You cannot be sad and eat ice cream. There were many things that struck me when I moved to Maine, the first was how I instantly felt like I had come home, another was how many ice cream stands there were for a place that spends a large portion of the year in freezing temperatures. The ice cream scene in Maine is very much a thing and I'm happy to indulge. Here, my photos from ice cream around Maine, New England, and Beyond!!
Momofuku Milk Bar, Manhattan. September 23, 2018.
I am going to be honest in this post. I am sad about this one. Sad because I absolutely hate not loving the ice cream places that I visit. I have been hearing all about Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk bar for the last few years. The menu sounded incredible, the aesthetic and playful attitude pulled me in, and I could not resist the allure of “cereal milk” flavored ice cream. I’ve seen the write-ups, the episode of “Chef’s Table” dedicated to Momofuku, and heard through friends how good it was. So, on our recent trip to New York, we made a point of visiting. This little bakery has grown in a big way, opening up locations throughout New York and then venturing to D.C., Toronto, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
Perhaps it was the arduous nature of traveling around New York with two small children. Perhaps it was that we left the quaint sweetness of the Central Park Zoo to venture through the chaos of Manhattan when the United Nations and our 45th President were being ushered through that very part of the city at the very time we were trying to navigate our way. Perhaps it has more to do with what happens when small businesses that are full of personality grow too big too fast, but Momofuku Milk Bar left us a bit disappointed. Was my ice cream good? Yes. Did it taste like the promised “cereal milk?” Nope. More like a weak vanilla malted. My daughter’s “chocolate pretzel” didn’t even have a hint of pretzel flavor. We struggled to find the location, there was no sign so we walked around and around trying to find it. The service was friendly, but $20 for three smallish cups of soft serve later and we felt a bit bamboozled. For all the positive press and reviews, it certainly didn’t deliver. That is a bummer, in such a major way. I want this project to be happy and positive and celebrate and eat the ice cream because life is short and the world is terrible. Would I eat this ice cream again? Probably not. Three things I liked about it: The neon sign. The lighting. The sprinkles.
Ben and Jerry's at LL Bean, Freeport, Maine. August 26th, 2018.
There is not much I can say about Ben and Jerry's that hasn't already been said. We found ourselves in Freeport on a hot summer day so we stopped by for a treat. Much to our surprise, the annual Dog Days of Summer, Dock Dogs competition was happening. It was so cute and such a great memory.
Dairy Queen. South Portland, Maine. August 22, 2018.
Nestled between two busy streets, the Cash Corner Dairy Queen in South Portland has been in this spot for over 60 years. They serve all of the classics, my favorite being the butterscotch dip cone. The parking lot is busy and there is often a line, but this DQ has a really small town feel, echoing the community that it has served for decades. They have seen their city grow and change over the years, and are a stop for a summertime treat that generations have enjoyed.
Smiling Hill Farm. Westbrook, Maine. August 9, 2018.
Sitting high atop a hill, overlooking a lush pasture, the ice cream barn at Smiing Hill Farm is one of my favorite places. You can get a scoop, or lunch for that matter, sit outside, take a walk through the petting zoo, let your kids play in the playground, peruse their beautiful test garden We arrived around sunset, got our treats, and walked around the farm. We got to see the actual cows that made the milk that made our ice cream grazing and check out their insanely giant sunflowers. Supporting local farms is one of my passions, and getting ice cream at Smiling Hill is about as local as it gets.
Red's Dairy Freeze. South Portland, Maine. August 2, 2018
Every spring when Red's Dairy Freeze opens up in South Portland, we breathe a sigh of relief, winter is on its way out. Beckoning us with their bright red roof, Red's has delicious soft serve. On any given summertime evening you'll find a line full of families, friends, dogs, kids, and adults all patiently waiting for their treats.