If you’ve driven down Broad Street lately, you may have spied the throngs outside the new Rita’s Ices, located directly across from Bloomfield’s beloved Holsten’s. The two are completely different dessert experiences. Rita’s, like Starbucks, is going to teach us a new vocabulary. The shakes are called Misto, which is jarring for me, because it sounds more like an entree on an Italian menu. The confection seen here is called a Gelati, which is actually a layered dessert in a cup.
First they put frozen custard, then an ice flavor (in this case it was fudge brownie) and then more custard on top. You create your own; some folks were doing vailla custard with lemon ice in the center. What distinguishes Rita’s is the chunky ices — pieces of fruit, or in the case of the brownie ice, chunks of brownie and chocolate chips. Once I got past the name (again, nothing like gelato), it was fun and tasty. I’d go for the ices more than the frozen custard (the chocolate didn’t have as rich a flavor as you’d expect), but mixing the two together is novel and the whole scene is a fun summertime addition to the Baristaville creamery offerings. Just don’t take away my Holsten’s mint chip.