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Tour de Soft Serve 2.0

April 20, 2015

Spring is here. Let’s eat ice cream!
Scratch that. Let’s eat all the ice cream!

Look, we can’t eat all the ice cream in one outing. Sure, we could make a valiant effort, but it would get very ugly very fast, and we would most certainly fail. There’s no point to that. However, we can break down the task into bite sized chunks. And the FLB has been doing just that for the past four years.

In 2011 we ate at five seasonal soft serve stands.
In 2012 we went for homemade hard ice cream.
In 2013 we got all worldly and exotic with gelato.
In 2014 Maeve led a trendsetting outing of FroYo.

Now we’re back to the basics. As it turns out, even after you visit twenty different places, there are still too many ice cream parlors remaining in the region to sample in a single day. So this year we’re revisitng soft serve and we’re headed to…

Saratoga County!

Schenectady was mighty close. Citizens of the Electric City shouldn’t fret. I’ll be sending more love that direction soon. Troy lost out in this round too, mostly because it feels like I’m there all the time, and I’m feeling a need to showcase other parts of the region.

Thank you for all the nominations. Despite all the love for Martha’s by Lake George, this will not be part of the tour. Really, there may need to be an entire Lake George/Queensbury Tour de Soft Serve. But we have responsibilities closer to home before branching out that far afield.

Still, your suggestions have totally made it onto the day’s docket. Mark your calendars. This Saturday, April 25 at high noon the Tour de Soft Serve 2.0 will commence rain or shine.

Since some people find Saratoga Springs impossibly far away, we’ll start in the much more accessible Clifton Park at DeVoe’s Rainbow Orchard. This was one that came from the nomination period. It was totally off my radar, but I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

As we snake our way up to Spa City, we’ll stop at Ballston Spa for ice cream at JJs Snack Bar. It’s a place so off the radar there isn’t a single picture or review of the place on Yelp. But Facebook provides proof of life. That also means someone who goes on this tour may get the coveted Yelp FTR badge for JJ’s. I’d make a play for it, but I’ve got a tour to lead. That means one of you will have the jump on me.

Arriving in Saratoga proper we’ll start at Humpty Dumpty and move our way out to the Dairy Haus. This is probably the most dangerous part of the tour. Those who have been on these before know that I generally like to frontload the eating and backload the driving. But stops three and four are in the same town late in the tour. Just remember to take it slow and to breathe deeply.

The drive out to the Farmer’s Daughters Drive In isn’t nearly long enough. But that’s where we’ll officially end this chapter of the Fussy Little Tour.

Some may be wondering what happened to Ice Cream Man, especially their newer outpost in Saratoga Springs. It’s a fair question. Their soft serve is billed as frozen custard, which is a different animal completely. It’s really an unfair competition. It’s like putting gelato up against a traditional American homemade hard ice cream. This evaluation is supposed to be about comparing products that are virtually identical to find the one that rises to the top.

Anyhow, here’s the map for those who are considering the drive. It’s a pretty tight footprint.

That finish line will put us awfully close to 9 Miles East Pizza. I sent an email inquiring if they have set up picnic tables at the farm. They went one step further and offered to set up a table under cover for a potential pizza post tour after-party. The pizza doesn’t start coming out until 5pm. I’m going to stick around, dammit, because I can’t be that close, hopped up on sugar, and not mellow out on something delicious, wholesome and deeply savory.

If you think you’ve got the stomach for a pizza after party please let me know. I’ve got to figure out how much pizza to order, and how much extra money people will need to bring for the picnic.

Here’s some more mumbo jumbo about the tour that may or may not be obvious, so I’m just going to say it.

  • Please let me know if you are coming, and if you plan to bring people with you. All are welcome, but I just want to make sure I have enough score sheets to go around.
  • If you want your score sheet to be counted, you must complete the tour, in its entirety.
  • Bloggers will be among the attendees. You should expect your picture to be taken and for it to appear on the internet.
  • Please bring a pen.
  • Please be on time.
  • You may want to wear loose pants.

The only things I will be providing are scoresheets, the map above, color commentary along the way, and a wrap-up post of the event. You are responsible for your food costs, transportation, safety, and fun. Technically I’ll also be doing a bit of pizza coordinating with this after party thing. If you want in on pizza I’ll need to know by 10pm on Wednesday.

Fair warning. Official tasters, will be asked to obey the following guidelines:

– A consistent flavor across all five stops (chocolate/vanilla soft serve swirl preferred)
– A consistent size across all five stops (I recommend kiddie)
– A consistent form across all five stops (I go cup, but cone is totally understandable)
– A consistent topping across all five stops (I go plain, but hot fudge can be very interesting)

It is perfectly fine, and even encouraged to share your ice cream with the close friends you bring with you. I will not be sharing with anyone. Touch my ice cream at your peril. Also, if you want to just tag along and try some of the ice creams, but aren’t so into the judging thing, the score sheets, and the restrictive ordering that’s fine too.

Just know that we’ll have to discount your opinion accordingly.

I think that about covers it. I’m looking forward to eating a lot of ice cream with you all on Saturday starting at noon.

So, who’s in?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2015 9:38 am

    I am probably coming, though may not make it for the entire tour because of a little league game. So don’t save a score sheet for me if you should run short. Also, it will be greatly appreciated if you tweet your arrivals and departures as you have done on other tours, in case I need to join you in progress.

  2. April 20, 2015 11:46 am

    If only this was Sunday! I’ll be in Lake Placid on Saturday. :(

    However, a Lake George region TDSS is in order. The level of soft serve greatness up there is Serious Business, and it is an unfair comparison. Off the top of my head I can easily give you five places to try.

  3. April 20, 2015 12:16 pm

    Count me in.

    Looking forward to my first Fussy Tour.

    I’m still drooling over the picture of the Nine Mile cheese pie you posted Friday. I want in on the pizza too.

  4. April 20, 2015 10:05 pm

    I’ll be there!

  5. Ryan H. permalink
    April 21, 2015 12:12 am

    You can count me and Caitlin in. After getting my favorite soft serve at Snowman yesterday, I feel like I can recognize another 5 star serve should one appear. We have a dinner planned, so no pizza for us.

  6. amanda_NY permalink
    April 21, 2015 1:17 pm

    I’ll be there, along with Matt. And count us in for pizza, too!

  7. April 22, 2015 2:12 am

    I’m planning to bring everyone – my wife and both kids. I am also very interested in trying this pizza.

  8. April 24, 2015 10:10 am

    Okay, it turns out the opening ceremony of Little League is around noon in Saratoga so we will be joining you in progress and will count on your tweets to know where you are as the day goes on. Won’t be joining for pizza for reasons explained in my Yelp review; look forward to other points of view.

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