Category Archives: Ice Cream

ice cream related posts

Toscanini’s (Cambridge, MA)


The last time Lauren and I visited Boston, Julie took us on a tour of Boston’s ice cream parlors. Over the span of two days, we tasted the flavors on offer at J.P. Licks, Christina’s, and Herrell’s, but we were unable to fit in a trip to Toscanini’s, Boston’s most famous ice cream shoppe.

This afternoon, Lauren, Vidya and I went on a mission to Central Square to see what all of the hype was about. It was a beautiful 75 degree day, and arrived in Central Square ready for a cool treat.

Toscanini’s ice cream factory, visible through street-side floor to ceiling windows, is adjacent to their cafe. It was fun to watch the large machinery, but we did not linger as there was an assortment of 30 flavors beckoning. The staff at Tosci’s are very friendly and are happy to let you try a number of flavors. So try we did, delighting in a variety of flavors that all shared a perfectly balanced, creamy texture.

Our plan was to get one scoop from the chocolate family, and one lighter flavor. Aztec Chocolate was a mix of chilies and dark chocolate, with a delicious start, but a surprisingly intense aftertaste that would likely have overwhelmed a companion scoop. Orange Chocolate was also yummy, but it was when we tried Black Bottom that we were sold. Black Bottom, based on a Southern pie, is a mix of dark chocolate rum ice cream and ginger snap cookies. We paired it with a scoop of B^3 (Brownie, Brown Sugar, Brown Butter). I liked B^3, but our consensus after we polished off the cup was that it would be better if they dropped the brownies and turned it into B^2 (or perhaps made the brownies less dense).

Overall, Tosci’s has their base ice cream formula down pat. It’s clear that they know their trade, and the result is the best ice cream I’ve had in the USA east of Mission-Dolores.

List of flavors
Creative flavors that change daily

Kenny and ice cream
The scoops don’t come cheap, but they are quite generous…

Lauren and Vid diving in
…and Lauren and Vid were both quite happy to help tackle the double scoop cup

899 Main Street
Central Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

Daily: 8:00AM-11:00PM

Chill (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)


While in Kampot, the owner of Rikitikitavi gave us a copy of AsiaLIFE Cambodia, a local expat magazine. In it was an article, Cometh the Ice Cream,  about ice cream in Phnom Penh. We hadn’t seen any compelling ice cream since Romy’s in Nha Trang, but there was a good-looking option in the article called Chill. It also happens to be located a few blocks down the street from our hotel.

We first stopped by Chill on the way to dinner yesterday. Originally we were just going to take a look, but looking led to a tasting of chocolate, green tea, vanilla, and passion fruit. Tasting led to a pre-dinner treat of chocolate and coconut. The article had in particular raved about Chill’s chocolate, and with good reason. It had a good, creamy texture and was in the dark chocolate camp, which I love. It also did not taste like cocoa powder as can often be the case. Certainly the best chocolate I’ve had in southeast Asia. The coconut was a nice complement, but it could have been creamier and was inferior to Romy’s coconut.

Chill's ice cream display

Tonight we were back for possibly our last ice cream in Southeast Asia (I’m not holding my breath for border town ice cream). After yesterday’s tastes we had already decided that we would have green tea and vanilla tonight. But since we were encouraged to try other flavors, we also tried mint chocolate chip, and cappuccino. The article had called the mint chocolate chip a “standout”, but I thought it was one of Chill’s weaker flavors, as was the cappuccino (not enough coffee flavor for my taste). We went ahead with our original green tea with vanilla plan, and it was a delicious combination. Overall, a good way to start our three month break from ice cream!

Lauren enjoying vanilla and green tea
Green tea + vanilla = happiness

219D Sisowath Quay
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
+855 092 547 534

Daily: 11AM-midnight

Romy’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar (Nha Trang, Vietnam)


We’ve been on the road for 3.5 weeks now and I have yet to find decent-looking ice cream. To be fair, there’s a Fanny’s in Hanoi, but the one day we were nearby we were hankering for a pear tart instead.

Our first night in Nha Trang, we stopped at Romy’s and checked out their ice cream case. Good visuals, so we had a sample of passion fruit and coconut. Both tastes were good, and we walked out with a scoop of coconut. It was very creamy, with fresh coconut and not too much sugar.

Ice cream case
Ice cream on display, just how I like it

Romy’s is named after the owner, Fridtjof Rommeley, a German chef who moved to Nha Trang after running a creamery in Germany for 16 years. He’s done a good job of bringing European skill to local flavors. There were amazing-looking sundaes filled with local tropical fruits and three scoops of ice cream. As we ate kilos of fruit on the beach, the most we indulged at Romy’s was a double scoop of mango and chocolate:

Enjoying a double scoop of mango and chocolate

Over the course of our five nights in Nha Trang we managed to at least get a free sample of just about every flavor in the case. My favorite two standouts were almond (I’d never had almond ice cream before but I’m definitely making some with almond milk when we’ve back in Seattle), and coconut. Make Romy’s a part of your Vietnam beach experience, the ice cream will make you happy. 🙂

Romy’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar
1C Biet Thu St
Nha Trang, Vietnam
+84 (058) 3527-677

Daily: 9AM-11PM

Ice Cream 7/9: Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream and Tea Room


A few weeks ago, a hand written sign on the storefront next to Samadhi Yoga on 12th and Pike announced the imminent arrival of “Bluebird Ice Cream’”.  I certainly love ice cream, and Capitol Hill could use a solid addition to Molly Moon to satisfy our neighborhood cravings. Thursday was opening night, and we were already conveniently nearby after dinner.


Turns out that Bluebird is not only an ice cream shop, but also serves a variety of teas and sandwiches. They are very big on “going local” with their menu and ingredients. The free beer for opening night was from the Elysian (a few buildings up Pike), and the coffee is from Stumptown (around the corner on 12th Ave). Both of those 2 locations are features in ice cream flavors as well. While the sandwich menu looked good, I’ll have report back on the food another time, as Thursday night was all about the ice cream.


We had Elysian Stout and Northwest Strawberry. Bluebird’s ice creams have great texture and are full-flavored without going overboard. The Stout ice cream was amazing, with undertones of coffee and chocolate. I expect it to be a flagship of Bluebird’s given the combination uniqueness and deliciousness. Strawberry tasted very fresh, and reminded me of a version I’ve made at home. Get it while the berries are still in season!


We lounged on the couches and then checked out the adjacent artist loft. Everyone was very friendly, and the space was cozy and welcoming. Overall Bluebird exceeded my expectations, and I think they’ll more than hold their own against other Capitol Hill ice cream choices. I look forward to stopping by for a quick snack, or lingering over tea and sandwiches.


Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream and Tea Room
1205 E Pike St, Suite 1A
Seattle, WA 98122
[hours forthcoming]

Ice Cream 5/25: Molly Moon


Flavors tasted: Salted Caramel and Vivace Coffee

The summer’s ice cream survey kicked off at Molly Moon’s. My experience with Molly’s ice cream so far is that while I love the texture, outside of the Salted Caramel the flavors haven’t been worth writing home about. Today I can add a second flavor to the must have list. Courtesy of Gio I also sampled a milkshake (sinful and delicious, and includes 3 scoops of ice cream). Thus I was able to enjoy the coffee ice cream with salted caramel milkshake sauce :) 

My new Molly Moon recommendation: 50/50 Vivace Coffee with Salted Caramel