Grand Ole Creamery vs. Lynden Soda Fountain: Ice cream clash
Joyosity Fresh strawberry ice cream
Here are some stats from last Friday's blizzard: 17 inches of snow; post-snow highs in the single digits; 60,000 people without power; more than 1,900 automobile spin outs and 680 crashes; 100 flights cancelled; 66 jack-knifed semis; black ice under bridges and on ramps; and yet another school day cancelled. What we're saying is this: If current trends continue, we're right in the middle of one of the five coldest winters in Minnesota history.
What we're also saying is this: who feels like some ice cream (or maybe some sherbet)?
Amy Dahlin Grand Ole Creamery German Chocolate and Black Cherry
The Venue: This week features two St. Paul ice cream parlors that cultivate an old-timey atmosphere. Grand Ole Creamery on Grand Avenue has been a staple of that neighborhood since 1984 (there's a second location on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis). It's a warm and friendly place with a small shrine of autographed celebrity photos and some community-billboard detritus on the walls. Lynden's Soda Fountain is a clean, classy modern version of a Herbert Hoover-era ice cream joint. With counter stools, an honest-to-God soda fountain, and a back wall stocked with candies from days gone by, this is the perfect place for old and young folks to bridge the generation gap with a frozen treat.
The Weigh-in: Grand Ole Creamery regularly offers over 20 different flavors. Although Lynden's has fewer ice cream choices, they will whip up sodas, phosphates, malts, egg creams, shakes and even lime rickeys for any handlebar-moustachioed members of your posse. Grand Ole Creamery makes its own ice cream; Lynden's gets theirs from Madison's Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company.
Round 1: Size
When trying to forget this endless winter, the bigger the serving of ice cream, the better. At both shops, we asked for the same size serving in a cup. Grand Ole Creamery presented us with two scoops of ice cream as big as cue balls. Teenage boys would find these servings reasonable, but everyone else should suck in their gut and prepare for sugary, creamy bloat. In contrast, Lynden's serving size is entirely reasonable and satisfying, especially if you've just eaten a gargantuan burger/fries combo at The Nook next door.