Friday, May 11, 2012

Their Love is Cold

 I'm speaking of our local ice cream parlors and shops, of course. We may still have frost at night here in Buffland, but the warm days call for cool treats-- so here's a short list of some of the best I've been to in the last 2 summers. Lucky for me, Kenmore is home to some of the best pizza and ice cream in our area. And most of it comes through local, or locally owned, chains or stores.

 At Anderson's, you can get nearly any kind of shake, malt, sundae, or cone, but I adore the Raspberry Craze smoothie, a vegan treat that, for 50 cents more, you can make into a real pick-me-up by adding soy protein. This filling, lowfat snack of a drink is made with berries and apple juice, and it's thick, chilling, and super-fruity. The only possible drawback-- tiny raspberry seeds, but I don't mind them.

 Anderson's also serves great curly fries, a large and tasty veg burger, and even boasts a gluten-free menu.

Hanna's Frosty Treats, on Colvin in Buffalo, is both very inexpensive, and a sweet place to grab a cone. They use wonderful ice cream from Perry's, always a sure thing. We've especially liked the Creme de Menthe and Grasshopper sundaes, and when I only have a few bucks to spend, we can each get a cone and have change left. But be warned, the large cones here are a damn good size, and I've never been able to finish one. The biggest I can sometimes handle is a medium.

 There is covered outside seating, and friendly people from the neighborhood hanging around. They know a good thing when they taste it.

Reid's on Elmwood is a tradition, and for good reason. They also serve Perry's, and burgers and dogs and other reasonably priced fare. The large sunny deck that surrounds the shop makes for fine seating and eating. I try different flavors every time I go there, and have never been disappointed yet. They have flavors you don't see everywhere, and it's a family-owned business that rightfully prides itself on customer service.

 *Note-- cash is king at Hanna's and Reid's, so plan accordingly.

 While Hanna's and Reid's are open seasonally, Condrell's on Delaware Avenue, like Anderson's, stays open all year. With specialties like Maple Cider sundaes in the autumn, it's easy to see why they can last throughout the year.

 The decor is sort of a bright, kitschy fifties style, with old-timey posters on the walls, and it works for them. They have lavish sundaes and lovely candies, too.

 Get a small sundae and pile on the works, unless you have an appetite like the Hulk-- or have one of their excellent hand-dipped shakes. It's a little more than what you'd pay elsewhere, but totally worth it, and you can top off your unique ice cream adventure with a nice espresso or coffee, as well.

 I'd be remiss if I didn't put in a good word for my local Dairy Queen outpost on Elmwood-- although it's a big chain, you get very good service at this location. The employees are young, (and cute), and  always attentive and enthusiastic; and they make the best Peanut Buster parfait in WNY.

 DQ is open later than most ice cream places, too, and you can use plastic to pay, which makes them an easy option on many a hot night. I can't tell you how many times we've arrived there just before close, and waited in a short line full of students from the nearby dance studio, all replenishing their calcium, I guess. But the lines move fast there, and there are plenty of tables.

 Farther afield, the irreplaceable Parkside Candies on Main & Winspear in Buffalo, near UB's South Campus, serves up some of the best ice cream anywhere in a spectacular old-time soda shop atmosphere. The vaulted ceiling and tiled floors enclose a cool, spacious setting that is unmatched in its slightly shabby grandeur. They have soups, sandwiches, shakes. etc., all with tableside service, all at the lower end of reasonably priced.

 When yours truly was growing up on nearby Heath Street, 40 years back before the neighborhood was a complete student ghetto, I adored going into this shop and buying a solid maple sugar candy shaped as a Canadian maple leaf. They were so sweet I never finished them in one sitting. And the sponge candy was to die for!

 My favorite taste here, nowadays, is the deeply flavored, subtle and wonderful coffee ice cream, when they have it. If you want to spoil your Mom this week, bring her to Parkside, for ice cream and memories.

 Did I say this was a short list???

 Well, not as short as it could be, but I can't end it without mentioning the $6 milkshakes at Lake Effect Diner, a place that is an experience unto itself (pics below), Sweet Jenny's on Main in Williamsville-- home to maybe the best cinnamon ice cream ever-- and the newcomer, the Parker-Hertel Sweet Shop.* The baked goods there are homemade and wonderful, the service is friendly, the place is pretty, and the ice cream, awesome. Check it out soon!

 (The counter at Lake Effect-- one of the last authentic dining car diners in America).

Have a beautiful day--

Peace, Mari
*Sadly, the Parker-Hertel Sweet Shoppe is long closed, and after several other quickly closed businesses ran their course in the location, it has been expanded into the now well-established Daily Planet Coffeehouse. Good food, good music, great espresso.


  1. the Raspberry Craze smoothie sounds wonderful!

  2. I crave them so, I made my own version today.