|Snowballs from KyKy's in Ellicott City|
The beauty of Howard County is that you can get a half dozen major variations on "a night of ice cream." Get yourself a reasonable dinner, then sit outside with a cone or a cup. I've done similar posts several times over the years, and your choices just keep growing.
My 2009 recommendations mostly went from ice cream to snowballs -- with Rita's Italian ice as a variation.
Since then, tart frozen yogurt swept through the county. You make your own sundaes with toppings that range from fruit to candy. Terrific fresh fruit makes Red Mango in Clarksville has terrific fruit, which makes it one of our favorites. But shopping centers are dotted with chains that differ mostly in whether they have adult items like tart yogurt and mochi or whether they're 100% kid-oriented like Sweet Frog.
At the same time, we discovered some other traditional treats -- like the bing soo at Bon Appetit bakery on Rte 40. The joke was that we discovered the Korean shaved ice dessert in February, but it's perfect as our weather boils up into July.
Take your own tour -- pairing dinner with a cold dessert. Some of the places below are stands, so you should check Yelp or the Web to make sure they re-opened for 2013. I have at least two new places to try this year, and you can't eat too many. After all, it will be winter before you know it.
Let's start with ice cream and frozen custard:
- Seibel's in Burtonsville may have the best ice cream, although I haven't been there recently enough to crown them officially. They are the closest place that I know that makes its own ice cream. They're creamy and delicious. (Pair with Cuba de Ayer.)
- Rita's in Columbia and Ellicott City. This is one of our favorites, although I know people see them as an invading chain. Black cherry ice layered with vanilla cream. (The absolute perfect pair with pumpkin, kabobs and bread at Maiwand Kabob or with pizza at Trattoria E Pizzeria Da Enrico.)
- Meadows Custard in Columbia offers a menu similar to Rita's with custard and ice. Plus they have coffees and more. (Lots of benches at the Hickory Ridge village center so you have options to eat, including Hickory Ridge Grill, Chinese, Italian and Peruvian chicken.)
- Did Scoop-Ah-Dee-Doo reopen off Main Street in Ellicott City? It was a fun stand in 2012 next to the Little French Market. I can't tell if it reopened.
Go on to the new-comer tart frozen yogurt:
|Yogurt at Red Mango|
- Red Mango in Clarksville makes our favorite yogurts, although we don't go as often because they rarely rotate the flavors. Our second choice -- Tutti Frutti in Ellicott City, Columbia and Fulton. (Pair Red Mango with a burger at the River Hill Sports Grille and the Tutti Fruitti with Sushi Tendou in Fulton.)
- But you can find a range of other spots, including a new Whirlz Yogurt Bar in the Dorsey Search village center, Yogopop in Columbia, Yogiberry in the Columbia Mall, and a string of stores on Rte 40 that have opened and closed. In 2012, I did an entire post listing yogurt shops. (Pair Whirlz with Sushi Yama or the Rte 40 joints like Tutti Frutti with Korean barbecue or Lighthouse Tofu soon doo boo.)
Then the old favorites, icy snowballs and soft serve:
- Snowballs in Clarksville, the Snowball Stand on Rte 99, and KyKy's Hawaiian Ice in Elkridge for shaved ice -- along with Pete's Snowball stand at Oakland Mills Road and Old Montgomery Road in Columbia. These are super simple -- shaved ice topped with a flavor shot. They're my treat when I'm doing errands.
- Kyky's has set up this year in a trailer at Montgomery Road and Waterloo Road (Rte 104) near T-Bonz Grille. I particularly liked the frozen lemonade -- really shaved ice, sugar syrup, and lemon juice.
- Cindy's Soft Serve on U.S. 1 in Elkridge. This seasonal stand has been on my "to do" list for three years, but the Elkridge Patch echoes the recommendation that I first heard from Lanette for soft serve and other frozen treats. (Pair with pit beef from Smokey & Uncle Grube's.)
- Pepperjacks Deli in Laurel. This family-run joint just south of Rte 216 serves great sandwiches, and it also scoops ice cream and whips shakes. There is a homemade playground that looks great for young kids. (Pair with Pepperjack's own sandwiches.)
Finally end up with that Korean bing soo:
- Bon Appetit Bakery in Ellicott City for bing soo. This is a Korean desert with shaved ice topped (and then mixed) with chocolate powder, condensed milk, canned fruit, mochi and more. Take a risk. It's an exotic flavor, but you're guaranteed to leave chilled -- and to enjoy Bon Appetit's other desserts. (Pair with black bean noodles from Tian.)
Join in with advice. Can anyone recommend other places for ice cream outside? Does anyone know the plan or timetable for the ice cream parlor to re-open where Soft Stuff is being redeveloped? Does anyone in Howard County actually make their own ice cream? Has anyone found real Hawaiian shave ice, which is finer than a Baltimore snowball? I have plans to hit up the Hawaiian Island Snoball in Randallstown.