A Midsummer Night’s Treat: Ice Cream Guide Pt. 2
As with any Midwest summer the temperatures have risen to exhausting heights and the humidity offers a thickness that can make it difficult to even breathe. We want to be outdoors, but the elements make it difficult. We have few weapons in our arsenal to combat this situation. Things like fans, and central air, but greatest of all beats the heat better than all the rest: Ice cream. A delicious treat year-round but a necessity for our very survival in the summer.
Emily and I toured several of Kansas City’s finest cool-treateries in an effort to help you prepare for the last few weeks of summer, and bring you Part 2 of the Made in KC Ice Cream Guide. At each establishment we asked for two recommendations; their most popular and their most under-appreciated. Follow along for their selections.
Glacé Artisan Ice Cream
4960 Main St. Kansas City, MO 64112
Just south of the Plaza rests the single location of some of the finest ice cream available for consumption this side of the Mississippi, brought to you by Christopher Elbow, Kansas City’s chocolatier el numero uno. They have six standard flavors available at all times and rotate the other fourteen. Most Popular was The Christopher Elbow Dark Chocolate, a 63% dark chocolate, which can also be found in their bon-bons. We found it to be rich, dense, and almost fudge like. Most Underappreciated was Crème brûlée, one of their current rotating flavors. The crunchy crystalized sugar chunks really stood out on this one. Eat it quick! The sugar makes this one particularly melty. My personal recommendation, you have to try the Salted Pretzel. Great googly moogly. It's good.
Betty Rae’s Ice Cream
7140 Wornall Rd. Kansas City, MO 64114
In our travels, we only experienced one establishment whose customers formed a line pouring out the front door. This one. On a Wednesday night. They had a lot of fun random flavors and they make their waffle cones from scratch. The bowl-cone we picked wasn’t necessarily crispy, but soft. Reminded us of a thin pancake, which was nice and different from the other cones we sampled. For Most Popular, they selected Brown Butter, which had highly satisfying chunks of pecan throughout. There was something naturally homey and familiar about it. Most Underappreciated was Cinnamon, which was very…cinnamon? Yeah, sure. It was also rich and buttery. It tasted like a cream-ified bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. This is not a complaint.
511 Nichols Rd. Kansas City, MO 64112
The newest addition to the cool treats community we ventured to would have to be Southern Charm, as they opened right around a month ago, with a single location on the Plaza. This little gelato dispensary has a variety of flavors and options. In addition to their gelato you can get shakes, smoothies, and for those with aversions to gluten and dairy, Sorbetto. The current Most Popular is their Georgia Peach Cobbler, which had a very bold and smooth flavor. The one they felt was Most Underappreciated was their Butter Pecan. What people are appreciating is their chocolate waffle taco as opposed to a standard cone. Good for those trying to devour their gelato on the go! Loved it. Everything we tried was smooth, creamy, and satisfying. Give it a shot!
The Waffle Bar
4745 Central St. Kansas City, MO 64112
We visited the flagship location of The Waffle Bar as well, which will be celebrating its first birthday next month. They also recently opened another store in Overland Park. While the ice cream is delicious, here, it’s more about the vessel you carry it in. They have Bubble Cones, Waffle Donuts, and Waffle Popsicles, too. Most Requested was their Bubble Cone, inspired by the Hong Kong Waffle. You get to pick your ice cream: we chose Camp Fire (S’mores), then three toppings. We went with salted caramel bits, peanuts, and sprinkles, and one of a variety of drizzles, the caramel (of course). Most Underappreciated: they threw us a curveball and didn’t go with ice cream! They picked their Liege Waffle. Which is just a plain waffle on a stick with the toppings of your choosing. Both the cone and the Waffle Popsicle were served warm, which was different than any other place we went.
Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard
6235 Brookside Plaza, Kansas City, MO 64111
There was something innately nostalgic about Foo’s from the décor to the selections. I think if my eleven-year-old self could come up with the concept for what the perfect frozen custard establishment would be, this is it. They make their own vanilla custard and then “you do the rest.” They have an epic menu, with countless toppings and combinations on a chalk board, as if scrawled there by the Little Rascals themselves. Everything was sweet on top of sweet on top of sweet. Most Popular was Cookie Dough Crumble, which had peanut butter, chocolate chips and cookie dough in it. Most under-appreciated was Candy Bar Crunch, which had Butterfinger, Snickers, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Both were delicious and decadent. Allow your inner child to run amuck!!!