Wednesday, June 27, 2012
On a warm summer day, nothing's more enticing than a creamy scoop of America's most delectable frozen treat. Whether they are artisan creations or from a homemade batch, these tantalizing swirls delight sweet-toothed enthusiasts of all ages. And as the warm air wafts through our windows, we can almost taste the melted deliciousness dripping from a sugary waffle cone…
That brings us to another subject. Few topics are as controversial among dessert-lovers as ice cream. Taking parlor reputation, flavor diversity, and online reviews into consideration, U.S. News Travel has compiled a list of America's best ice cream spots to indulge in this summertime delight.
10. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
Favorite Flavor: Mint Chocolate Chip (Cost: $3.75)
Run by Peter Freeman and Gia Giasullo, Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain adds an inventive twist to classic flavors with ingredients like toffee and maple egg cream. Inside the Farmacy (or "The Farm" for those in the know), you'll find an eclectic mix of creamy malts, floats, shakes, and egg creams. Standouts include the "Rocket Shake" (a milkshake laced with fresh coffee and scoops of coffee ice cream) and the "Flatbush Ave. Float" (a blend of your choice of ice cream layered with chocolate or vanilla egg cream).
Should you prefer a decadent sundae rather than a float, try the "Sundae of Broken Dreams." This frosted dessert (vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce, whipped cream, and crispy pretzels) keeps customers smiling.
9. Roots Ice Cream
Favorite Flavor: Beet (Cost: $3)
As its name suggests, Roots Ice Cream is all about showcasing Charleston flavors by sourcing fresh ingredients from local farmers. And with its versatile array of seasonal specialties, including Cucumber-Mint, Bourbon-Peach, Beet, and Sweet Tea, Roots Ice Cream has become a local favorite. Although Roots has no official parlor, you can find its artisan blends at farmers markets throughout the Lowcountry, including in Marion, Kiawah Island, and Mt. Pleasant.
8. Capogiro Gelato Artisans
Favorite Flavor: Cioccolato Scuro "Bitter Chocolate" (Cost: $4.50)
If you're craving a spoonful of pure bliss, it's hard to match Capogiro's artisan gelato. Owner Stephanie Reitano has mastered the art of flavor, infusing her signature sorbets and gelato with seasonal ingredients. Capogiro's offerings vary from tried-and-true Nocciola Piemontese (hazelnut gelato made with nuts from Italy's Piedmont region) to bold flavors like peppery Basil. For a rich treat, try Cioccolato Scuro (Bitter Chocolate), a favorite among loyal fans. You can order a cup or cone at 13th Street in Philadelphia or at one of the other three locations in Pennsylvania.
7. Sweet Action Ice Cream
Favorite Flavor: Strawberry Balsamic (Cost: $2.75)
With 24 delectable flavors enriched with local ingredients, this trendy shop values quality as much as inventiveness. Its eclectic blends were not under the radar for long. Food & Wine labeled Sweet Action "One of the best ice cream spots in the U.S." and USA Today praised the parlor as the best ice cream shop in Colorado. From Salted Butterscotch to Lemon Ricotta, Sweet Action Ice Cream crafts each variety with care. For pure sweetness, give the Strawberry Balsamic or Pistachio flavors a whirl.
Favorite Flavor: Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip (Cost: $2.75)
This fourth-generation landmark creamery dates back to 1870, when Louis C. Graeter crafted the original confection in Cincinnati. The secret behind Graeter's recipes is the elaborate French Pot swirling process. Fresh cream and egg custard are gradually folded together until they reach a thick texture and one-of-a-kind rich taste.
Then, fresh ingredients are sprinkled in, like liquid gourmet chocolate and Madagascar vanilla beans. Signature flavors include Butter Pecan (endorsed by Oprah Winfrey), Cinnamon, and Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip. Other Graeter's branches can be found in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, and Lexington and Louisville, Ky.
5. Sweet Republic
Favorite Flavor: Salted Butter Caramel (Cost: $2.95)
Since 2008, Sweet Republic owners Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung have attracted ice cream connoisseurs with their homemade batches. The milk and creams used are provided by local dairy farms, while tasty toppings, including marshmallows, brownies, and waffles, are all made by hand.
And that's not all: From its birchwood ice cream sticks to its recycled glass bottles, this shop prides itself on its eco-friendliness. To indulge your taste buds with an extra burst of flavor, try the zesty Honey Blue Cheese or decadent Mayan Chocolate flavors. You'll find Sweet Republic headquartered on Scottsdale's Shea Boulevard. Sweet Republic products are also sold at select grocery stores throughout the state.
4. Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream
Favorite Flavor: Salted Caramel (Cost: $3.45)
Since opening in spring 2008, this beloved Seattle ice creamery draws dessert fanatics far and wide. In fact, Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream's handheld delights have become so popular that customers are willing to brave long lines for a single scoop.
Fans go wild for the Salted Caramel and "Theo Chocolate" (fudgy chocolate ice cream drizzled with fair-trade Theo chocolate bars) flavors. Another favorite: Balsamic Strawberry (made with locally grown strawberries and a honey balsamic reduction). The original Molly Moon's is located on North 45th Street, though the company also operates four other stores in the Seattle area.
3. Bi-Rite Creamery & Bakeshop
Favorite Flavor: Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Cost: $3.50)
For a cool, creamy batch crafted from scratch, look no further than Bi-Rite Creamery & Bakeshop, a San Francisco landmark set in the heart of the Mission District. Aside from its signature creamy scoops, Bi-Rite boasts a versatile selection of delicacies, ranging from ice cream sandwiches to popsicles to fully loaded sundaes. To top it off, owners Anne Walker and Kris Hoogerhyde pride themselves on making all the toppings — including marshmallows, peanut brittle, and hot fudge — at their adjoining bakery. For intense flavor, try their "dainty gentleman" signature sundae (honey-lavender ice cream lathered in hot fudge, sea salt, and blood orange olive oil).
Favorite Flavor: Burnt Caramel (Cost: $4.25)
With brag-worthy accolades from the New York Times, People magazine, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet magazine (to name a few), it would seem misleading not to include this Boston-area gelato shop on our list. With its setting in the heart of intellectual academia, Toscanini's draws a cerebral clientele that sparks fresh ideas for bold flavors.
Kulfi, an intense blend with pistachios and cardamom, was inspired by a Harvard professor from India. Other notable gelato flavors include Grape-Nut, Pear Chardonnay sorbet, and the beloved Burnt Caramel. The secret behind owner Gus Rancatore's much-admired caramel concoction: Heating the sugar until the crème caramel — the golden delicious crust — appears on the surface (much like a crème brulee) and then off-setting the prominent sugary taste with cold cream and milk.
1. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Favorite Flavor: Brambleberry Crisp (Cost: $4.50)
With its broad selection of creative flavors — ranging from Wildberry Lavender to Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet to Brambleberry Crisp — it's no wonder Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams has foodies swooning across the nation. Jeni Britton Bauer's handmade sorbet, frozen yogurt, and ice cream push the boundaries of dessert artisanship. What makes her batches so delicious? Key ingredients, like grass-grazed cream, whole fruits, and fair-trade vanilla. You'll find Jeni's original shop in the North Market of Columbus. There are currently eight other stores spread across the state and two additional locations in Nashville.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By Mark Ferenchik and Lucas Sullivan
Monday June 25, 2012 4:30 AM
A national advocacy group for people with AIDS is modifying plans for its clinic and thrift store in the University District, hoping to convince community leaders that the building’s new look fits the neighborhood.
The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation will present its new plans before the University Area Review Board on Thursday.
The board objected to the original design of Out of the Closet, to be built at the northeast corner of N. High Street and E. 5th Avenue, which is considered a gateway to the Short North, Italian Village, Victorian Village and Weinland Park.
“It’s such an important corner, it needed to fit in well with the neighborhood streetscape,” said Fredric Goodman, the board’s chairman and an architect.
The original concept featured a one-story building with light-colored bricks and a cylindrical glass element atop a corner. Three-story red-brick buildings occupy the other three corners.
On May 22, the Harrison West Society wrote to the Columbus City Council that the building’s single-story design and suburban-style parking layout would be “grossly out of place in the High Street corridor.”
Michael Weinstein, the foundation’s president, said the review board is forcing him to adhere to design features that aren’t in the zoning code.
“We want an up-and-down vote on if they are going to approve this plan,” he said. “If there are any more delays, we will lose a whole building season, and that is very costly.”
The foundation is adding more details that fit with the neighborhood and make it look more urban, said Adam Ouderkirk, the group’s regional director. The height of the building would range from 30 to 45 feet, he said.
Most of the building would be oyster-gray brick, with magenta stucco insets and some teal stucco on a corner, according to the city.
“We’re trying our best within reason to respond to concerns,” Ouderkirk said.
Last month, Weinstein said he thought that some city officials were delaying the project because they didn’t agree with the group’s mission.
Community leaders say they welcome the clinic and store.
In the May 22 letter, Harrison West President Kristen Easterday wrote, “The Harrison West Society’s objection is totally unrelated to the intended use of the property by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and any claim otherwise is contrary to the long history Harrison West and the other Short North neighborhoods have had in supporting GLBT businesses and residents.”
The neighborhood is close to the intersection.
“We want to make sure the aesthetics of the building blend in with the neighborhood,” Easterday said last week.
John Angelo, the executive director of the new Short North Alliance, said, “There’s no opposition based on what their mission is.”
The nonprofit foundation operates more than 20 clinics, mostly in California and Florida. Columbus would be the group’s first Midwestern location.
“We are not going to be run off,” Weinstein said, “and I expected since we were bringing jobs and a much-needed service to the area that the red carpet would have been rolled out.”
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Don't walk in the pond!
By: Mark Ferenchik
The Columbus Dispatch - June 05, 2012 05:17 PM
Curious visitors to the Goodale Park pond are now walking in the pond as a mysterious leak continues to drain water, leaving some areas completely dry.
City officials worry that people traipsing through the pond near the Short North will create even more leaks on the bottom they'll have to find and plug.
Those walking through the pond could damage the bentonite clay that crews put down in April on the bottom in an attempt to fix the leak, said Terri Leist, assistant director of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. The city spent $144,600 for the bentonite and to repair the pond walls.
The Friends of Goodale Park hired a company to put concrete and a rubber liner around the base of the fountain at the pond in the hopes of finally plugging the leak. That work should start by late this week or early next week, Leist said.
Friday, June 1, 2012
By: Mark Ferenchik
The Columbus Dispatch - May 30, 2012 04:33 PM
We should know by the end of June whether the latest attempt to plug the leak at the Goodale Park pond will work.
The Friends of Goodale Park hired a Circleville company to place concrete and a rubber "skirt" around the base of the pond's fountain which some suspect is the source of the leak.
Last week we reported that the friends group was considering this fix. It will cost the group $8,500, said Jason Kentner, who leads the friends organization. Weather permitting, it should be finished by June 21, he said.
The project requires workers to pump out enough pond water to do the job. Concrete will be poured around all the piping beneath the fountain, and stones will be placed over the rubber skirt.