Dare I say it's getting to the point where I would never have to leave Eagan to lead a great chow existence? Well...no. But add a very satisfying ice cream/gelato source to the list of dining attractions to the south metro suburb.
After quite a few (maybe borderline offensive) free samples of their 20-odd gelato and ice cream flavors (that's 40+ flavors, not 20 combined), I was pretty impressed with just about everything I tasted. They obviously care about the ingredients and variety.
If you like fruity, they have fruity. If you like nuts, they have nut flavors. If you like the ghastly stuff they make into ice cream on Iron Chef ("Yes Alton, Chef Motohito *is* stuffing catfish, basil, blood oranges, foie gras and bonito flakes into the ice cream machine"), I wouldn't be surprised to find some in the vast array of tubs somewhere between the cotton candy and amaretto.
The gelato is easily as good as relatively-nearby competitors Fat Lorenzo's (S. Mpls) and Luxury Sweets (a place I like to support in Apple Valley). The ice cream, while very good, isn't quite in the "artisan quality" leagues of Izzy's et al., but is a much better treat than the DQ up the road.
On a side-note, Izzy's is actually falling a bit out of favor with me. Yes, I said it. Not the product itself per se...I'm just fed up with going there and them NEVER having any of the heavy-hitter flavors any more and the strange repetition of flavors. Part of this is their flavors that I personally prefer. Example, in my last 10-ish visits I've rarely, if ever, found my old favorites: salted caramel ONCE, peanut butter ZERO, hot brown sugar ZERO, and even plain-ol' chocolate ZERO (not including soy chocolate). Often, there will be two or three varieties of coffee, three varieties of fruity cheesecake, and a lot of their ho-hum flavors (no chocolate but I can get vanilla, vanilla bean and vanilla custard on the same day). The beauty of Izzy's, as highlighted by the "Izzy" itself, is not just utter decadence, but the ability to make incredible flavor combinations or get flavors I can't experience in ice cream anywhere else (the salted caramel obviously). It seems they've lost a little thoughtfulness in the variety they have available on any given day. I've been going there (and their old downtown MPLS location) since the week they opened so I know it's not just me. I'll still go there (probably tomorrow even as I'll be in the neighborhood) but a couple of times recently, I almost left without ordering because there was none of their unique-to-Izzy's flavors in the case. (I will say this..the other day I had an Izzy of the "Yogurt" flavor (not actual yogurt or frozen yogurt...the Yogurt Ice Cream) and enjoyed that one quite a bit. I added it to my "list of Izzy's favorites" which ensures it will be months before I see it again.
Anyway, I digress. Somewhere I read a MN Sun article about the family that owns Ring Mountain and they seem very nice, as does the staff. Great location next to the movie theater and they also serve coffee, espresso, salads and sandwiches (none of which I've tried, but like that there's another lunch alternative near work).
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