So here’s the scenario: It’s a Monday. You missed your alarm in the morning and are running late for work. You spilled your hot beverage of choice, tea or coffee, on your dress pants and have muttered under your breath more since you woke up that morning than you have all week. It’s a frustrating start to your day that sets a tone for the rest of it and although what is remaining of your 24 hours is completely what you make of it, you’ve certainly earned a large glass of wine (preferably Gewurztraminer or Sweet Reisling) and some ice cream.
Oh, ice cream… the sweet creamy nostalgia inducing delight that just screams SUMMER whenever I eat it. I have a strong opinion on my favorite flavors and although I would hardly ever reject a bowl or cone when put in front of me, there are certainly some types that I have found are obviously superior.
Found at almost any ice cream stand in the Western New York area, Perry’s offers countless flavors ranging from classic Vanilla Bean to Birthday Cake and even the new Fireball. Since I moved to this region I’ve become quite attached to their Lemon Chillo. It’s saturated with lemon cookies that taste exactly like Lemon Crinkles, made from cake mix. I am a huge lemon fan, but sometimes it can become overly bitter. This sweet delight has just enough citrus and tang, I love it. When I’m feeling daring I will have a scoop of Lemon Chillo along with White Raspberry Cake or Raspberry Swirl. Bonus tip: Go to Dee Dee’s Dairy in Niagara Falls (bring cash, that’s all the accept) and get the biggest serving of ice cream for your money. I always order a Baby and it’s closer to a Medium.
Lake Effect Ice Cream
Known for their wacky flavors including Buffalonian inspired staples such as Sponge Candy, Loganberry and my personal favorite Paula’s Glazed Donut. The sweet vanilla base combined with chunks of simplistic frosted donuts is a match made in heaven (see top scoop of photo above). You can find Lake Effect at their locations in Lockport or downtown Buffalo on Hertel Ave, but also if you’re in a pinch there are pints at Tops and Wegmans. The perfect size for lounging on the couch, with your aforementioned glass of wine, while watching HGTV… so I’ve been told.
Let me provide some context: In the past I always thought of custard as the creamy vanilla soft serve one would purchase at the fair or an amusement park. I really appreciate melty classic vanilla ice cream, preferably with rainbow sprinkles and that was what I was expecting the first time I went to Hibbard’s -well it’s not. It’s potentially better.
Hibbard’s carries a bunch of homemade hard custards, combined with giant chunks of various ingredients, right before it is scooped into your cone. They rotate homemade custards for purchase each day in cones, while the rest are typically available in pints. They also carry Perry’s. My absolute favorite custard is Cookie Monster; a vanilla ice cream base dyed blue (so you can eat your ice cream and resemble a smurf afterwards) filled with oreo cookie halves, whoppers, cookie dough bites and chocolate hunks. I’ve stopped at the custard stand before to end up filled with disappointment by the fact that they are sold out of Cookie Monster, so don’t be afraid to call ahead and see if they’re in stock. Obviously the flavor is pretty incredible if it’s moving out of the freezer that quickly. Some of my back up flavors at Hibbard’s also include Caramel Pretzel (with full size chocolate covered pretzels in side caramel ice cream, see below) and Cookie Dough.
As a newfound ice cream connoisseur I know I have to try more varieties to ensure my research is up to date. With that in mind I plan to experience the new Churn Soft Serve (sister brand of Lloyd’s), Jerk’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream and Hertel Poutine and Cream before the summer is over. Challenge accepted.
What is your favorite Western New York ice cream?