Holstens_Forget the televised debates. Forget the postseason and the possibility of another bench-clearing Yankees-Boston brawl. It doesn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t getting any more heated than when Montclair residents start discussing the issues they√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re really passionate about√¢‚Ǩ¬¶like, for instance, ice cream. Not since the great pizza debate has the Montclair Watercooler bubbled over with so many strong opinions about something so close to many hearts — and stomachs. From mourning the now-defunct Emack & Bolio√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s on Bellevue, to debating the pros and cons of Coldstone Creamery√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s frozen granite slabs invading Montclair√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s diverse ice cream landscape (props to Steve√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Ice Cream, who mainstreamed the mix-in concept back in 1973), Cooleristas have been weighing in on all things creamery. Some purists extol the virtues of good, old-fashioned Holsten√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s in Bloomfield. But of course when it comes to ice cream, everyone’s a purist, right?
By far the biggest ice cream news has to be the possibility of getting hand-dipped Cherry Garcia at a Ben & Jerry√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s franchise near you. Rumor has it the Hinck building was eyed as a potential outpost for the Vermont-based chain, but the concept was thwarted by none-other-than Dick Grabowsky (seems B & J doesn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t sell $50 waffle cones.) The Cooler’s ice cream enthusiasts, who by and large seem very pro-BJ, were happy to suggest loads of other possible Montclair locations. In seasonal ice cream news, Woods Dairyland in the South End and Soda Pop Shop are both featuring pumpkin (the Barista’s personal favorite) for a limited time only.

Uncategorically, the very best ice cream in Baristaville (and we’re not counting that sissy gelato stuff):
Applegate Farms
Baskin Robbins
Coldstone Creamery
Magic Fountain
Mark & Julie’s Homemade
Soda Pop Shop
Wood’s Dairyland
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Liz George is the publisher of Montclair Local. liz@montclairlocal.news

8 replies on “Talking About What Really Matters”

  1. Miss Martta agrees that Holsten’s is truly awesome and is a nice throwback to her childhood.
    However, I would not be adverse to seeing a Ben & Jerry’s come to Montclair. I often wonder why it is not there already; seems like a natural fit.
    What is Mr. Grabowsky’s problem (besides greed, of course)? Can someone please enlighten me? A cone at B & J’s ain’t cheap. Delicious, yes, but if you are watching your wallet that’s not the place to go. Does he honestly think he will lose money on a B & J’s?
    I go to VT several times a year. Whenever I stop at the B & J’s in Middlebury, there’s a line out the door. In NYC, there’s a B & J at the corner of 43rd and 8th Ave. that now serves breakfast food if you can believe it.
    So how in the world can Mr. G. think that it is not a moneymaker?

  2. Seriously – B&J’s is in no way, shape, or form more expensive than Applegate Farms – well, unless you’re buying pints at the grocery store.

  3. Our household is still mourning the loss of Emack & Bolio. We like Applegate for pumpkin and Baskin Robbins for a delicious flavor whose name escapes me (maybe I need to make a trip there today just to jog my memory:)) but it involves caramel and chocolate!

  4. When taking my daughter up to look at Tufts we drove all over the place looking for the original Steve’s Ice Cream — which sadly is no more!! Remember those days when we were young, looking for love, and the perfect mix-in at Steve’s? You old Cambridge-ites surely remember! Long live the memory of Steve’s most delicious ice cream!

  5. Talk about good ice cream – is anyone else still mourning for “Batchmakers” on Church St? Does anyone else still remember it? THAT was good ice cream!

  6. I defended/promoted Holsten’s in the prior Barista thread/poll and…
    Hoffman’s was fantastic. I noticed it was open again, but not sure it’s same family; those folks turn some mean ice cream…

  7. I gotta put in a word for Woods — truly the best soft ice cream and nicest servers in the area — but I don’t really want too many people to know because I like that it is never crowded.

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