Tour de Soft Serve Independence
Happy Independence Day. Today is an exciting day, and not just because of the historical significance of the date. And it’s not just because today is all about grilling burgers and hot dogs, and washing them down with American beer.
Today, the FLB has some big news.
Sure, you may say that it’s foolhardy to release big news on a local food blog when people are spending time with their families, or maybe traveling, and paying little attention to the blogosphere back at home. But you know what, that’s part of what it means to be independent.
When you are independent, you can do stupid stuff whenever you like, because you have nobody to answer to but yourself. So, today, I’m going to announce the next Fussy Little Tour. And it’s the much delayed Tour de Soft Serve. And it’s completely different from what I proposed so many months ago. And it will be here before you know it.
But first, a few words on independence.
Largely, independence is a big lie. Show me the person who is truly independent. Is it the billionaire? Because he is dependent on the banks to hold his money, his lawyers to help him keep it, and his family to help him enjoy it. Is it the naturalist who lives off the grid? Because he is dependent on the whims of nature, not to mention those regulators who make sure big business isn’t turning the groundwater into toxic sludge.
To some degree, we’re all dependent on others. World leaders require a staff of bureaucrats to put their ideas into action. Generals can’t fight wars without their armies. And bloggers can’t have events without attendees.
Actually, that last part isn’t entirely correct.
I’m going on the Tour de Soft Serve this upcoming Saturday (July 9) with or without you. It just has to be done, so I’m doing it. All of these tours were established to satisfy my own curiosity about whether seemingly identical foodstuffs were better from one place to another.
Over the years, we’ve learned the answer to the fundamental question is a resounding yes. The differences in the first Tour de Soft Serve were a lot more pronounced than the follow-up tour a few years later. But now it’s time to focus on a third section of the region, to taste its most beloved seasonal soft serve.
A while back I proposed a Tour de Soft Serve in Schenectady. Then one of the main places burned down. So we’ll give them time to rebuild. And in the meantime, we’ll look east for ice cream nirvana instead.
Take care of all your Saturday chores in the morning. Because this tour is going to do something entirely different. We’re going to start at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
I know. Crazy, right?
We’ll start at Mac’s Drive-In in Watervliet. Yes, it’s still on the west side of the Hudson. But say what you will, Watervliet is inseparable from Troy. I’m not sure why that is. But maybe we can discuss it on the tour.
From there we’ll go down to Lickety Split in East Greenbush. Never been? Neither have I. But it’s beloved by the locals, so I’m eager to give it a try and see how it stacks up.
On the way to Troy, we’ll stop off at The Big Dipper in Wynantskill. Is this place off your radar? I never heard of it until I started doing some research into our seasonal soft serve ice cream joints. Does it look like a shack in the middle of a gravel parking lot? You bet. But do people love it? Totally.
Then we’ll arrive at one of the perennial crowd favorites, The Snowman. How will it compare to the competition in the soft serve category? Sure, homemade hard ice cream may be the thing here, but people still flock there for soft serve every day during the season. So we better put it through the paces.
The last stop will be a bit of a drive. Not too far, and trust me, by this point you’ll welcome a little break in eating. Just seventeen minutes away in the town of Schaghticoke is Chrissy’s Cravings. Interestingly, this soft serve place also has an extensive menu of food, so should you need a little protein while I tally up the score sheets, we’ve got you covered.
If you have yet to go on a Fussy Little Tour, this is a great place to start. For all the veterans, you know the drill.
Just let me know if you plan to come, so I can make sure to bring a score sheet for you. Attendees need to bring their own pens, transportation, and money for the food they order. All I do is provide organizational support and color commentary along the way. I do write up all the findings, and schlep a digital scale along for measurement purposes.
Kids are welcome. Dogs are welcome. They just need to follow the rules of the places we visit. You can bring a friend. You can bring a posse.
And if nobody comes, I’ll do this all by myself. Because, dammit, I have to know. But it’s more fun with friends, be they friends I haven’t met yet, or old timers who have been around since the beginning.
So… who’s in?