I'd heard about Loard's, a San Leandro ice cream maker, but hadn't had the chance to visit until today. For reasons too lengthy to go into, I found myself at a non-A/C'd Kinko's on Marina Blvd., miles from home, on an extremely hot Labor Day. My tedious copying and faxing almost done, I asked the Kinko Girl where ice cream might be found in the area, and she (after noting my reluctance to have a Starbuck's frappuccino next door) pointed to .... Loard's! There it was, in sight, right on Wayne Ave., just off of Marina Blvd. (this can be confusing because Wayne inexplicably become Teagarden St. on the other side of SL Blvd.). I made the seemingly endless one-block trek, figuring the cool, soothing presence of Loard's would make up for the heat stroke and parched lips. I was right.
Loard's makes a very rich, basic ice cream. I went with traditional flavors -- a two-scoop chocolate and strawberry waffle cone. Maybe it was the heat, but I really don't think I've had better. Both flavors were true to their roots -- much like the sort of ice cream from the St. Francis Creamery before their change of ownership (I'm not a fan of Mitchell's, I should mention, finding their stuff to be too heavy; and I find Fenton's to be too light -- I like the ice cream at Gaylord's on Piedmont -- near Fenton's -- and found Loard's to be similar in texture and density). The chocolate was, well..., chocolatey (yeah, I know that's a cop-out), and the strawberry had a very fresh, tart flavor. This Loard's location has only three small tables, and I noticed that they served concoctions only in "to-go" styrofoam containers, but the few table denizens seemed happy with their Sundaes and Banana Splits. Quite a few locals came in to buy pints or half-gallons of ice cream, and the counter people knew their preferences (this place really is straight out of the '50s). Loard's also apparently makes candies, though I didn't try any. As far as I can tell from their website, the Wayne Ave. location might be where they produce everything for the other locations (I note, with some surprise, that they even have a location in San Bruno, the quaint suburb of Greater Millbrae). Anyhow, I found no mention of Loard's in a recent ice cream thread, so I thought I'd bring this place to the attention of the chowhounds for further critique. Flavors are not adventurous, but the quality really stands out.