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FOOD REVIEW

Local Ice Cream Shops

Many flavors to cool you down

By Vanessa Yen

As a student at MIT, my primary job is to study, but considering that I have been eating ice cream at least once a day for the past three years, I do see myself as somewhat of an ice cream connoisseur.

Ankara Cafe

The cafe formerly known as Angora’s, located near Kenmore Square, is renowned for its vast selection of frozen yogurt. From Snickers to Melon to Cheesecake and Mocha, these flavors can be mixed to ones delectation or can be enjoyed individually. Although there is only one size, portions are relatively generous. For $2.24 you can get one flavor, or you can double up on flavors for just under $3.00. It is just as difficult finding a favorite mix of flavors as it is finding a bad combination. But after three years of being a loyal customer, my favorite flavors are Grapenut and melon. The combination of naturally sweet and nutty Grapenuts along with a light, fresh, pure melon flavor (particularly honeydew) is absolutely divine! Ankara’s also sells a variety of sandwiches, calzones, pizzas and salads to go with your frozen treat. The cafe offers free delivery with a purchase of $7 or more. However, be prepared to wait in excess of an hour if you order for delivery as Ankara is almost always busy on the weeknights and weekends.

J.P. Licks

Heading down Newbury Street, J.P. Licks would be first ice cream shop you encounter. This popular parlor has many delectable flavors that you would not find at other places. Tiramisu, Kahlua, and Coffee Crunch are amongst the most popular. Its central location attracts many city dwellers, students and tourist. On the first warm and sunny spring day, the line for J.P. Licks can reach past its Starbucks neighbor, and onto the side walk in front of the stores a few yards down.

Ben & Jerry’s

As you continue down Newbury Street, Ben & Jerry’s would be your next “must-stop-and-eat” ice cream shop. Ben & Jerry’s has over 50 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet. One of my favorites is Dilbert’s World Totally Nuts Ice Cream. This consists of a buttery almond ice cream with roasted hazelnuts, praline pecans and almonds in a white fudge shell. It’s an absolute treat anytime of the day! For the health conscious, Ben and Jerry’s also has several low-fat flavors such as S’mores, consisting of chocolate low fat ice cream whirled with swirls of marshmallow and graham cracker wedges; and Chocolate Cherry Garcia, a rich, dark chocolate frozen yogurt with sweet dark cherries and pieces of white fudge. Ben & Jerry’s also has an assortment of sorbets with six mouth-watering flavors, made with all-natural ingredients and superior quality fruits. Sorbet flavors include Strawberry Kiwi, Mocha and Doonesberry, a colorfully sweet Raspberry and Blueberry blend with a hint of tartness. For those with immense appetites for ice cream, the Vermonster is certainly worth a try. Served in a 12 inch flower pot sized container, the Vermonster holds up to 25 scoops of ice cream, a ton of brownies and all the toppings you can possibly imagine. But do not try this on your own, as it may be hazardous to your health.

Toscanini’s

Toscanini’s, our beloved Student Center shop, is the number one hot spot for students and faculty alike. It has friendly attentive service as well as quality products. Its flavors are not the typical bubble-gum kids’ stuff. They make utterly smooth and creamy ice cream that appeals more to the mature consumers. With flavors like Belgium chocolate, Guinness Stout, White Coffee and Nocciola (more commonly referred to as a distinctively rich Hazelnut) there is no going wrong here. Aside from the cone or cup option, you can choose anything from a thick, rich frappe to a sundae topped with fudge, a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkles. One of my favorites is the Root Beer Float -- a scoop of creamy French Vanilla swimming in a dark bubblie sea of Root Beer. For those on the go, Toscanini’s also sell take out pints, quarts and even three gallon tubs of their ice cream.

HÄagen DÄzs

And finally we have HÄagen DÄzs, which claims to making “The Finest Ice cream in the World.” Located in the Cambridgeside Galleria, service is not their strong suit, but the ice cream is definitely a winner. With flavors like Mint Chip, Macadamia Brittle and Green Tea, no one can possibly argue, especially not after one spoonful. Mint Chip consists of a clean, fresh flavor of mint around a sprinkling of melt-in-your-mouth chips in rich ice cream. The distinctive texture and mild flavor of Macadamia nuts along with the buttery crunch of brittle makes up Macadamia Brittle.

With so many respectable vendors of ice cream, it’s hard to choose a favorite. It often depends on one’s mood. In my experience, I have found Ankara’s to be the most refreshing with it’s uniquely flavored frozen yogurts. However, when I’m in the mood for some serious fat-content-not-an-issue ice cream, nothing beats the smooth and creamy Tosci scoops. This certainly is not to say that any of the other places are sub-par as ice cream is enjoyable just about always.