“Dude, Mint Chocolate Chip rules … NO WAY, Cookies & Cream, with BIG pieces of the cookie part … I like Strawberry, ‘specially when it’s the fresh kind and the fruit parts are still in it … Oh wait, what about that kind that makes your tongue blue?”
— Conversation from the backseat of my car during any given Ice Cream Treat excursion.
This intense flavor debate usually leads to discussion of ice cream parlors in general. Sadly, those old-fashioned scoop shops are NOT on every corner anymore, having been replaced by national chains, trendy smoothie spots or soft-serve, all-the-toppings-you-can-stomach yogurt bars. Good news, Atlanta. The Craft Ice Cream Maker is alive and well in our sweet city and the industry is getting big attention lately, as more of us scream for REAL handmade ice cream. Our sophisticated StyleBlueprint “Tasting Crew” investigated a few of the top contenders.
Jake’s Ice Cream
The centerpiece of the Irwin Street Market, Jake’s Ice Cream truly embodies that neighborhood feel we all crave with homemade ice cream that’ll make you drool. Jake’s is the real deal, people. The fun starts when you walk into the brightly-colored building, filled with kitschy decor and mismatched furniture — just like a friendly grandmother’s house. Look up at the chalkboard for updates, or press your nose against the freezer glass to read the whimsically descriptive names created to capture the spirit of each flavor: Chocolate Slap Yo Momma, Brown Sugah, Delta’s Delight, Hot Sexy Mexican, Nutter Nanner Elvis, just to name a few. Or chose from the JoyScream flavors and enjoy their AH-MA-ZING dairy-free blend…Try Blueberry PieScream or BunnyScream, a carrot-ginger, vegan ice cream. For reals. www.jakesicecream.com
Our new BFF from Jake’s, “Miss Sandy,” educated us about the craft of true artisan ice creamery, and it’s exactly that, an art–the delicate balance of blending the finest cream and sugar, while monitoring the ice crystals and temperature. And those flavors? Only the best ingredients will do, blended up in small batches. Just to make sure we really understood the process from start to finish, Miss Sandy took us back to the artistic studio (aka the kitchen) to create our own flavor. Magically, we were able to combine a little of everyone’s favorite notes into one amazing chocolate-marshmallow-mint-cookie concoction we named Gimme S’more Mint, Please.
We’re not the first to earn a custom-blended flavor by Jake’s. Nope, not by a long shot. The popular Devyn’s Animal Crackers flavor combined the cravings of a CHOA patient to produce a flavor in regular rotation. And then, there’s Rachel Will You Marry Me? inspired by a smitten young gentleman who was hoping that his girlfriend would accept his proposal. The resulting story went viral, creating a new Jake’s Ice Cream favorite that was served along side a certain special wedding cake this summer.
Morelli’s has been dishing out homemade joy since 2008. The menu changes almost daily, as noted on their website and through social media, with different flavors churned up and sent to the counter freezers to suprise happy customers. The two locations in downtown–Edgewood and Ormewood–were recently joined by a 3rd in Dunwoody inside the Farm Burger there. www. morellisicecream.com
High Road Ice Cream
With years of culinary experience as a chef inspiring him, Keith Schroeder founded High Road Craft Ice Cream in 2010 ready to blend gourmet gold. He’s succeeded with a rapidly-growing brand of premium ice cream gaining international recognition. Usually available at gourmet retailers and served at high-end restaurants, High Road Scoop Counters are popping up at local venues such as the Sweet Auburn, Oakhurst, Candler Park and Savi Urban Markets. High Road Ice Cream also operates a Factory Store every Saturday (10 – 4) offering kitchen tours and a tasting room of varying featured flavors. www.highroadcraft.com
StyleBlueprint Atlanta informants whisper that Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Scoop Shops are headed to town! Our StyleBlueprint Nashville readers rave about their Jeni’s, so we’ll be anxiously awaiting the debut dip here. Pints are now sold in some Atlanta locations of The Fresh Market to get a head start on flavor sampling.
Also, don’t miss the 3rd Annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival in Piedmont Park on July 27th!