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Cream of the Parlor Crop: The Top 50 Ice Cream Spots!

27 Jul

We went on an online voyage this week to discover how US residents liked their ice cream -and where. We sifted through an enormous number of sites, and here’s what we found out:

Our favorite answer comes from USA Today. They conducted a poll asking readers to share their favorite ice cream parlor, and then aggregated the results by state. That’s a huge list! We’ve included a few of the states in this post – for the full 50-state list, CLICK THIS LINK!

What’s YOUR favorite ice cream spot??


Every Friday at Jersey Creamery in McIntosh, Karen DeConna makes her small-batch ice cream in an 1880 train depot. That’s when you get the freshest scoop right out of the machine. Her dense product draws its sweetness from fruit rather than sugar. Summer flavors blueberry, peach and mango are best enjoyed in a rocking chair on the big porch. 22050A N. Highway 441; 352-317-8060

Recommended by Patricia Letakis, executive editor of Florida Travel + Life magazine


Berkey Creamery, a Penn State institution since 1896, is the nation’s largest university creamery, with much of the main ingredient (milk) coming from the university’s own cows. Some of the 100 or so flavors (20 available at any one time) reflect the State College academic setting. There’s peachy Paterno (peach flavored with sliced peaches) named for coach Joe Paterno and alumni swirl (vanilla with Swiss mocha chips and blueberry swirl). 119 Food Science Building, University Park; 814-865-7535;

Recommended by Timothy Brixius, contributor,

North Carolina

Known for ice cream made fresh, in-house each week, Yum Yum Better Ice Cream serves cups, cones and milkshakes. Owned and operated by the same family since 1906 and set in the heart of the University of North Carolina Greensboro community, Yum Yum draws a mix of students and locals craving a delicious treat. 1219 Spring Garden St.; 336-272-8284

Recommended by John Batchelor, restaurant reviewer for the Greensboro News and Record

South Carolina

Located on Lady’s Island in the coastal town of Beaufort, Berry Island Ice Cream Cafe offers 24 flavors at a time. Try a scoop of a standby called the Prince of Tides, a favorite of Barbra Streisand when she was in town making the movie based on Pat Conroy’s novel. It’s coffee-almond fudge, but the name is pure South Carolina. 1 Merchant Lane, #102; 843-524-8779;

Recommended by Sid Evans, editor of Garden & Gun magazine


Feast on the 4th!

29 Jun

The 4th is almost here! We can’t wait for sun and fun and time to relax with family and friends — and of course, lots of delicious food! Check out the list below for some holiday inspiration. From The Foodista Blog. Read the original article here.


Fabulous 4th of July Feasts

June 29, 2011

July is right around the corner and so is our favorite summer holiday – the Fourth of July!

Upon the arrival of this big three day weekend, I often find myself wondering what I should have on the barbecue menu. Fall apart smoked ribs? Blue cheese burgers? A whole herb-stuffed salmon? Fortunately, we still have a week to plan! If you need inspiration, below you’ll find three 4th of July-worthy feasts: Buttermilk Fried Chicken with all the fixin’s, a belly-busting Memphis-style ribs chow down, and a classic East Coast lobster boil.

Southern Style Chicken

Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Cabbage and Fennel Coleslaw
Jalapeno Cornbread
Pickled Watermelon Rind
Fresh Cherry Pie

Finger Lickin’ Ribs

Memphis-Style Dry Rub Ribs
Red Potato and Dill Salad
Smokinwilly Barbecue Baked Beans
Spiced Butter Barbecued Corn
Blue Mountain Blueberry Pie

The Beach Boil

Easy Maine Lobster Boil
Herb Dinner Rolls
Apricot Glazed Apple Tart

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Image sources: thebittenword

On the Prowl: Finding the Best Margaritas in Fort Worth, TX

19 May

Cool, refreshing, with just the right mix of sweet and sour: nothing says summer quite the way a margarita does! If you happen to be passing through Forth Worth, TX in the coming hot months, this little post may help.

We found this article on and took a few excerpts to share with you here. To see the full article in its original location, follow this link. And check out the rest of the site while you’re there – we love browsing their reviews for new ideas and suggestions.

You know what would make browsing even more fun? A margarita….

Get Your Margarita On in Fort Worth

Lance C. |
May 6 2011

For reference, the by-the-book margarita, carved into stone by the booze scholars at the International Bartenders Association, is composed of seven parts tequila, four parts Triple Sec (a French orange liqueur) and three parts lime or lemon juice. The mixture is poured over ice in a salt rimmed glass. With a recipe that simple, though, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

If you’re ever in Fort Worth, TX, you might want to consider trying the ‘ritas at one of these places:

Dos Gringos

In my experience, the best margaritas come from the places that don’t look like they’re trying too hard. Dos Gringos (Spanish for, uh, two gringos?) is a run-of-the-mill TexMex joint in the DFW area but they serve positively enormous margaritas served in Boracho glasses. Though their “Best Margaritas” title has been ceded to the usurpers at Joe T. Garcia’s, there’s something to be said for taking the title home at least once. Give the Gringo-Rita a try, it’s their top shelf signature.


The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

If your tastes are quite a bit fancier than “Arlington dive bar,” The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro might be up your alley. It does have the word “bistro” in its name, after all. Located in the touristy Stockyards section of Fort Worth, Lonesome Dove is the creation of local rock star chef (and one time Iron Chef competitor/winner) Tim Love, specializing in rustic Western cuisine. But we’re not here to talk about the kangaroo nachos. One of Lonesome Dove’s signature cocktails is the Jalapeno Cucumber Margarita, which tastes more or less like it sounds – not quite spicy, not quite sweet, with a solid bite from the Casa Noble and Cointreau.

La Familia Mexican Restaurant

If you want style without the heavy price tag associated with gourmet food, La Familia will set your margarita on fire. No, literally. Their house margaritas are served with flaming sugar cubes balanced on lime wedges, like a half-remembered absinthe recipe. Reviews are mixed on the margaritas themselves, but who doesn’t like a little spectacle?

Summer at the Double Wide

11 May

If you live in Pittsburgh and haven’t tried the Double Wide Grill on East Carson, you’re missing out. And if you’re planning a trip to Pittsburgh this summer, this is one tasty, laid-back place you’ve got to try!

Review is from Pittsburgh Magazine, and before that it was published in After Dark. Check out the link at the bottom to learn more.  Thanks to Sean for highlighting yet another fabulous summer dining hangout!

Time Again for Double Wide Grill’s Summer Menu

Yes, Double Wide Grill is a themed restaurant. No, it’s not an overpriced Rainforest Cafe, nor a place where you’ll pay ridiculous prices for cheesecake just for the opportunity to eat it near some sunglasses from Terminator 2.

by Sean Collier

Double Wide Grill's white fish seviche, served on a corn tortilla. Photo courtesy of Double Wide Grill

I’m looking at the 10-day weather forecast. Yes, I know it’s the optimistic, reckless brother to the more sensible five-day forecast, but I’m embracing the future.

And the temperatures, it seems, are creeping up—not yet to full-on summer territory, but with regularity that ensures a comfortable night in the elements to anyone clothed in jeans and a hoodie. It is time to begin heading outside. It is time to taste beer in the fresh air.
It is time, once again, for Double Wide Grill.

Sure, I’ll stop in for a big meal full of ribs and gusto throughout the winter, but with more sunlight and higher nighttime lows, one’s inclination rises for the uniquely themed restaurant on the South Side. And Double Wide has obliged us by expanding their kitchen hours; you can get some great home-style grub until midnight Sunday through Tuesday or until 1 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Bonus: You can keep drinking ‘til 2 a.m. every night.

If you’re unfamiliar with Double Wide, you may have shuddered at the words “themed restaurant,” but make no mistake. This is no overpriced Rainforest Cafe, nor a place where you’ll pay ridiculous prices for cheesecake just for the opportunity to eat it near some sunglasses that someone wore while filming Terminator 2. This is a brilliant bit of marketing and design, turning that ‘Burgh staple—down-home cookin’—into a fun, festive experience, with every night posing as the best cookout you’ve ever attended.

It starts with the food. I’d like to direct your attention to the special barbecue menu—featuring the most meat-tastic thing this side of the Hofbrauhaus, the “Pig Out” (1/3 rack of ribs, chorizo, bacon and pulled pork for $15.29.) I can’t pass an opportunity to mention my personal favorite, though, the “Build Your Own TV Dinner”—pick a main course and four sides, and it’ll appear on a metal TV dinner tray, just like grandma used to give ya (when she didn’t have time to cook). Crazy delicious, and a filling steal at $15.99.

Double Wide’s underrated as a Sports Bar, too—remember, not everywhere you go to watch the game need be a generic family restaurant-style festival of wings and light beer. They’ve got a quartet of 10-foot projection screens, so you won’t miss a thing.

I also must mention the beer—right now, Double Wide has around 35 on tap, including Maudite, Bells Two Hearted Ale, Great Lakes Conway Irish Ale, Arcadia Hopmouth Double IPA … I could go on.

But mostly, it feels like every night you ever spent on a lawn chair in good company—only infinitely more delicious. Get three to seven close friends, get a table outside (you might have to wait), and spend the whole night. Someone will challenge someone to the beanbag toss game, an impromptu eating contest may erupt or you might just spend a night reminiscing and cracking jokes ‘til well after midnight.

There are surprisingly few places on the South Side to do this kind of thing outdoors; fortunately, Double Wide Grill is the all you’ll need.

This article appears in the May 2011 issue of After Dark

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