Carvel Ice Cream is starting to open in the San Francisco Bay Area and I just visited their store in Berkeley on Bancroft Way right across the street from the University of California.
I grew up in Connecticut and nothing was better as a kid than Carvel Ice Cream. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve tried a Carvel soft serve. I expected to be disappointed. It was better than the memory.
Carvel’s vanilla / chocolate twist is simply the best soft-serve I’ve ever tried. We’re not comparing this to frozen custard ... that’s a different category ... but soft-serve ice cream.
It is the only chocolate soft-serve that has any flavor ... true chocolate ... and even the vanilla holds up to the chocolate in the twist. The vanilla flavor doesn't get lost. The texture is smoother and more creamy than any other soft serve.
Since this was my first Carvel’s in a very long time, I didn’t get the dip. I wanted to evaluate the ice cream on its own.
BUT ... since my last visit they have something new ... cones DIPPED in chocolate ... with colored jimmies outside. And the chocolate dip on the cone tasted like chocolate, not the waxy tasteless stuff like on McDonald’s, Tastee-freeze, Foster’s Freeze or Dairy Queen.
Even the cone was good, and almost cake-y with that chocolate coating. Excellent, excellent, excellent.
The shop is just great. They have all these sprinkles now and they sell regular ice cream. I don’t know how that is, I don’t care. As long as I have my soft-serve, I’m a happy kid.
I am sure there will be lots of responses with Carvel naysayers.
But you don’t understand ... I’ve been living in California ... I just spent $4.50 the other day for an organic soft-swirl with a dip of Del-Rey chocolate ... neither ice cream nor chocolate had any flavor. And the other toppings at that place ... olive oil with sea salt. Enuf said.
We’re talking about SF an area where bacon ice cream gets raves. A little olive oil on that?
So tell me about Carvel today. What is good? There seems to be so much ...
- ice cream apples
- ice cream canoli ... the idea makes my knees weak
- ice cream truffles
- ice cream neopolitans
- ice cream brownies
- classic sundaes and sundae dashers
• Mint Chocolate Chip
• Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
• White Raspberry Truffle
• Bananas Foster
• Banana Split
• Chocolate Covered Strawberry
There are regular cones, waffle cones, dipped cake cones (vanilla & chocolate), sugar cones
There are smoothies, shakes, fizzlers and Carvelanche.
And how about the other ice cream? Anything good?
At the Berkeley store there is a white chocolate dip in addition to the chocolate dip. How does that taste?
Today I walked into Carvels and for $2.19 ... for a little while I became ten years old again. So much less expensive than plastic surgery.
The Northern California stores
The mother ship
Mmmm ... I'm thinking a chocolate cake cone, dipped in chocolate with chocolate jimmies and chocolate soft serve ice cream ... also dipped in chocolate ... I wonder how late they are open tonight.