after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Cabot’s Ice Cream: A Boston Classic

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k says: A friend recently told me she was visiting my home town in MA, which got me feeling nostalgic about my most favorite ice cream store in the world.  I can’t imagine why you would care, but let me tell you about it anyway.

Cabot’s Ice Cream is a classic ice cream parlor. I don’t think the menu or the prices have changed in the past 2 decades at least. They serve old fashioned sundaes. There are red stools at the bar, a huge ice cream cone clock on the wall, and framed photos of the youth baseball teams that Cabot’s has sponsored through the years. They serve child-sized sundaes with two M+M’s for eyes, a cherry for a nose, and a cone for a hat. They serve these insanely huge buckets with 100 scoops of ice cream, 20 candy and nut toppings and 10 wet toppings for big parties where the goal is apparently to make people sick. They have ice cream concoctions with ridiculous names like “Chocolate Suicide”, “The Taj Mahal”, and “The Dentist Disaster.” http://www.cabots.com/pdf/menu_ice_cream.pdf.

They also serve crappy greasy food but why would you ever go for food when you can fill up on ice cream? There is an old lady who has worked there since I can remember whose job it is to seat you, and don’t you dare try to seat yourself. And then there is the old lady’s mother, who is a really, really old lady. Her job is to sit on the stool and give dirty stares to the pre-teen customers who are goofing around and to the teenaged waitresses flirting with the bus boys. It seems impossible, but just as the prices haven’t changed, neither has the age of the old lady.

Cabot’s has been the site of many memories. When we were kids, we used to go to Cabot’s after big soccer tournament wins, elementary school choir concerts, and many, many piano recitals. Later, it was the place I went to on my first “boys and girls hang out”. There’s nothing like a lot of sugar to make a group date a little easier for a bunch of awkward teenagers. Much later, I went there with cm and our good friend b for the famous ice cream competition of 2005. (b and cm ordered different ice cream sundaes with equal prices and had an eating competition. Unfortunately b’s was absurdly large, and madness ensued.)

But none of these details really matter. I go to there for one thing only – mint chocolate cookie frozen yogurt. This is made with thin mint girl scout cookies mixed in smoothly with vanilla frozen yogurt in an old time ice cream machine. It is delicious. It’s not exactly a novel idea, but it’s superior for a few reasons. One is that it actually tastes like mint cookie ice cream, rather than vanilla ice cream with mint cookie chunks haphazardly folded in like at Cold Stone Creamery. And, unlike other stores that use a mixing machine, the selection of flavors to mix in is very wide including candies, fruits, brownies, and the will do it with a vanilla or chocolate base of ice cream or different types of frozen yogurt for those picky people like me.

I should say also that I am not just a casual ice cream eater. In Massachusetts, people take ice cream very seriously. It is not just a summer treat where I come from. Ice cream can be eaten in any weather, any time of year, and on certain occasions can take the place of meals even.  There are many ice cream stores that I like in the Boston area – Lizzy’s has great hard frozen yogurt flavors and a chill feel in Harvard Square, Christina’s in Inman Square is also delicious (cm and I visited there often the summer he lived right next door), and White Mountain Creamery across the street from Boston College where they make the ice cream fresh in the store is a solid second choice for a Monday night in Newton (Cabot’s is closed on Monday’s.)

JP Licks- I will never go there despite their popularity because I am loyal to the Baskin Robbins that used to be in that locations before they took over… the Baskin Robbins where the owner would give you another scoop if you dropped it on the ground, where a kiddie size was $1, where my sister had her first summer job. JP Licks is lame and expensive and smells like too much sugar.

But despite all the options, nothing is like Cabot’s. Sometimes I sit in the booth looking at the menu, pretending to consider ordering a different flavor, but let’s be honest, I’m obviously going to order the mint chocolate cookie. It’s predetermined. Sometimes when I go with my sister, she likes to order a side of hot fudge to share. The hot fudge is a deeply rich dark chocolate that is so good, but in my opinion masks the goodness of the mint chocolate cookie itself. A bunch of years back, when I introduced cm to my love for Cabot’s (a very meaningful experience), he found a way to take it up a notch. cm surprised me one birthday with a mint chocolate cookie frozen yogurt cake (made to order). Amazing. Since then we have celebrated many birthdays with a Cabot’s cake. So, early in the stages of planning our wedding, we (I) had already decided Cabot’s mint chocolate cookie ice cream cake would be our featured dessert. Yes, I know it’s not a classic wedding cake. But in my opinion, your wedding is your opportunity to eat the foods that you love most in the world and everyone else has to eat it because it’s your wedding. And believe me, I don’t think anyone really complained, because that cake was devoured. Plus I like the weird look I get from people when I tell them we had an ice cream cake as our wedding cake.

So, after this review, I hope you’ve been convinced to try Cabot’s Ice Cream on your next visit to Boston. Try not to do anything to piss off the really old lady.

t says: Yea ... that cake at their wedding was hellawickedgood.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

25 May 2010 at 7:10am

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