Posted in My Minnesota

Minnesota Ice Cream Tour

Ice cream is the currency of summer. There is no better treat on a hot summer day than a stop at a ice cream shop for a drippy, double scoop cone. Our family set out to sample sweet treats at seven different ice cream shops this summer. We tried a few new flavors as well as ordered some tried and true favorites.

Stop #1-Dairy queen

Dairy Queen is a summer staple in Minnesota, which meant it had to be stop number one on our ice cream tour. Plus the folks at DQ developed an attention getting marketing campaign; a flight of mini Blizzards. Bring on the Blizzard buffet. Our three picks were Brownie Dough, Cotton Candy and Cookie Dough. The first two flavors were new for summer so we dabbled with a couple different choices and the Cookie Dough we were confident was a good pick. Brownie Dough was our favorite. It was not overly chocolatey and the brownie bites were soft. It turned out Cotton Candy was a crowd pleaser as well. The boys love anything with sprinkles and this Blizzard delivered in that category. Ice Cream Experience Rating: 8/10 scoops. If the flight would be been presented on a little tray with placards like beer then….10/10 scoops. Location: Monticello, MN

stop #2-Wonders ice cream co.

Rolled ice cream is trending right now, so we jumped on the fan bus. Wonders signature flavor menu was extensive and we were a bit overwhelmed by all the choices. After lengthy consideration, we chose the Raspberry Berry, the Sour Tang and the Hella Chocolate. So many yummy flavors were scraped, rolled and creatively placed into these little paper cups. Aside from the yummy flavors, we liked the light and smooth texture of the ice cream. Our seemingly complex creations took just a few minutes to make. Watching these ice cream artists work their hibachi style ice grill was almost as great as the ice cream itself. Ice Cream Experience Rating: 9/10 scoops. If our three small signature creations would have been less expensive than our lunch….then 10/10 scoops. Location: Maple Grove, MN

stop #3-santa lucia’s

While DQ and Wonders offer vast selections of mixed ice cream creations, Santa Lucia’s keeps it simple with good ole hard scoop offerings (and plenty of them). Four large cases display a dizzying number of flavors, some of which are hard to find. I struggled to choose between the huckleberry and the rhubarb. Despite the fact I could have had a scoop of each in my cone, I went with the huckleberry and was more than satisfied. A small cone or dish here could feed a family of four as scoop sizes border on obscene. Ice Cream Experience Rating: 7/10 scoops. If only the scoop size wasn’t so big that I didn’t scrape some into the garbage just because I wanted to eat the cone then….10/10 scoops. Location: Milaca, MN

stop #4-lost lake creamery

Street side seating in front of this old fashioned ice cream parlor just adds to the experience at Lost Lake Creamery. Its another simple ice cream shop with generous scoops. This time we licked up raspberry sorbet and Pirate’s Bounty, which was a creamy blend of caramel ice cream with chocolate candy and cookies. There are also 24 other flavors and doggie dishes for four legged friends. Ice Cream Experience Rating: 7/10 scoops. Add more outdoor benches and tables as well as trash cans to this seasonal shop then….10/10 scoops. Location: Mound, MN

stop #5-schoony’s malt shop

All camping trips require a stop for ice cream. Schoony’s Malt Shop was just the spot on our visit to Interstate State Park and the Glacial Potholes. Schoony’s has a wide variety of flavors, even coconut. We opted for strawberry, Super-Man and chocolate chip cookie dough. We also ordered a vanilla malt, since the place is a malt shop after all. The malt was hand made with real ice cream and topped with whipped cream. So good. Ice Cream Experience Rating: 7/10 scoops. Refresh the shops interior and spruce up the seating options then…10/10 scoops. Location: Taylor’s Falls, MN

stop #6-MinNesota NIce Cream

We opted not to add the edible glitter to our specialty waffle cones at Minnesota Nice Cream. Our stop here was a break for the hard scoop shops, to try soft serve cones with creative toppings. The boys both ordered the Dirt ‘n’ Worms with chocolate ice cream, Oreo cookies, gummy worms and sprinkles. I had the Berry Nice with vanilla ice cream, lemon confetti cake, berries and you guessed it…sprinkles. If you’re looking for lactose free ice cream options, Minnesota Nice Cream has loads. Ice Cream Experience Rating: 8/10 scoops. If parking was more plentiful then….10/10 scoops. Location: Northeast Minneapolis

stop #7-Milkjam creamery

Milkjam Creamery offered the most unique and fun flavors of any of our ice cream tour stops. Flavors like Thai Tea, Uma Thurman and Pikachu were some of the most interesting. In addition to dishes and cones topped with creative scoops, the creamery also offers sundaes and ice cream sandwiches as well as boozy floats and shakes. The boys ordered the Ridin’ Duuurty; Oreo milk with Oreo chucks and hunks of salted peanut butter. I opted for the Raspberry Lambic float made with hibiscus lemonade Italian ice. Scott sucked down a Milkjam shake (caramelized goat’s, cow’s and sweetened condensed milks) with a shot of Irish Creme. The ice cream was so very good and the overall atmosphere was vibrant. Ice Cream Experience Rating: 9.9/10 scoops. Go there. Now. Location: Minneapolis

bonus stop: Brigg’s lake general store

We consider ourselves regulars at Brigg’s Lake General Store. It’s our family’s mission to keep this gas station, bait shop, hardware store and liquor store in business with frequent visits for everything from a frozen pizzas to a sheet rock screws. We’re obligated to drop in multiple times each summer for single scoop cake cones. Our order is fairly consistent; one mint chocolate chip, one cotton candy, and one bubble gum; extra napkins. Brigg’s Lake General Store has recently upgraded the seating situation with new picnic tables plopped right outside the entrance. Well played marketing strategy, Brigg’s Lake. Well played. Couple their marketing genius with the clever sizing display and Brigg’s Lake takes home the prize for best stop on the Minnesota Ice Cream Tour. Ice Cream Experience Rating: 10/10 scoops. Location: Palmer, MN

Source: The Reporter Times