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Nice Cream Factory

The post on Ice Cream Jubilee below compelled me to write about the Nice Cream Factory in Clarendon. As a former pint-a-day guy, I'm serious about ice cream, and in my opinion, this is the best ice cream I have ever had.

They make your ice cream to order, using liquid nitrogen. It sounds gimmicky, but the result is extraordinarily creamy. And this is purists' ice cream. They have no toppings, offer no cones, and offer only four flavors at a time. Winners -- and they have nearly all been winners -- include Honey-Lavendar, Lemon, Pistachio, Nutella, Peach, Strawberry-Basil, and Peanut Butter.

It's on Clarendon Blvd., across the street from Crate and Barrel, where Red Mango was.

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  1. I like my ice cream, too, but at $5 for a "small" I'll wait until someone buys me one. I did stop in when I was in the area but I just don't appreciate the subtleties of ice cream enough to pay that much for it, even once.

    I heard about a similar concept out in California called Smitten. They use the same principle and make it up to order, but they have designed a single machine that does all of the steps in the process including the freezing. It's $5, too, but I'd probably pay that to watch the contraption work (though I suppose there's a YouTube video of it).

    1. I tried it, and it was good! They source their lavender from a local farm. I agree, though- it's too expensive.

      1. Hell, yeah.

        If I were a traditional ice cream maker and tasted their pistachio, I would probably weep.

        This is not a highly whipped product with a lot of air, seems very dense like gelato. I 'd rather have one great pricey ice cream than two mediocre ones.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve

          I would, too, if it was something I only eat once or twice a year. I rarely eat steak but occasionally I'll splurge at a high-priced butcher. But for my pre-bedtime nightly dose of ice cream, I'll settle for Ben & Jerry's.

        2. I just want to say that I've had their ice cream at the Mosaic Farmers Market and the "small"...well, it's not really small. It was a lot of ice cream to me! (I think I had Nutella. I liked it!)

          1 Reply
          1. re: TheMatt

            Most portions are too big for me these days, which is why I'm enthusiastic about self-serve frozen yogurt shops. I only wish the product at those self service shops was better.

            My daily dose of ice cream is only about a tablespoon full. I never was a quart-in-one-sitting kind of a guy, so a "small" NiceCream might be good for a few bites, then I'd want to take it home and put it in the freezer for another time, which would pretty much kill the fresh aspect.

          2. If you eat ice cream every day it is probably too pricey, but is worth it for a once in a while treat. They use fresh ingredients and you can't get any fresher than having it frozen in front of you.

            1. Dazzled by the pistachio, I went back today to see what they had in store. This time they had four of their five flavors out for a sample. I sampled three flavors.

              The lemonade had a nice, creamy flavor, but I was a bit disappointed that it didn't have much kick to it. Both the strawberry and the nutella were very weak in flavor, with sweetness dominating. I am not even sure I could tell what flavors they were if I didn't know in advance.

              I'll go back if I know they have the pistachio.

              1. Yeah, they have great icecream, and it is a little expensive. It is so creamy because it is made on the spot. Their two sizes are practically the same size and price.

                I wrote about them last fall (before they had the Clarendon storefront): http://www.dcfud.com/2013/10/11/mobil...

                Their pistachio is my favorite, but I also like the lemon, salted chocolate, and strawberry basil. They have 2 flavors at the Kingstowne farmers market Fridays 4-7 (and 4 flavors in the store). They can't always handle the rush on a Saturday in the store...running out of lids. not putting napkins out when they run out in the holder, and being a general mess.

                1. I ate Smitten Ice Cream in San Francisco and thought it was one of the best, if not the best ice cream I've ever had. I ran into Nice Cream at a farmer's market and thought they were some kind of gimmicky copy cat. I tried their vanilla and I didn't think it would happen but they topped Smitten. It was probably one of the top three best ice creams I've ever had. They used real fresh scraped vanilla bean, and the ice cream was almost like eating soft butter, the texture was so smooth. They are very responsive to yelp reviews so it's a good place to offer constructive criticism

                  1. Does anyone know how well this would keep as take out? I'm planning a birthday party and would love to get some.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: chowser

                      they sell pints but i don't know if you need to order ahead or anything. The sooner you eat it the better.

                      1. re: Foodgeek

                        I will order ahead. Thanks. I think we'll bring coolers and keep them as cold as possible. Hope that works until we get them home in the freezer.