Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

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RyanC
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Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#1 Post by RyanC »

The Caugheys love ice cream. All four of us. Central Market -- just about a quarter mile from us -- has about 1,000 brands of ice cream/gelato/yogurt/custard/etc. What's your favorite pint?

My new favorite may be Van Leeuwen's honeycomb. I always enjoyed the NY location and there is now one in Houston. The store-bought version is every bit as good as what's offered at the storefront.

I also really dig Jenni's ice creams these days, even if they're not quite what they were when it was just in Columbus. Gooey butter cake is about as decadent as it gets, and I love it.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#2 Post by Jim Stewart »

Although I do enjoy the occasional ‘decadent’ ice cream from the grocery store (e.g. Ben & Jerry), I find them almost too much to enjoy frequently. My usual go to for satisfying my ice cream urges is actually a low fat frozen yogurt - Elan. Coffee and chocolate are my favorite flavors. Not sure if Elan is available countrywide.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#3 Post by Chuck Miller »

I don’t eat ice cream all that frequently, so I haven’t tried too many. When I was younger, Haagen Daz was killing it, and I think it is still pretty damn good. I was surprised a few months ago finding Graeter’s in my local Seattle QFC and bought a couple pints. I had only had it once about 10-15 years ago when I ordered 6 pints directly from Graeter’s in Cincinnati and had it shipped.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#4 Post by Tom DeBiase »

Graeters Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip is our current favorite.

Most “name” brands have been cost reduced to death, not worth the calories.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#5 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f »

Graeter’s “chip” flavors, especially Black Raspberry, Coconut, and Mint.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#6 Post by mmarcellus »

Van Leeuwen's rules, and their honeycomb is genius. They have a lot of great flavors, but I can rarely get past that one.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#7 Post by David Wright »


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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#8 Post by RyanC »

Thought you were joking. Seems you may not be joking. I'm both scared and oddly intrigued.....
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#9 Post by David Wright »

It appears to be real. I would not go near it. Randy B may have tried it.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#10 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

Nancy’s Fancy is very nice.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#11 Post by Franklin R »

Thank goodness the local Sundaes is closed. Typically buy local and scooped into a waffle cone. Sundaes in Indianapolis when we indulge at home.

Thanks, now I'm acutely aware that my ice cream stomach is empty.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#12 Post by Nola Palomar »

I like Graeter’s too. I know Bob Graeter (founder). Nice guy, good ice cream!
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#13 Post by Jim Stewart »

Barry L i p t o n wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:21 pm Nancy’s Fancy is very nice.
‘Nancy’ as in Pelosi ?
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#14 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f »

Nola Palomar wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:58 pm I like Graeter’s too. I know Bob Graeter (founder). Nice guy, good ice cream!
And a wine board guy from way back, who’s even been seen in these parts now and again. [berserker.gif]

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#15 Post by Nola Palomar »

D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote: October 4th, 2021, 4:54 am
Nola Palomar wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:58 pm I like Graeter’s too. I know Bob Graeter (founder). Nice guy, good ice cream!
And a wine board guy from way back, who’s even been seen in these parts now and again. [berserker.gif]
Awesome!
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#16 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

Jim Stewart wrote: October 4th, 2021, 4:26 am
Barry L i p t o n wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:21 pm Nancy’s Fancy is very nice.
‘Nancy’ as in Pelosi ?
No

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#17 Post by Jay Miller »

A local shop would occasionally get in Graeters but never the Black Raspberry Chip which is what I would really want to buy. I also remember Bob from the old WLDG and WT days.

I like Van Leeuwen but I don't love it. I'll have to try the honeycomb.

My local cheese shop carries Arethusa (of Tapping Reeve fame) ice cream which is my favorite locally available option.

A widely available old favorite is Turkey Hill Columbian Coffee. Maybe not great ice cream but surprisingly very, very, good ice cream. Especially when it's just home from the store and slightly melted. A favorite for milk shakes.

As noted in another thread Talenti was my go to for a while but they've gone way downhill.
Last edited by Jay Miller on October 4th, 2021, 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#18 Post by Mike Evans »

Another vote for Graeter’s. I think I first ran across Bob on Compuserve’s wine board and was thrilled when their ice cream showed up in local supermarkets, as it more than lived up to the praise I’d heard.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#19 Post by RyanC »

Well now I need to buy some Graeters.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#20 Post by Robert Pollard-Smith »

Graeter’s Double Chocolate Chip and Madagascar Vanilla are our house pours.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#21 Post by scamhi »

Robert Pollard-Smith wrote: October 4th, 2021, 9:26 am Graeter’s Double Chocolate Chip and Madagascar Vanilla are our house pours.
We love the Graeters Double Chocolate Chip flirtysmile
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#22 Post by David K o l i n »

Graeters Black Raspberry Chocolate chip is a regular part of the rotation here. These days, we seem to be eating a lot more of Ben & Jerry’s Oat of this Swirled and S’more Please than anything else, currently

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#23 Post by Paul Jaouen »

Jay Miller wrote: October 4th, 2021, 6:36 am A local shop would occasionally get in Graeters but never the Black Raspberry Chip which is what I would really want to buy. I also remember Bob from the old WLDG and WT days.
Next time you invite us over, I'll bring you a pint.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#24 Post by Robert Pollard-Smith »

We find the Graeters Black Raspberry Chocolate chip delicious, but the raspberry flavor doesn't hold up well once your mouth is chilled after just two bites.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#25 Post by Mel Hill »

Nola Palomar wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:58 pm I like Graeter’s too. I know Bob Graeter (founder). Nice guy, good ice cream!
He’s a wine guy too! He came to a dinner John Wocher threw in Chicago back in 99 or 00

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#26 Post by Ian Sutton »

We're lucky to have Lakenham creamery in the city, who make ice-cream in more gelato style, rather than the fluffed up (soft scoop) commercial brands. A fine range of flavours, though we miss the sweet spice and nutmeg they stopped making about 5 years ago. Available from the creamery itself, but also some local supermarkets (e.g. Waitrose)

If I had to go for a nationally available brand, it would probably be GROM, which is the same company as the decent quality gelateria chain in Italy. Not as good as the better places in Italy, but a solid standard. Again in Waitrose.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#27 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Jenni’s from local WF on sale. I think it’s an Ohio product.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#28 Post by RyanC »

Tom G l a s g o w wrote: October 4th, 2021, 7:19 pm Jenni’s from local WF on sale. I think it’s an Ohio product.
Yeah Columbus. I used to have a client there and I'd always get it when I was in town. Now it's nationwide.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#29 Post by Bryce K »

Ryan - check out Craft Creamery on Westheimer, they'll scoop a pint of what they're offering. I have not tried the brisket or cacio e pepe flavored ones, but the classic ice cream flavors were great.

https://craftcreameryhtx.com/
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#30 Post by Craig G »

I won’t claim it’s the best but I love B&J’s Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#31 Post by David Wright »

Robert Pollard-Smith wrote: October 4th, 2021, 12:33 pm We find the Graeters Black Raspberry Chocolate chip delicious, but the raspberry flavor doesn't hold up well once your mouth is chilled after just two bites.
I don't get that with Graeter's Black Raspberry when we take the time to temper the ice cream (chill bowls in fridge for 10-15 min, add ice cream, temper in fridge for another 15-20 min before eating).

Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy and Talenti Roman Raspberry still work for me. A scoop of each with some (real) whipped cream is a nice combo.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#32 Post by Robert Pollard-Smith »

David Wright wrote: October 4th, 2021, 9:51 pm
Robert Pollard-Smith wrote: October 4th, 2021, 12:33 pm We find the Graeters Black Raspberry Chocolate chip delicious, but the raspberry flavor doesn't hold up well once your mouth is chilled after just two bites.
I don't get that with Graeter's Black Raspberry when we take the time to temper the ice cream (chill bowls in fridge for 10-15 min, add ice cream, temper in fridge for another 15-20 min before eating).

Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy and Talenti Roman Raspberry still work for me. A scoop of each with some (real) whipped cream is a nice combo.
In our neighborhood, you’re only allowed to eat directly from the container.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#33 Post by Brandon R »

I figured this would be too regional to be really helpful, but it appears this Graeter's is pretty well distributed. I've never had it and apparently I should.

Locally, we really like Lopez Island Creamery stuff. I think it's now made in Anacortes, WA. It's delicious stuff.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#34 Post by saul_cooperstein »

For me Thirfty’s Black Cherry.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#35 Post by Kevin Lloyd »

McConnell's Sea Salt and Cookies. I also support the Graeter's recommendations.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#36 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

Ian Sutton wrote: October 4th, 2021, 3:00 pm We're lucky to have Lakenham creamery in the city, who make ice-cream in more gelato style, rather than the fluffed up (soft scoop) commercial brands. A fine range of flavours, though we miss the sweet spice and nutmeg they stopped making about 5 years ago. Available from the creamery itself, but also some local supermarkets (e.g. Waitrose)

If I had to go for a nationally available brand, it would probably be GROM, which is the same company as the decent quality gelateria chain in Italy. Not as good as the better places in Italy, but a solid standard. Again in Waitrose.
. Which do you find better in Italy than Grom (say outside Florence), would love to try them.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#37 Post by Josh Grossman »

Jim Stewart wrote: October 4th, 2021, 4:26 am
Barry L i p t o n wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:21 pm Nancy’s Fancy is very nice.
‘Nancy’ as in Pelosi ?
1C8BFE1A-E863-4C76-A6FA-AA63CBCB6DD5.png
Nancy knows what'a up. It's Jeni's:


My first job was at Graeter's, but for those who know, Jeni's takes the cake. If you like Ice Cream, Ohio is the place.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#38 Post by Ian Sutton »

Hi Barry
Individual shops I'm afraid, so it's a question of hunting them out in the city itself, though I do utilise the annual Golosario to help find candidates, but after a while you can spot useful pointers to quality, though I find it's useful to have some benchmark flavours, that you have often enough to make it easier to see differences (for me liquirizia and limone). Seeing smurf coloured gelato or something fluffed up / decorated with bits is always a useful hint to pass such places by!

It's not always about the quality / flavours. We loved going to the gelateria in Ghemme, as although I'd call it decent-good rather than excellent, the lady running it gave the impression of someone who had the best job in the world. Gelato should be a giver of joy, and she bought into that thinking.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#39 Post by Nola Palomar »

Josh Grossman wrote: October 6th, 2021, 7:47 am
Jim Stewart wrote: October 4th, 2021, 4:26 am
Barry L i p t o n wrote: October 3rd, 2021, 7:21 pm Nancy’s Fancy is very nice.
‘Nancy’ as in Pelosi ?
1C8BFE1A-E863-4C76-A6FA-AA63CBCB6DD5.png
Nancy knows what'a up. It's Jeni's:


My first job was at Graeter's, but for those who know, Jeni's takes the cake. If you like Ice Cream, Ohio is the place.
That's so funny, my daughter is more the ice cream connoisseur than me. Just found a couple containers of Jeni's in the freezer.. . and my 1st job was at an ice cream parlor as well.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#40 Post by Ethan Abraham »

Picked up a few Graeter's at a nearby store and surprisingly found them somewhat disappointing. The dark chocolate brownie was a bit chalky, and not very intensely chocolate-y, and the s'mores was a bit watery. Neither seemed to have any ice-y texture indicating bad storage. I'll have to try some other flavors.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#41 Post by David Wright »

Ethan Abraham wrote: October 12th, 2021, 5:58 pm Picked up a few Graeter's at a nearby store and surprisingly found them somewhat disappointing. The dark chocolate brownie was a bit chalky, and not very intensely chocolate-y, and the s'mores was a bit watery. Neither seemed to have any ice-y texture indicating bad storage. I'll have to try some other flavors.
Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#42 Post by Jay Miller »

David Wright wrote: October 12th, 2021, 9:24 pm
Ethan Abraham wrote: October 12th, 2021, 5:58 pm Picked up a few Graeter's at a nearby store and surprisingly found them somewhat disappointing. The dark chocolate brownie was a bit chalky, and not very intensely chocolate-y, and the s'mores was a bit watery. Neither seemed to have any ice-y texture indicating bad storage. I'll have to try some other flavors.
Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip
Yes, I haven't had it in well over a decade but my recollection is that was the flavor to get.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#43 Post by RyanC »

Jay Miller wrote: October 13th, 2021, 5:05 am
David Wright wrote: October 12th, 2021, 9:24 pm
Ethan Abraham wrote: October 12th, 2021, 5:58 pm Picked up a few Graeter's at a nearby store and surprisingly found them somewhat disappointing. The dark chocolate brownie was a bit chalky, and not very intensely chocolate-y, and the s'mores was a bit watery. Neither seemed to have any ice-y texture indicating bad storage. I'll have to try some other flavors.
Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip
Yes, I haven't had it in well over a decade but my recollection is that was the flavor to get.
Picked this up at Central Market because of this thread. It’s very good but not top tier for me. Flavor is good and texture is nice—and the dark chocolate chunks are great—but I’d still reach for Van Leeuwen every time.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#44 Post by mseeber »

Private Selection at Kroger family of stores. Great QPR at $2/pint on sale. Pistachio Honey, English Toffee Caramel, Southern Butter Pecan.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#45 Post by A. Mishaan »

Ethan Abraham wrote: October 12th, 2021, 5:58 pm Picked up a few Graeter's at a nearby store and surprisingly found them somewhat disappointing. The dark chocolate brownie was a bit chalky, and not very intensely chocolate-y, and the s'mores was a bit watery. Neither seemed to have any ice-y texture indicating bad storage. I'll have to try some other flavors.
I'm also intrigued by all the Graeter's recommendations. The ones I've had have been tasty, but I have found the chips/chunks to be kind of soft and fudgy, without the kind of crisp to the chocolate that adds texture. I wonder if the ones I've had have just been stored/shipped poorly.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#46 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f »

A. Mishaan wrote: October 15th, 2021, 7:51 am
Ethan Abraham wrote: October 12th, 2021, 5:58 pm Picked up a few Graeter's at a nearby store and surprisingly found them somewhat disappointing. The dark chocolate brownie was a bit chalky, and not very intensely chocolate-y, and the s'mores was a bit watery. Neither seemed to have any ice-y texture indicating bad storage. I'll have to try some other flavors.
I'm also intrigued by all the Graeter's recommendations. The ones I've had have been tasty, but I have found the chips/chunks to be kind of soft and fudgy, without the kind of crisp to the chocolate that adds texture. I wonder if the ones I've had have just been stored/shipped poorly.
These are probably representative. The chunks are large and thus seem to produce strong reactions. In my experience, 3 out of 4 folks or so seem to love them because they are larger than most and flavorful and about 1 out of 4 seem to hate them for reasons similar to what you describe. I'm in the love 'em camp.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#47 Post by Andre M »

Mine is Talenti pistachio.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#48 Post by Jay Miller »

Andre M wrote: October 15th, 2021, 8:29 am Mine is Talenti pistachio.
I used to like it but have found the quality decline substantial. The last time I bought one I threw half a container out rather than finish it.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#49 Post by KMiller »

Andre M wrote: October 15th, 2021, 8:29 am Mine is Talenti pistachio.
Talenti was a favorite of mine. But quality has dramatically declined since Unilever purchased them, back around 2014.
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Re: Best Ice Cream You Can Buy in a Store

#50 Post by Tom DeBiase »

About 6 months ago I bought a pint of their vanilla (Talenti). It was disgusting. Having worked with Unilever I knew exactly what they did. Called the "product line" and said somebody is cost reducing the formula and failed. Gave me the party line about the best ingredients. I said talk with the Unilever labs and then give me their honest answer.
I have to give the fellow credit, he said the price of prime natural vanilla went up 12 fold and they had to do something or sell it at cost.

Conclusion, pass on Talenti, especially the vanilla unless you like burnt, smoky marshmallows.

Tom

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