SCOping out the best scoops

July 5, 2009, midnight | By Julia Wynn | 13 years, 11 months ago

SCO reveals the most scrumptious summer ice cream places

Ah, warm weather. It instills a pleasant sensation of happiness in everyone, especially students ready for the summer. It also implants a desire for cool, creamy ice cream that epitomizes the perfect summer dessert. Soon people everywhere will be searching for a smooth, edible haven from the sweltering summer heat, and Silver Spring has no shortage of venues for ice cream. As always, SCO has done the research and generated a list that separates the merely edible scoops from the tantalizingly delectable ones.

Most Variety - Coldstone Creamery
821 Ellsworth Dr.

Many people in Downtown Silver Spring frequent Coldstone because of the creativity it allows customers. Photo courtesy of Julia Wynn.

Known as the Downtown Silver Spring favorite, Coldstone is famous for providing an eclectic variety of toppings and ice creams for numerous personalized creations. Their pre-decided Signature Creations are pretty amazing in and of themselves. They also eliminate the effort required of crafting a unique combination. The Founder's Favorite, appropriately named, is one particularly delicious Signature Creation that covers multiple taste territories. A classy blend of pecans, fudge, caramel, brownies and Sweet Cream ice cream, this creation succeeds in reaching a balance that other Signature Creations lack. But it can be daunting to choose a flavor at Coldstone, where customers have over 11 million combination possibilities from which to choose. Luckily, the creamery has more to boast about than just ice cream. If a summer birthday party needs some sweetening up, Coldstone's velvety ice cream cakes are unsurpassed in richness. One downside is the expense, although the fact that the servings run on the large side makes them great to share with friends who can also eat away at part of the cost.

Best Flavor - York Castle Ice Cream
9324 Georgia Ave.
A sweet aroma, proof that the ice cream is made on premises, envelops visitors who stop in this café of tropical delight. The high quality of York Castle ice cream is unquestionable because of its freshness, although partakers must be prepared to pay the price for superior taste. One scoop costs $3.79 and a pint is as much as $6.99. However, the creaminess and intense flavor found in all ice creams at York Castle is worth the price. Especially tasty are the specialty tropical flavors unique to the café such as Guava, Ginger and Mangoberry, a cool mango flavor with a hint of strawberry. Classics such as Coffee Chip and Oreo are not to be missed, and the shop earns points for distinctiveness in their creation of a Grape Nut flavor that contains actual pieces of the cereal. Perhaps the most scrumptious flavor, however, is also one of York Castle's newest and most creative inventions. Harambe, as it is called, contains a blend of only those flavors native to the areas once home to President Obama. The combination of Coconut and Pineapple represents his time in Hawaii, Orange and Banana represents his connection to Africa and Rum reveals his residence in Chicago. The result is a fusion of tropical flavors that offers a fruity relief from the summer heat.

Most Interesting - Ben and Jerry's
903 Ellsworth Dr.

Loaded with all kinds of ingredients, Ben and Jerry's ice cream is complex, but fun. Photo courtesy of Julia Wynn.

In terms of ingenuity, Ben and Jerry's ice cream surpasses many of the other ice cream places in the area. Renowned favorites such as Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Chunky Monkey reveal the legacy of interesting combinations of ingredients for which the company is famous. If you are looking for an ice cream experience that includes a plethora of ingredients, Ben and Jerry's is the best pick. The company does occasionally deviate from its reputation of complex ice creams with, for example, Orange Cream, a simple flavor well suited for the bright summer sun. But on the whole, Ben and Jerry's simply does not reach the heights of other local ice cream providers. The quality is good and the prices are reasonable, but often the excess of random ingredients weakens the flavor of the ice cream itself. Nuts, chocolate and fruits don't quite do the trick under the summer sun.

Best Overall – Moorenko's Ice Cream Café
8030b Georgia Ave.
Often overlooked despite its bustling location on Georgia Ave., Moorenko's takes the cake – or ice cream cake – among all the local ice cream places in terms of quality, price and originality. With fun and scrumptious flavors ranging from Cotton Candy to Black Raspberry, the little café exhibits breadth in variety while maintaining the crucial element of creamy, cool flavor. The cost to experience this tastiness falls just below the price of York Castle ice cream, making it a little on the expensive side yet still doable considering the plentiful flavor and topping options. Nut-lovers go for the smooth Salted Caramel flavor that contains a perfect balance of salted nuts dipped in sweet caramel within Sweet Cream ice cream. For those who enjoy the simple yet elegant, try the Cinnamon or Pistachio White Chocolate. The chunks of white chocolate that mark Moorenko's unbelievably flavorful version of Pistachio ice cream place it a notch above York Castle's Pistachio. Realistic, delicious flavors are what Moorenko's does best, as seen in the Black Raspberry and Peppermint Stick, playfully colored pink, blue and yellow. Wire ceiling decorations and colorful, fruit tablecloths complete the fun ambiance of the café.

Looking for even cheaper cones? There's always Chick-fil-A, where Icedream cones are less than $2.00, although they have a consistency resembling that of finely crushed ice. Or, unknown to many, Potbelly serves fairly inexpensive ice cream, but the variety does not extend much farther than Chocolate and Vanilla. Indulging in truly delectable ice cream sometimes requires sacrificing the few dollars that were previously set aside for a trip to the pool, but the gratifying sensation of swallowing a creamy, sweet spoon of ice cream is well worth it. Happy scooping!

Julia Wynn. Hello, my name is Julia Wynn and I am looking forward to my senior year as a member of the Silver Chips Online staff. I love to dance (especially poms), listen to music and play piano. My two main food necessities are any kind of … More »

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