Monday, July 1, 2013

Cool Food For Hot Nights: The Best Part Of Summer Is Ice Cream, Snowballs And Bing Soo

Snowballs from KyKy's in Ellicott City
This is our summer without Soft Stuff, but you can still keep cool even while the Rte 40 landmark is being redeveloped -- and hopefully revived for 2014.

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:
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:
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.

18 comments:

Lisa s. said...

Cold stone creamery pair with coal fire pizza.

Jessie said...

HowChow, you do such a fantastic job of identifying, organizing and sharing niche food resources in Howard County. A hero, indeed! Now we need a Foursquare hero to come behind you and make a list of these ice cream/sno cone places (and many other food categories).

Possible free Merriweather tix to those who do so in the next week or so. Email jessie@hocoblogs.com for deets!

Megan Kylee said...

Scoop-Ah-Dee-Doo is open this year. They just keep inconsistent hours. Still delicious though!

cdarl said...

For the frozen yogurt I like YogiCastle off McGaw. Lots of flavors (that change all the time) and lots of toppings. Plus the people there are very nice.

Kat Wilmot said...

Please find me some real shaved ice!

kam said...

The snowballs of my youth came from the Baugher's Farm stand off New Cut Road (now the section that's been renamed Baugher's Farm Road). Does the produce stand still exist? Do they still have snowballs?

Kat: You're near Baltimore, hon. This is what's real. ;) (In all seriousness, I do believe there's some comments on prior posts about some Hawaiian shave ice stands/trucks.)

SC said...

Bingsoo also comes in a green tea flavor! A friend and I had it last week, and it was delicious! Green tea ice cream, ice, corn flakes, kiwi slices, banana slice, and mochi.

Marcia said...

As of yesterday, Baughers (off New Cut Road) has not opened this summer.

Megan said...

Tutti Frutti has a non-dairy yogurt option as well. Anyone know if the others do? We have a half dairy-free household.

heidi said...

I'd like to go to a place for real ice cream sundaes and treats. I don't want yogurt, or custard or have to take out a mortgage to eat at cold stone. Does anybody know of a legitimate ice cream place (not baskin robbins - yuck!) in the county where we can get sundaes and banana splits?

Anonymous said...

Last time we went to la palapa, the ice cream shop next to the French market was open, but closed for the day. Why an ice cream shop isn't open for business after dinner when people want ice cream boggles the mind. When I went, there were 3 parties of people outside bemoaning the fact that it was closed and we couldn't get iced cream.

kam said...

Wasn't there another ice cream shop that was supposed to open in downtown Ellicott City? Lala's, or something like that?

~kam

HowChow said...

@kam -- There was one near the bottom of the hill. But I don't think it ever opened.

Adam said...

I would also consider Kolache Kreations. Not only are they perhaps the nicest people in the world, but they carry Hershey's Ice Cream, as well as Soft Serve in Vanilla/Choc/Twist. On Tuesday's, you can get a single scoop for a buck, and 4th of July weekend they are running a BOGO special. Great for anyone at the Kiwanis Wallace fields.

Rita's has raised their prices again, and dealing with the kids who work there and the loitering crowds outside is a pain. I'll skip.

Karen said...

I don't see Alex's Ice Cream Stand in Lisbon mentioned. They serve soft serve and scoop Turkey Ice Cream. They make milkshakes, sundaes, snowcones. Don't know about banana splits. And the kids have a pretty cool wooden ship playground to play on.

Karen said...

Looks like Alex's do have banana splits and root beer floats.

Adam Paul said...

How about "The Snowball Stand" at Old Frederick and Woodstock? Can't vouch for the snowballs, but the scenery can not be beat!

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