out to get ice cream, i dont ever go with a preconceived idea of what flavor i am going to get. I go to places i like, that i know always have good flavors and i pick from what is available. With the number of flavors these places have, i cant imagine someone looking and saying they dont like any of them and leaving with nothing. I just think more people say "hey lets go out and get some ice cream" than "hey lets go out and get some cookie dough ice cream".. Not sure how much it would help business. I guess the only way it would help is with the really bizarre flavors, maybe if someone saw a post on one of those it would make them want to go get ice cream when they were not planning to get it originally.

      8 Replies
      1. re: hargau
        Prav Dec 8, 2012 10:15 AM

        There is nothing strange about this.

        There are very specific, rare flavors at Toscanini's that I really like much more than their standard flavors (cocoa pudding, burnt caramel, etc.), that are rotated infrequently enough that I would like to know when I can pounce and pick up a pint or two of, say, Salty Lemon, Banoffey Pie, or Ramen de Leche (OK, I made that last one up).

        Sometimes if we are out, and we know we want ice cream or frozen yogurt, I can quickly pull out my smartphone, and see which flavors are at Mixx, Sweet Tart, or JP Licks, and then decide from there. "Aww, sookie sookie, JP Licks already has their coquito flavor out this year! Let's go!"

        Not that strange.

        1. re: Prav
          Madrid Dec 8, 2012 10:29 AM

          I don't think it is strange either, but then I rarely eat ice cream, and when I do, it's because I want a specific,unusual flavor...or I see the flavor and then realize I want it. Maybe I am strange. but I will be checking to see if blue cheese is available at Toscanini's when I'm in the neighborhood.

          1. re: Prav
            hargau Dec 8, 2012 10:33 AM

            I guess its a geographical thing, out here in the sticks where i live, you either go out for ice cream or you dont. Not many choices! :)

            1. re: hargau
              Prav Dec 8, 2012 12:27 PM

              And my post was not to say that I'd gladly and happily devour any ice cream, in any form/flavor/concoction, any day! :)

              1. re: hargau
                Bob Dobalina Dec 9, 2012 03:59 AM

                I'm with you Hargau. When I go to Christina's, I look forward to the roulette wheel of potential flavors, and if I double-scooping, creating the perfect combo. I don't go there seeking a particular flavor.

              2. re: Prav
                viperlush Dec 9, 2012 09:18 AM

                I'm with you. There are a couple flavors that I go to Toscanini's for and a couple that I go to Christina's for. I don't think it's worth the money, calories, discomfort (lactose intolerant and rarely carry lactaid) to eat a flavor that I don't want. Fortunately I live close enough that we will peek in Toscanini's before walking to Christina's if the flavor that I want isn't available.

              3. re: hargau
                Uncle Yabai Dec 8, 2012 08:12 PM

                I go to Toscanini's regularly, not as regularly as 30 years ago when my metabolism allowed more frequent visits, but still. My all-time favorite flavor is Grape Nut Raisin (not Grape Nut). I'll walk in, if they have it, I'll get one plus a pint. If not, unless I'm really in the mood for ice cream, I'll walk out with nothing.

                1. re: Uncle Yabai
                  opinionatedchef Dec 8, 2012 09:03 PM

                  yab, i share both your and har gau's ice cream habits. And i think your own particular ice cream behavior is just another example of one of the positive things one learns by reading and posting in CH : food habits, likes, dislikes, opinions- are all so individual, but very rarely is one person the "only one" to have that opinion or habit.

              4. yarm Dec 6, 2012 12:08 PM

                Maybe Toscanini's can crowd-source the funds to get a webcam mounted aimed at the flavor board?


                9 Replies
                1. re: yarm
                  lipoff Dec 6, 2012 09:25 PM

                  I think Toscanini's and "crowd-sourcing" funds is a sore spot. If they can afford a 50" LCD TV to hang on their wall, and have it programmed to receive and display incoming text messages, they should be able to handle a webcam. I like the idea though! The first webcam in history looked at a coffee pot in Cambridge University to see when someone had brewed fresh coffee. Toscanini's sounds like a simple extension. =)

                  1. re: lipoff
                    FinnFPM Dec 7, 2012 06:29 AM

                    They should get a second TV and make that the flavor board. Then they could just run a feed off that TV, like Clover does with its live menus.

                    1. re: FinnFPM
                      Pia Dec 7, 2012 08:16 AM

                      Or they could do the same thing food trucks do, and just take a picture of the board with their phone and post it to their Twitter account. No need for crowd-sourced funds or an extra TV.

                      1. re: Pia
                        FinnFPM Dec 7, 2012 08:47 AM

                        I don't know if anyone here actually follows Gus, but for the past week or so he's actually been increasing the number of his ice cream-related Tweets, including directly listing flavors. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that he saw this thread and took it to heart. Or maybe it's just a coincidence.

                        1. re: FinnFPM
                          5thAndNowhere Dec 7, 2012 08:52 AM

                          yeah just tweet him and Tosci's direct and ask. or DM them if you dont want to go public. if they dont oblige, they really arent worth the business.i prefer many flavors at Christinas and they seem to have deeper stock. (always 30+ flavors up)

                          1. re: 5thAndNowhere
                            FinnFPM Dec 7, 2012 08:55 AM

                            I think the idea that you shouldn't eat a shop's ice cream if they don't Tweet you their flavors on demand is perhaps a bit extreme.

                            1. re: FinnFPM
                              5thAndNowhere Dec 7, 2012 09:56 AM

                              all i was saying is ask and you SHOULD receive. they werent going to get his/her business without the list (could be a wasted trip) and in down season in a down economy it only makes good business sense to respond to a very simple customer request. if their social media person can post the daily spotify playlist, the sunrise time, or the local news, surely they can post the ice creams on tap.

                              that aside, they posted todays flavors 2 hours ago on their facebook.


                              blue cheese does not sound very appealing! love their khulfee, my favorite of theirs.

                              1. re: 5thAndNowhere
                                Madrid Dec 7, 2012 12:35 PM

                                wow i'd love to try the blue cheese! and the goat cheese brownie.

                                1. re: 5thAndNowhere
                                  yarm Dec 7, 2012 03:32 PM

                                  Some of their strange flavors are actually winners and not just oddball flavors. If they still have Blue Cheese this weekend, I'll be tempted.

                                  I think my most ordered flavor in the last few years has been Wort (they get proto-beer from Cambridge Brewing Company full of light-roasted and malty flavors).

                  2. v
                    Velda Mae Nov 12, 2012 05:32 PM

                    Hours before I saw your post, I called Toscanini's to ask whether they have a particular flavor in stock. The person who answered the phone was rude and unhelpful. I've never called Toscanini's before, so mine may have been an a-typical experience. I would think they'd be more gracious about fielding phone calls if they're not going to make flavor lists available on their website or via social media outlets.

                    19 Replies
                    1. re: Velda Mae
                      Prav Nov 12, 2012 05:49 PM

                      Thank you for this post. THIS is exactly why I seek an electronic listing. They always act like douche-canoes whenever I've been there.

                      1. re: Prav
                        jira Nov 13, 2012 08:26 AM

                        Then WHY would you reward them for that behavior with your business?

                        1. re: jira
                          Prav Nov 13, 2012 10:38 AM

                          'Cause sometimes their ice cream is f***ing amazing, that's why.

                          1. re: Prav
                            Science Chick Nov 13, 2012 12:33 PM

                            Yeah, I'm with you Prav......I'm not about to go searching for the ultimate in ice cream shop service and attitude, when, arguably, the best ice cream to be had on this planet is right in my backyard!

                            1. re: Science Chick
                              femmevox Nov 13, 2012 12:38 PM

                              They change the flavors every day and sometimes during the night if/when they run out of a particular flavor. There are about ten that they always have. It probably wouldn't be hard to get a list of those, by asking Gus to tweet them, or by calling.

                              If necessary, I can compile them for you (but I hope you find another way!).

                              As for the other flavors, they are fugitive--some in fairly regular rotation, while others appear once, never to be seen again

                              1. re: femmevox
                                femmevox Dec 5, 2012 02:08 PM

                                I was wrong. I was in there yesterday and asked if the twelve or so flavors they had printed signs for (as opposed to hand-written ones) were always there.

                                I was told "We have four hundred flavors, and we rotate them twice a day."

                                I asked "Are there ANY that you always have?"

                                And the counterman said "Apart from French vanilla, Belgian chocolate, and maybe 3B (brownies, brown butter, brown sugar), not really."

                                I did try two previously unsighted ones last night--Bourbon/Black Pepper and Kinako. I liked them both. Couldn't taste the black pepper in the Bourbon/Black Pepper, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

                                1. re: femmevox
                                  Madrid Dec 5, 2012 02:51 PM

                                  I am far from a marketing guru...I have three degrees no less in art history...but I do know that if I were able to see the day's flavors on line from Christina's and Toscanini's, even with the caveat "while they last", I 'd be eating ice cream from those places a lot more often than the once a year I now do and I'd be going on my son's behalf much more often.

                                  At my last two non profit jobs (non art history related), I was able (despite the art history) to make minor adjustments on the website in under five minutes. It's not that hard if someone shows you how to do it. I know they contract out but they've got to have a computer someone in house and it's not that difficult, at all.

                                  I do have some handicaps but they aren't related to reading...still when I go in, especially to Christina's, I get overwhelmed visually by all the flavors and for visually impaired people or those with visual/spatial disabilities (such as my son), it's really hard to read. A list printed on a 1/4 of a piece of printer paper that could be handed to people would be helpful to many, as well.

                                  Both establishments may have all the business they can handle or need. If they wanted more business, they are losing out for some segments of the population.

                                  1. re: Madrid
                                    emannths Dec 5, 2012 03:16 PM

                                    Even easier than updating a website (which restaurants often claim is in the hands of a web designer and not theirs to touch) is just putting the list up on Twitter or FB.

                                    1. re: emannths
                                      Madrid Dec 5, 2012 05:28 PM

                                      yep, but they'd still have to use a computer! I'd be thrilled with either.

                                    2. re: Madrid
                                      lipoff Dec 5, 2012 09:36 PM

                                      Totally agree!

                                      1. re: Madrid
                                        Bob Dobalina Dec 6, 2012 06:27 AM

                                        One thing that might help at Christina's is that the ones at the top of the list rarely seem to change. All the seasonal ones tend to migrate to the bottom. Speaking of which, I had Christina's sorghum molasses and pralines the other day and thought it was great.

                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                          Madrid Dec 6, 2012 06:56 AM

                                          thanks for the tip and also the new flavor....got to try it!

                                      2. re: femmevox
                                        opinionatedchef Dec 6, 2012 12:11 AM

                                        KINAKO???!!! (roasted soybeans ground into a powder with sugar; used in Japan to coat mochi and other sweets) Oh boy, i'm in trouble now....

                                        1. re: femmevox
                                          Bob W Dec 6, 2012 06:55 AM

                                          Many years ago (sob) I was a regular at Toscanini's. I always ordered Orange Chocolate and they always had it.

                                          This is the kind of place where you just have to overlook the possible dickishness of the help. Your interaction with them is brief, and the food is well worth it. I used to feel the same way about the punks behind the counter at Geoff's Sandwiches in Providence.

                                          1. re: femmevox
                                            Science Chick Dec 6, 2012 07:03 AM

                                            I think they almost ALWAYS have burnt caramel........

                                2. re: Velda Mae
                                  lipoff Nov 13, 2012 02:25 PM

                                  I once called Toscanini's to see if they had chocolate chip cookie dough. The kid who answered the phone said, "I don't know". I suggested that he could check. He agreed that was a good idea. Almost five minutes later he came back on the phone and said, "well we have it, but it's in the back." I asked him, "where does that leave us?" He seemed confused. I asked him, "if I came there, could I buy some?" He agreed that maybe I could. When I got there ten minutes later, and asked for the chocolate chip cookie dough, they said, "oh you're the guy."

                                  So what happened? Well, I gather that they have the flavors of the day out in the display cases, and some additional flavors in the back in a deeper freeze. It was actually some trouble for them to get the chocolate chip cookie dough, because it's so hard in the deeper freeze that it's difficult to scoop.

                                  From that interaction, and others, I have found that the staff at Toscanini's are nice and helpful, but very scatterbrained. They did a nice thing for me by scooping a flavor they had in the back, but that was not something they are equipped to do.

                                  1. re: lipoff
                                    Science Chick Nov 13, 2012 03:11 PM

                                    My *very first* job right after my 16th bday was scooping ice cream.....nuff said!

                                    1. re: lipoff
                                      Beachowolfe Dec 7, 2012 04:17 PM

                                      The kids working at the ice cream shop are getting "scatterbrained" out back? Surely you jest.

                                      1. re: Beachowolfe
                                        lipoff Dec 8, 2012 07:41 AM

                                        That was my conclusion as well.

                                  2. FinnFPM Nov 12, 2012 10:15 AM

                                    Gus' twitter account is off-the-wall and absolute fabulous.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: FinnFPM
                                      Bob Dobalina Nov 12, 2012 10:54 AM

                                      I bet that scofflaw is a friggin' riot!

                                      1. re: FinnFPM
                                        Prav Nov 12, 2012 11:09 AM

                                        Off-the-wall, yes.. absolutely fabulous, nope.

                                        1. re: Prav
                                          FinnFPM Nov 12, 2012 11:38 AM

                                          His twitter persona confirms perfectly with my mental caricature of him as a clueless, relatively hapless schmuck who makes great ice cream and has a popular business in spite of his total lack of understanding about how to run it. That, to me, makes it pretty great, because I get a laugh from basically everything he posts, even though it's rarely supposed to be funny.

                                          1. re: FinnFPM
                                            Prav Nov 12, 2012 12:16 PM

                                            Ahh, in that sense, fabulous is correct. :)

                                      2. h
                                        hilltowner Nov 12, 2012 10:04 AM

                                        Call them?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: hilltowner
                                          Prav Nov 12, 2012 11:11 AM

                                          Bah, but that would require me to speak to someone!

                                          Trust me, an electronic list is much easier. They're already posting tons of crap anyway.

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