Ah, summertime fun in the sun — playing outdoors, swimming, backyard barbecues and eating cool, icy delights. Here’s a sampling of some of the local treats offered throughout the Severna Park area.
How about a good old-fashioned ice cream cone? Look no further than Bruster's Real Ice Cream, tucked in the corner of a strip mall at 160 Ritchie Highway. Just the smell wafting from the pick-up window is sweetly intoxicating.
Bruster's has a varied menu including cones, sundaes, shakes and blasts (ice cream and toppings mixed to a smooth consistency). With a vast offering of flavors, it's hard to choose. I considered basic chocolate but decided to be more adventurous. Why not take a walk on the wild side? I asked about this season’s favorite flavor and was surprised. A helpful gentleman declared that "graham central station" is currently the top pick of customers.
"It's better than it sounds, but people taste it and really like it," he said, handing me a mini spoonful to taste. I was pleasantly surprised and gave him a thumbs-up.
I thought this ice cream, described as "graham ice cream and graham swirls loaded with chocolate flakes," would taste like a graham cracker, but to me it tasted like a mix of dark caramel and cotton candy with flakes of chocolate. It was a perfect conglomeration of tastes. Give it a try! I chose to enjoy my ice cream on a large, fresh waffle cone that added to the goodness. Other cones and cup choices are available.
A few years ago, my dad surprised me with Bruster's pumpkin cheesecake. Afterward, I started visiting the store frequently to get my fix. So, give that a go too.
If you're looking for something a little lighter, head to Rita's, located at 567 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard, for Italian ice or gelati.
The gelati is Italian ice with homemade custard on the top and bottom. My server said that mango and cotton candy are the preferred flavor choices these days. Black cherry is also popular.
I chose mango. The tart, tropical, mango-flavored ice is a perfect frosty mid-day indulgence. For me, though, the best part is the decadent custard on top of the ice. It's smooth, rich, and thick with just the hint of vanilla. Rita's is my favorite custard, and it pairs well with the ice.
Many people claim Baltimore to be the origin of the cold summer staple, reaching back to the 1800s. Snowballs are my favorite cold treat. I head to Kavern when I crave my egg custard with marshmallow snowball.
Kavern, at 8370 Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, serves snowballs, ice cream and a variety of other frozen novelties. The shop has more than 70 traditional snowball flavors, along with specialty and combination flavors. Its ice is smooth-shaven, and the staff gives a generous amount of syrup (not watered down). Kavern also offers quality marshmallow cream — smooth and sweet, not powdery.
In addition to snowballs, Kavern serves ice cream, soft serve, frozen cakes, chocolate-covered bananas, ice cream cookie sandwiches and more. You can order indoors or at the window. If you want to stay and relax, several tables are available inside, as well as a counter with stools. If you prefer to eat outside, there are several big Adirondack-type chairs available. Bring Fido along for the ride. Pick up a doggy cup for him – a small amount of vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and a little dog treat.
The Froyo House, at 550 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard, allows you to make your own frozen yogurt sundaes and top them with various goodies including fruit, candies, whipped cream and other toppings. There are tables to eat at and family friendly movies playing.
Don't forget Slurpees at local 7-Eleven stores. These slushy frozen drinks have been around since the 1950s and still bring a smile to the young and old alike. Here’s a bit of trivia – there are 34 types of Slurpee flavors across America and that doesn’t count mixing them to make your own.
Enjoy the summer and all the frozen delights available.