Friday, June 09, 2006

the ultimate ice cream experience... or not

A few weeks ago, Mr. Cupcake and I went down to Gilroy to do some shopping. On our way back, I was itching for some mint chocolate chip ice cream. I had heard about Sweet Retreat Ice Cream Parlor from somewhere, and I decided it would be a good time go since we'd be passing through San Jose. We went, and I thought I had found the ice cream experience I'd been looking for. The portions are ginormous, the ice cream is tasty, and it's inexpensive for an ice cream parlor that makes their own ice cream. I didn't have my camera that day, so no pictures from that trip, but lucky for you, Mr. Cupcake and I went again.

Sweet Retreat isn't one of those fancy schmancy places. As a matter of fact the interior is fairly dingy, but the ice cream makes up for what ambiance lacks. Besides ice cream, there's also frozen yogurt with mix-ins that one can choose, milk shakes, sundaes, etc. On this fine evening, Mr. Cupcake and I went with a double scoop of oreo mint and mocha almond fudge.

This is why we shared the ice cream; it's huge! There was so much ice cream that we couldn't finish. The ice cream was pretty good this time around except I didn't care for the mocha almond fudge. Next time, I'll just stick to the mint chip. I like that the chips have a bit of crunch to them. The oreos were soft, and oreos should be crunchy; that's part of their appeal. Mr. Cupcake agreed with my assessments. So much for venturing out.

The total out of pocket cost for the ice cream was $3.50. After we left, I was trying to determine whether or not this was the ultimate ice cream parlor around. Then I thought about the best ice cream (not including gelato) I've ever had, and that has to be Graeter's.

Graeter's is a small ice cream chain in Ohio and Kentucky that uses the french pot method to make ice cream. The outcome is ice cream that is so dense, yet so smooth. It sort of reminds me of a richer gelato. It's amazing stuff. Then I decided that this place didn't hold a candle to Graeter's. I'm not sure if any place will. Although, I am dying to go to American Italian Delicatessen in Los Altos. A couple of days ago, I went into SF to do some shopping with some friends and while we were in the Pacific Heights area, we saw Tango Gelato. I had read about this place and all the reviews were true; the gelato was awesome. Apparently American Italian Delicatessen serves Tango Gelato. The only problem is that they aren't open late, so they can't cure my late night ice cream needs.

Anyway, the moral of the story is if you're in the area, Sweet Retreat is definitely worth the stop. The ice cream is really good and the portions are huge. Unfortunately for me, it's 40 miles round trip, so it's not really worth it.


Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of Sweet Retreat...but wanted to correct you on one thing. They do not make their own ice cream. Their ice cream is made by Treat Ice Cream company located in San Jose. They manufacture for high end grocery stores and package it under the high end grocery stores name as well. Just one little tidbit. PS..I have come out with my own gourmet ice cream topping that soon will be in high end markets. Check back in a week or so on my website ... it is out of this world. It is called Sicilian Passion. You can find it at ! Keep up the great ice cream search!

madame cupcake said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by and also for the info; I had no idea about the Treat part. I'm actually fairly disappointed with the local ice cream scene. I'm surprised there aren't more local creameries around. I'm hoping that I just haven't found them - yet.

Good luck with your new sauce venture! I'll keep an eye out for it.

Anonymous said...

My mom is buying that place =] hehe.

Anonymous said...

My mom is going to buy that place. we'll find out if we get it on monday =]

Nick said...

I live near Sweet Retreat. The place changed ownership last year. Since then the portions are slowly getting smaller and smaller. Even though the ice cream is good, with smaller portions my family tends to not ask for Sweat Retreat as much. I'm just waiting for the new owners to completely ruin the place.