I’ve had some darn good ice cream in Rhode Island which is why I’ve been eager to check out the serial Best of Rhode Island winner Gray’s Ice Cream. Deciding it wasn’t wise to promise a two-year old ice cream, get in the car for a half hour and then not actually get it, I opted to call first. Apparently, there’s no phone in their new Bristol shop, but the Tiverton staff member I spoke with assured me they would be open until 9 pm today in Bristol. After our scenic drive, we hopped out of our car and headed to Gray’s Ice Cream’s picture-perfect dockside building. Imagine our horror to find that same building dark and locked.
Immediately, I called the Tivertown branch to inform them (much to their surprise) that there was, in fact, no one working at the Bristol store but there wasn’t much they could do. Since we had come all that way, we took a walk through the charming waterfront town of Bristol and stopped in at Organically Good and Quito’s (opposite ends of the culinary spectrum). We learned that since it had been raining all day, no one had really come to Bristol — for all we know, we were the only ones peering into the dark windows of Gray’s Ice Cream. A few blocks away was The Daily Scoop, but it too was closed, this time more officially for the season. I then tried calling the next closest place, Frostee’s Ice Cream and Desserts in Warren, RI, but there was no answer. So we resigned ourselves to an old standby: Newport Creamery. We had passed one on the way down in Barrington and were so confident they’d be open we didn’t even call first.
I’ve eaten at Newport Creamery dozens of times over the past several years and I have a lukewarm feeling about their food (although fond memories of their Earth & Turf Superburgers). Summers in Newport, I never went there, opting instead for Frosty Freez in Middletown or Cold Fusion in downtown Newport. But it was open, and apparently in October, that’s the main criteria.
An undiscovered treat on the menu caught my eye: the Cow’wich, an ice cream sandwich made with your choice of ice cream smashed between two giant Oreo® cookie wafers. I decided to go all-Oreo choosing cookies & cream ice cream for the middle. It was a good choice. The Oreo® wafers made the perfect crisp counterpart to the rich ice cream. Even just seeing it made Madeline’s sundae look like a meager substitute. And what kid doesn’t like a giant cookie? Needless to say, I had to share.
Sad Update 10/24/2009: After one of the worst meatball sandwiches at Fellini Pizza, I decided to go for another Cow’wich consolation prize. But sadly, the Newport Creamery in Warwick, RI has started refrigerating their cookies making them wet and mushy. I’m not sure yet if this is a company-wide decision, but I’m in mourning nonetheless.
296 County Road
267 Thames St
411 Thames Street
Gray’s Ice Cream
Bristol, RI and Tiverton, RI
Whew! While reading this, I was thinking that Madeline was going to go home empty-handed, or empty-mouthed, or whatever you say. Glad to hear that good things indeed came to those who waited!
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