Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cold Stone Creamery...Haven't You Seen Oprah?

Cold Stone Creamery

1170 Bay St


It was a long walk from work up to Yorkville, but quite scenic if I do say so myself. I'm not talking about the Cuthies though, I'm talking about the discovery of the new Cold Stone Creamery. Of course, we had to go in, just for a sneak peak. It was wierd because there was a Tim Horton's attached together, so we didn't know if we were walking into the right place or not. Well we walked into the Timmies and were greeted by a normal looking Tims' employee. But indtead of hustling in the back she was just 'greeting'. She asked us if we knew what CSC was and we said not really, but we had heard about it. She then asked "did you hear about it from Oprah?". After giving this sont the People's Eyebrow, we said 'sorry no' and then we all enjoyed a gay chuckle. She briefly described this concept of concocting your own ice cream flavour by which we were amazed by. The concept is quite simple: Choose your ice cream flavour(s), choose your toppings, and then watch the magic happen on a large, chilled or frozen slab of granite. They use flat scoops or spatulas to cut, fold and mash your toppings into the ice cream, and then it gets deposited into your choice of cup, conen, or waffle bowl. We then had a go at some samples. Cookie dough and cheesecake flavours was what was sampled, enough for us to say 'sold!". Then we said we'll come back after dinner and left.

After devouring Craft Burger (see previous post) we had serious itis and were not walking back for Creamery. We vowed we'd be back. The next day. So after a nice late dinner the following day at Terroni (post to follow), we shared our experience with our friends about how we stumbled upon this great ice cream place. We thought to ourselves "how sweet it would be if they were open now (1130pm)". It was not even in the question. Although my gut feeling told me that their relationship with Tim Hortons may give us a chance. After a handy Google of CSC via an iphone, we got their number and rang them up. 24 hours they said! All of our faces lit up. So we made the trek up and after parking unaccessibley, and made the walk over to our meeting place. It was totally not ice cream weather, even though it was frigging mid July.

CSC was ramrod, naturally. It was prime time, saturday night, the hub of downtown, and this place was only 2 weeks old. So we embarked on sampling mass amounts of flavours before even creating possible creations with nuts, chocolate bar pieces, and of course sprinkles in our heads. We watched as the workers made other customers' requests and their combos made our decisions even more difficult. It's a bit hard to actually watch them make our creations, as the viewing area is blocked by the jars of endless toppings. Suggestion- move that stuff out of the way! The whole fun is watching the art of your creation being constructed on a canvas that is a cold stone.
We wound up getting a combo of cotton candy ice cream with brownie pieces, which the server suggested. It was pretty good. The brownie was fresh and soft, and froze slightly on contact with the ice cream. It was a nice union of cake and dairy. Our friends ordered- Skor bar mixed with vanilla, strawberry shortcake which had pieces of strawberry mixed into cheesecake ice cream, in a waffle bowl.
Prices vary, but you're looking at about $5+ for your own combination. It's a bit steep if you ask me for ice cream and chocolate or nuts, especially if you're looking at around $3 a scoop for Baskin Robbins or Laura Secord. But on the otherhand you're paying for the experience of someone mixing your ice cream infront of you, and their flavours are ones you may not find elsewhere. But still, this is definitely only a once in a while thing, not a nightly dessert affair.

So all in all, rare flavours, fair prices, great experience. Expect a bigger head-rush though from the inflated prices. I'll give Cold Stone Creamery a 3.5/5, based mostly on high prices. I will reevaluate my rating once I have visited CSC's competition- Marble Slab up in Richmond Hill. Stay tuned.

FYI- Cold Stone Creamery also sells ice cream cakes and even ice cream cupcakes, which you can customize yourself with 24 hours notice. This is a great idea, as ice cream cakes are all the rage these days. Keep in mind though the price tag is pretty steep- $30 for a small cake and $56 for a large- so make sure the birthday boy/girl is really worth it before you splurge.

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