May 31, 2005 12:00

Greensboro's ten best ice cream shops

Yum Yum's

1219 Spring Garden St.; 336.272.8284

Man, Yum-Yum's seems to get a lot of ink in this publication, but we feel it's deserved. The hot dogs require some gastrointestinal fortitude, but the ice cream is quite possibly the best in town. They make it in house, as they have since the early days, and staffer Lee Adams, possessor of the orneriest sweet tooth in town, has a difficult time driving by without stopping in for a little something.

Kohl's Frozen Custard & Jumbo Burgers

1209 Battleground Ave.; 336.379.8102;

Frozen custard is not ice cream. There are several differences. Custard contains more egg yolk, making it both thicker and more rich. Custard is stored at slightly higher temperatures, which means it doesn't freeze your taste buds when you eat it. Also, at this chain anyway, frozen custard is finger food. Awww SNAP! Thank you very much, I'll be here all week. Seriously, this stuff is fantastic, with chocolate and vanilla on tap every day and a daily special flavor. Don't be scared — what are the odds of it happening again?

Cold Stone Creamery

3105 Northline Ave.; 336.294.9966

3709 Battleground Ave.; 336.282.2102;

Cold Stone is good for people with control issues — the buyer oversees every step of the creation of the dessert, from the base flavor to the increments of ingredients, which include real brownies, true caramel and chunks of authentic candy bars. If you leave a tip the scoop jockeys break into song, something that makes me extremely uncomfortable, so I'll usually make straight for the door after I drop a dollar in the jar.

Baskin & Robbins

1620 Battleground Ave.; 336.275.3131

118 Four Seasons Town Center.; 336.855.1154;

In the ice cream business, Baskin & Robbins is kind of like the gold standard — or to put it in drinker's terms, the Absolut standard. You're familiar with Absolut; you're assured of some quality control with the product and you know that wherever you are you can probably find it. This company was on the cutting edge during the ice-cream flavor boom in the seventies, creating Pink Bubblegum and Quarterback Crunch back when I was a kid. I also remember a flavor based on the movie that documented the formation of the Village People (Can't Stop the Music from 1980) called 'Can't Stop the Nuts.' We were so innocent back then that nobody knew how funny this was.

Dairy Queen

1708 Stanley Rd.; 336.851.5345

350 Four Seasons Town Center.; 336.852.1200,

2431 Randleman Rd;

Fifty million Elvis fans can't be wrong. DQ is so friggin' awesome. Peanut Buster Parfait? Awesome. Pecan Mudslide? Also awesome. Dipped soft-serve cone? You kidding me? Totally awesome. I also like very much the snowman effect their soft-serve takes in the cone.

Berry Patch at the Piedmont Triad Farmers' Market

2914 Sandy Ridge Rd.; Colfax; 336.605.915

The Farmers' Market is open every day beginning at 6 a.m. and over by the Berry Patch they churn fresh ice cream using whatever fruit is in season. It comes in tiny cups with itty-bitty spoons, but it is absolutely free — and not just for old folks and little kids, either. A little advice: it is considered poor form to demolish more than three of the tiny cups at one visit.

Reggie's Italian Ice

2004 Randleman Rd.; Suite C; 336.207.0623

Reggie carries chocolate and vanilla soft-serve at his roadside stand on Randleman, but what he's really known for are his Italian ices, which he makes in the store every day. Flavors, as one might expect, run towards the fruity side: orange, banana, mango and all manner of berries are represented on the menu. But the house favorite is the gelati, which he makes in a cup with a layer of vanilla ice cream, a layer of ice (any flavor) and then more ice cream on top. “Once they get ahold of it,” Reggie says, “it's the fan favorite.”

Mayberry Ice Cream Restaurant

946 Summit Ave.; 336.333.2800

Mayberry is not a real fancy joint, but they've got tables and a deep ice cream cooler and they appeal to my frugal side. A cone runs about a buck and a half and they don't skimp on the goods. A decent selection — more than 20 flavors, though nothing earth-shattering — and a good location make this stop worthwhile.

Ice Cream Planet

1236 Guilford College Rd.; Jamestown; 336.855.0073

Owned by an Iraqi War veteran and located practically around the corner from the YES! Weekly offices in Adams Farm, the Ice Cream Planet is populated by a wide selection of Hershey's ice cream. The kids like the Superman, a colorful combination of strawberry, banana and blue moon. Adults lean more towards the cooler on the left side, with choices like cappuccino crunch and Moose Tracks. This place is also a light deli and bakery, with baked goods made from scratch and a nice list of cheap sandwiches. Though not technically in Greensboro, we'll let it slide this time.

Carvel Ice Cream

2130 New Garden Rd.; 336.282.6905

1622 Stanley Rd.; 336.297.0303

When I was in high school, my friends Chris Cappelletti and Joe Esposito worked at the Carvel in Mineola and when there was nothing to do we'd all go hang out there and eat flying saucers until we couldn't stand up. It is a testament to the quality of the ice cream that I still eat it whenever I can — in fact it's one of my favorite stops in town. I also love the little chocolate crunchy things they put in their ice cream cakes, but that is a story for another day.

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