Karmel Knocking Around Reviews This and That

Karmel Knocking Around for the ICE CREAM MAN!

ICE CREAM MAN! ICE CREAM MAN!

Remember when you would get so excited hearing that music from off in the distance? You couldn’t hear your mother screaming at the top of her lungs for you to get your ass home…but you could damn well hear any remote sound of the ice cream truck entering the boundaries of the neighborhood.

Good Humor…Mr. Softee…Bungalow Bar. Bungalow Bar…Bungalow Bar…tastes like tar…the more you eat it…the sicker you are.

Ice cream is a fun thing. It’s that happy food. And don’t you see how happy everyone is when standing on line waiting their turn to order? And the kids….how anxious the kids are and how cute it is to see the little ones with wearing more than they are actually consuming?

And ice cream SHOULD be fun…not stressful. But there are so many choices.

There are the usual franchises like Dairy Queen that you can still find on most main roads; you might find a Carvel here and there (there’s one still standing on Route 34 in Matawan) although you mostly find them on an end cap in the supermarket; and Baskin Robbins which has a freezer now in most Dunkin’ Donuts and you can get someone to give you a miniscule scoop with three sprinkles along with some annoyance…if you’re lucky.

There are a number of mom and pop places in New Jersey that are worth making the trip, if not for the spectacular ice cream (because what exactly makes ice cream different from one place to another?) but for the unique experience each brings.

Of course, New Jersey and the Sopranos, the final scene, dictates that you just HAVE to go to Holsten’s in Bloomfield and see where it all ended…or didn’t. The place hasn’t been updated but does it have to? There appears to be more interest the stuffed animals collection than in the ice cream servings because they are super stingy with the hot fudge. Great nostalgia…love the ice cream…but could you ADD some more hot fudge and sprinkles?

Plenty of nostalgia but light on the fudge at Holsten’s

I’ve always liked a place called Scoops, especially because I thought they had the best black raspberry ice cream, beating out Friendly’s. (And where have all the Friendly’s gone? There’s one in Old Bridge on Route 9 still on life support.) There used to be three Scoops…all in the same family…but the only one still in existence is the one on Route 22 in Scotch Plains. It still gets crowded but it certainly has lost its luster.

Cliff’s Ice Cream in Ledgewood has a big reputation and has long lines during the summer months. But I don’t see anything special enough about it to make the drive up there. I mean…it’s ice cream.

Colonia Dairy Maid on Route 35 in Avenel is another place that if you saw the line…you would think they are giving it away. The ice cream is good. They have a lot of flavors that other places don’t have. But the system. You go in one door on the side of the building and out the other door. And don’t dare do it the wrong way. And you have to wait outside regardless of the weather conditions until there is enough room to get in. And the line once inside blocks the case so you can’t see the flavors. What flavor do I want? I don’t know.

Colonia Dairy Maid line up

Sundaes on Route 34 in Matawan is similar. You have to go in the FRONT door. It doesn’t tell you that on the SIDE door. And if the line is TOO long you have to, again, wait outside. And if you don’t KNOW that you shouldn’t go in the SIDE door…some regular waiting on line will let you know and chastise you publicly for your grave error in judgement. You might even be hung in effigy on Route 34 or sent across the street to the wayward Carvel that still remains as punishment.

You want judgment? Go to Crazees In Rumson. Bring a light jacket even in summer. Because the temperature inside will necessitate it, as will the cold stares you get because the other patrons KNOW you don’t belong in that neighborhood. Oh those special flavors with the special names and just a hint of snootiness. Yum!

Speaking of which, there is always Magic Fountain in Summit where you can have the Masters of the Universe give you the evil eye. Their soft ice cream and frozen yogurt are the best I have ever tasted…I guess they had better be for those prices and those glances.

Magnifico’s…ah…well…you can always find a crowd standing out there on Route 18 in East Brunswick but we lost our taste for the place. Perhaps they should give some thought to cleaning their soft serve machines?

Causeway ice cream…i-c-e “space” c-r-e-a-m

Then there is our old go-to…Causeway in South River. It’s hidden because there is no way to pass it. It used to be on a main road…many years ago when they changed the location of the South River Bridge between Sayreville and South River. That is when it was a Dairy Queen. And people would go over the bridge just to get ice cream and burgers.

Now it is near the end of an industrial road. The locals know about it and seemingly still flock to it. And there is always a line. And a long wait. Because their system is just not what it could be or should be.

They have one person taking the order. And then making each item. And setting each item down on the counter. By the time the order is complete, half of the order is already melted.

There are three windows and a drive-thru. One window is closed up and not used. The second window says “use other window” so that one is not being used. And the drive-thru just holds everyone up.

Can’t wait to try a porfait!

But they do have some great offerings. I have always wanted to try a portfait with either vanille or rum raisen ice cream…but I couldn’t decide between strawberry short cake or strawberry shortcake.

Perhaps some vanille ice cream?

Ice cream connoisseur…grammar police…sign maker…OCD sufferer…ICE CREAM IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN! GEEZ! Happy National Ice Cream Day!

My three favorite flavors of all-time are: Baskin Robbins’ Pralines and Cream, Scoops’ black raspberry, and Breyer’s (original) mint chocolate chip. Melissa’s three favorite flavors are fudge brownie, chocolate peanut butter, and just good old plain chocolate soft serve with hot fudge.

What are YOUR three favorite flavors?

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