What did the newspaper say to the ice cream? Well guess what, I am not going to tell you until the end of this competition. To congratulate the end of summer, I got together a couple of my newspaper friends and went tested ice cream from four different places to figure out, one and for all, who has the best ice cream. We ended up picking a perfect day to do our ice cream testing— a 90 degree sunny day. We visited four local ice cream shops in Springfield: Cold Stone, Baskin Robbins, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and, Culver’s. To rank the ice cream, the lovely Niamh and Lindsey, came up with a scale using adjectives. The categories we obsereved were flavor, texture, melting rate and presentation. We decided we would get a vanilla-flavored ice cream and a special ice cream for each shop and we would rate both ice creams under the same score.
Cold Stone on 6th Street
At our first location, Niamh, Lindsey, Ethan and I were all excited to have ice cream. From here we got a classic vanilla scoop with rainbow sprinkles (due to Ethan’s request), and a scoop of Salted Caramel with milk chocolate ghirardelli caramel squares, to us by an employee. With a smile on her face, she said that, “cake batter was [her] favorite for a long time but once [salted caramel] came into the store, it wiped out the others,” with a smile on her face. She was correct in that statement, since it tasted amazing. Below are our ratings:
Vanilla & Salted Caramel
Flavor: Strong and rich
Texture: Thick and smooth
Melting rate: High
Presentation: Mediocre, though you can get other add-ons
As we were sitting discussing our ratings we decided to make other comments about the shop. Niamh thought that the decor was “tackey”, in which she was right. Though, with Cold Stone being located downtown and right across from the Old State Capitol Plaza, a person can walk around the area. I said, “It could be a great date idea (hint-hint, wink-wink to all those who have no clue what to do for one).” Another perk of being downtown is all the dogs that walk by the store. Niamh was delighted as she was able to pet a friendly dog. Niamh said, “The dog’s name is Duke, and the little girls in the family were annoying. Also, all dogs seemed to be named Duke,” which launched us into another debate over the amount of dogs named Duke.
The last thing we talked about was the cost. To buy two medium scoops of ice cream, the price was $10, which is not bad considering the extras mixed in.
Baskin Robbins on Chatham Road
When we walked into Baskin Robbins, we were met with two lovely workers and two bigs families. The workers offered some samples, though we declined and decided to order the Vanilla and Chocolate Fudge, which is Lindsey’s personal favorite. Below you can see our ratings:
Vanilla & Chocolate Fudge
Flavor: Vanilla not as strong in flavor; chocolate was very rich
Melting Rate: Low
We came to realize as Ethan called the Chocolate Fudge “addicting,” we understood why this was Lindsey’s go-to when she goes to Baskin Robbins. All of us had set aside the vanilla ice cream and were stealing scoops of the quickly disappearing chocolate fudge. The location of this Baskin Robbins is not the best, with the tight parking lot and the store itself is a tight squeeze. The workers were very nice to us and they were nice to the children that were present. Buying two single scoops only costs $5 which is not a bad deal. It was the perfect amount for one person.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers on Wabash Ave.
By now we were all becoming sick with the amount of sugar we had already consumed in the past hour. Though we moved on to our third location, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers on Wabash Ave. Before you say anything, yes, we know frozen custard is not ice cream but we wanted to stay with local franchises. Anyhow, we got to Freddy’s and it was nearly empty which was nice. Here we got a small cup of vanilla and a small cup of the chocolate and vanilla swirl. We were pretty shocked by how good it tasted to us. You can see what we thought below.
Vanilla and Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl
Flavor: Both are rich and the chocolate has a pleasant bitterness to it
Texture: Smooth and thick
Melting Rate: Low
All four of us were shocked by how good it tasted. Lucky, too, it only cost $4.50, which is nice. The employees were very kind to us. We all liked the texture of the ice cream and how it was really cold. As you can see in the photo, Ethan got a Hawaiian Delight, which is nice and creamy with fruity flavors and peanuts in it for texture. It was very different and we all confidently recommend it to anyone.
Culver’s on Wabash Ave.
Famously known for their ‘flavor of the day,’ this restaurant serves up cold dishes of normal ice cream but also serve what they call concrete mixers. By now we were all sugared out, and none of us were in the mood for more ice cream, so we ended up just getting one dish of ice cream which was a Reese’s Concrete Mixer. Below you can see our rating:
Reese’s Concrete Mixer
Flavor: Peanut buttery
Texture: Light and fluffy
Melting rate: Low
Presentation: Swirly and messy
Since none of us were in the mood for ice cream, one of us decided to take one for the team and try the ice cream. That lucky someone was me. The presentation was messy as the dish was dented (I popped it back in place for the photo) when we received it. However, it was great to see that the candy was distributed among all the ice cream. A downside of the restaurant is that it looks like an old folk’s home. Being that I work in a retirement home, I totally agreed with Ethans statement. If the restuaraunt was updated a little, I think it would be a great place for teens to hang out and get a nice cold and creamy desert.
After much deliberation, sitting in a booth at Culver’s completely overloaded with sugar, we came to the conclusion that Freddy’s has the best ice cream (even though it’s not truly ‘ice cream’). The desert was cold and flavorful. The price was cheap and the service was really nice. It was not busy which is a plus. Our second favorite was Cold Stone, with their a wider selection of choice and having the ability to walk around downtown Springfield. In third place we decided would go to Baskin Robbins. In last place is Culver’s.
If you made it this far you either a) really want to know the answer to the joke or b) have completely forgotten about it. Though I will repeat it again,
What did the newspaper say to the ice cream?
It said, “What’s the scoop?”