Here’s the scoop (pun intended): July is National Ice Cream Month.

Thursday July 17, 2014

ice creamHere’s the scoop (pun intended): July is National Ice Cream Month.

As if we need an excuse to indulge in that summer delight. But since National Ice Cream Month was created by executive proclamation (President Ronald Reagan in 1984), we feel we must comply.

And there’s no more fitting place to observe National Ice Cream Month than in St. Louis, the city that gave us the ice cream cone. Versions of this momentous event which happened at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis vary but one widely accepted account has it that Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian vendor at the fair, shaped waffles into cones. Someone plopped a scoop of ice cream in the “cone,” and the frosty treat became mobile.

Fountain on Locust, a popular St. Louis restaurant, celebrates National Ice Cream Month in grand style–with half off the price of its luscious old-fashioned ice cream specialties on Wild Wednesdays throughout the entire month of July.

Also on Wednesdays, the Fountain on Locust’s incredible ice cream martinis–its specialty–are just $6 during Happy Hour from 3 to 6 p.m. “That’s a real bargain,” says Joy Christensen, owner of Fountain on Locust. We agree and highly recommend the Great Mississippi Mudslide!

Watch for Fountain on Locust’s ice cream truck selling ice cream cones and sometimes ice cream martinis at various special events around town this summer.

Another fitting place to celebrate National Ice Cream Month is Blue Owl Sweet Shoppe in Kimmswick owned by Mary Hostetter who also owns the perennial favorite Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery.

Both Christensen and Hostetter opt to feature Cedar Crest Ice Cream from Wisconsin in their establishments.

“What you want to do if you want to have really, really good ice cream is to make it at home yourself or you want to get it from a dairy,” Christensen said. The reason: Commercial establishments must start the process with a base which has chemicals in it, she said. “You don’t have that from a dairy or if you make it yourself,” she added.

The restaurant offers 10 flavors that stay the same–vanilla deluxe, Zanzibar chocolate, butter pecan, after dinner mint, black cherry, strawberry, coconut almond joy, Irish coffee, orange sherbet and lemon sherbet. Raspberry sorbet is an option for the lactose-intolerant. Also on the menu are seasonal ice cream flavors.

The Blue Owl Sweet Shoppe also features an old-fashioned soda fountain with all the yummy concoctions it can produce.

“We do phosphates, we do the sodas and the floats and the sundaes,” Hostetter said.

“We also incorporate a lot of the Blue Owl desserts into our ice cream specialties,” she said. The result are sundaes like Gooey Butter Sensation made with chopped up gooey butter cookies, ice cream flavor of your choice and more chopped cookies topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

Frozen custard is near and dear to St. Louisans with Ted Drewes Frozen Custard stand as recognizable as the Gateway Arch and as much a part of a St. Louis summer as a Cardinals baseball game.

This year Ted Drewes introduced the Brennan Blend. Named after KMOX radio personality Charles Brennan, the blend has coffee flavor with chocolate, a bit of rum extract mixed with hazelnut with a drizzle of carmel on top. “That’s why we call it the Brennan Blend, said Travis Dillon, Ted Drewes Jr.’s son-in-law and manager of the company. “It’s sort of like a breakfast blend or a coffee blend.”

Looking for savings on frozen custard treats? Check out TD’s Facebook page for specials. The fact that July is “Ice Cream Month” doesn’t faze Dillon. “It seems like for us Ice Cream
Month is every month,” he jokes.

The third Sunday of the month–July 20 in 2014–is National Ice Cream Day. In his proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe National Ice Cream Day and National Ice Cream Month with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

So how will you celebrate?

Here’s our short list of the greatest places to enjoy ice cream in St. Louis:

Bella’s Frozen Yogurt Café
1021 Washington Ave.
St. Louis
This cafe serves frozen yogurt, ice cream’s kissing cousin and features 12 flavors of yogurt and 30 toppings. Stop by on Wednesday for Happy Hour (4-7 p.m.) and enjoy 50 percent off frozen yogurt.

Ben & Jerry’s
6380 Delmar
St. Louis
This locally owned and operated scoop shop located in St. Louis’ Loop Neighborhood features the flavors you love. They include the ever-popular Cherry Garcia® with cherries and fudge flakes; Coffee, Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz®, coffee ice cream with espresso bean fudge chunks and Phish Food®. chocolate ice cream with gooey marshmallow swirls, caramel swirls and fudge fish. Plus you can rest assured your scoop, sundae, smoothie or shake is made with fair trade, non- GMO ingredients and the ice cream you take home is in responsibly sourced packaging.

Bailey’s Chocolate Bar
1915 Park Ave. St. Louis
Baileys’ Chocolate Bar features 10 flavors of ice cream and four flavors of sorbet. The Bailey’s Chocolate Brownie is served with caramel sauce and your choice of ice cream. The specials are truly special and include the Brownie Royale described as “not for the faint of heart” (it’s a Bailey’s Sprit on top of a brownie) and the ‘Smores Ice Cream Cake with graham cracker crust, marshmallow, chocolate ice cream and toasted marshmallow whip.

Bailey’s Range
920 Olive
St. Louis
The ice cream at this downtown eatery is made-from-scratch with no artificial ingredients. You have 15 flavors of ice cream to choose from as well as three sorbets. Offerings include shakes, splits and sundaes.

Blue Owl Sweet Shoppe
118 Market
The soda fountain in the Sweet Shoppe features old-fashioned ice cream delights, many based on Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery desserts.

Fitz’s Premium Root Beer
6605 Delmar
St. Louis
Add ice cream to the root beer brewed at the microbrewery and you have a float like no other! The restaurant also features frosty shakes and malts.

Fizzy’s Soda Fountain & Grill
29 N. Gore Ave.
Webster Groves
Fizzy’s offers a variety of old-fashioned soda fountain treats with a modern twist.

Fountain on Locust
3037 Locust St. St. Louis
The restaurant’s specialty ice cream martinis are a dream-in-a-glass, and its old-fashioned ice cream specialties are extra special. Counting calories? Try the world’s smallest ice cream cone!

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
6726 Chippewa St. St. Louis
A visit to Ted Drewes on a summer evening is a long-time St. Louis tradition. The frozen custard comes in one flavor–vanilla but that’s ok because the flavor is amazing and the magic is in the incredible toppings you can choose whether for a sundae or a concrete, a shake so thick it stays in the cup when you turn it upside down. Beloved specials include the Dutchman with chocolate, butterscotch and pecans; the Cardinal Sin with tart cherries and hot fudge and the Hawaiian with pineapple, banana, coconut and macadamia nuts.

Tower Grove Creamery
3101 South Grand Blvd.
St. Louis
Tower Grove Creamery features Central Dairy Ice Cream–welcome news for Mizzou grads living in the St. Louis area who became addicted to it in Columbia. In addition to fountain treats, Tower Grove serves a wide selection of Yo-Mazing Frozen Custard.

Yo My Goodness
237 Lockwood Ave.
Webster Groves
Enjoy 10 flavors of yogurt and two of custard as well as 40 toppings at Yo My Goodness.

Guest Blogger Kathie Sutin a freelance writer from St. Louis, Missouri contributed to this blog.

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