Ge-Lot to Love-O: Mia’s Gelateria

IMG_1085The sign reads, “If you like ice cream, you’ll LOVE gelato!”

Is it true? There’s only one way to find out.

Mia’s Gelateria is new to Block Island this summer operating in the same location and serving the same gelato last the former Beckett’s Gelato. I never made it into Beckett’s last summer as I have a strong affinity to the classic cone of ice cream.

But, times are a changing as they say. So I did my research. For those of you that don’t know Gelato is the Italian version of ice cream. The major difference is that it is made with milk instead of cream like in ice cream. Also, when it is prepared less air is introduced to mixture so the product is richer in each bite.

With the perfect flavor in each bite, gelato is eaten in smaller quanities thanyour typical cone. This is a bold move. Less dessert? Are you kidding me, that sounds horrible. But trust me, the Gelota at Mia’s is rich, creamy and round in ever bite. The tiny spoon slows you down and you’ll join the “less is more” bandwagon.

IMG_1082The dense dessert is available 18 flavors at Mia’s. The most popular flavors include Salted Carmel Chunk, Coconut Almond Crunch, and Sea Salt Chocolate. Mix and match flavor combinations or go for a scoop in a freshly prepared waffle cone. Flavor change weekly, check back for new additions. Doyon ‘s also dishes up non-dairy sherbets. And on cooler days stop by for Dunkin Donut’s brand coffee.

One super cool thing about Mia’s Gelateria is the fact it is Mia’s own. Mia Doyon is 19 years old and is the owner of the shop. Having worked in the shop before, she bought out the previous owner and now is her own boss.IMG_1089

Major kudos to Mia for young entrepreneurship. Oh and for serving top-notch frozen deliciousness.

The shop is open daily from 12-10pm and is located just below the front porch of the National Hotel. Mia’s Gelateria is cash only. Stop by for a sample and you be ordering a cup! Like Mia’s on Facebook for flavor and shop updates!

Have you every tried Gelato? If you were a gelato flavor what would you be? Don’t tiny spoons make you feel like a giant?

Chopping Block: Island Ice Cream Guide

Nothing says summer like ice cream. Luckily, the island is in no short supply. With stands speckling the island everyone can find their perfect scoop. Here is your guide to the island’s top shops for scoops. And with one of my Block Bucket List items being to “try every ice cream spot on the island”, I done good.

Best Budget Cone: Rebecca’s Take-Out (Water Street)

For the most cream for your coin try Rebecca’s Take-out. With three locations but the best cones here coming from their Old Harbor spot. They have a number of your classic flavors with a small costing $2.50 and a large at $3.50. The diner is known for their many other options, but their sly ice cream side business can not be ignored.

Best Sundae: The Ice Cream Place (232 Water St, entrance from Weldon’s Way)

It is hard to not immediately walk straight for The Ice Cream Place as you disembark the ferry. Nestled in with a great sitting area, The Ice Cream Place delivers on it’s name. Here try a “Walking Sundae” which combines the magic of holding a cone without having to give up the joys of a sundae. The cone includes the ice cream flavor of your choosing, hot fudge, ladled in hot fudge and scooped on freshly whipped cream. Good thing they have plenty of seating, this “Walking Sundae” takes your full attention.

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Best Flavor Selection: Aldo’s Bakery & Ice Cream (130 Weldon’s Way)

When everyone in the family likes their ice cream a little different, head to Aldo’s. Here one can find a plethora of homemade hard-packed flavors, more than a dozen Gelato varieties (including non-dairy Sherberts), soft serve frozen yogurts and if none of those options work, the spot boasts delicious baked goods. One flavor to try is the Peppermint Patti, for minty chocolaty taste that confirms the paradox of choice can be conquered. Shout Out to my main man Mr. Boris who scooped me a majority of my cones this summer. Thanks Boris, I wouldn’t have survived without you!

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Best Soft-Serve: Payne’s Killer Donuts (1 Ocean Avenue, New Harbor)

Life is hard, make ice cream easy. If you are looking for a treat and prefer the smooth soft creamy variety, the best can be found at Payne’s. Known for their donuts, if you find yourself nearby in the afternoon; don’t shy away the locale offers unbeatable cones. Pile on sprinkles for a little crunch and enjoy your moment of paradise; these cones melt fast in the summer heat.

New Trend to Try: Beckett’s Gelato (Water Street)

Gelato, Italian for ice cream, is the creamier cousin of the traditional ice you are likely familiar. Made in small batches with less air churned into the mixture, the taste of gelato is rich. The flavors are more striking in each spoonful, so a small cup will do you. Plus embrace the fun of feeling fancy holding your tiny little spoon.

Best for the Comforts of Home: Ben & Jerry’s (224 Water Street)

As the only chain on Block Island, Ben & Jerry’s is worthy exception. The company goes beyond the delicious ice cream they produce to contribute to a better world. Their products are sourced locally to production, follow green standards and make sure all workers receive fair benefits. In terms of why you should try their scoops, the taste options are the same you can find at home or in the grocery store, so you can have a nicely scooped cone of your favorite familiar flavor all while taking in a Block Island sunset making the whole experience rounded.

Best Hidden Spot: The Scoop Shack at The Harbor Inn (Water Street)

Tucked behind the corner of the Harbor Inn, The Scoop Shack has 20 homemade flavors for you to come discover. This spot is sometimes forgotten in the fast pace hustle and bustle of Water Street, but if you are lucky enough to find it you will be sure to want mark your map to return. With plenty of seating, a gift shop and great views, the shop offers the best views of Old Harbor.

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Last Stop Shop: Old Harborview Takeout (Water Street)

As you run to catch the last ferry of the day, Old Harbor Take is the finial chance you have to grab your taste bud’s delights. The window offers a number of flavor brusts to soft serve flavors, as well as Del’s Frozen Lemonade if you’ve already maximized your dairy intake.

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Cream Chronicles: A Rematch Doubleheader

A weekend on Block means one thing, rewarding one’s labors with cones. And since I am still on the hunt for the best cone of the island, the work never stops.

IMG_5054Friday Night, Amanda and I tried out Aldo’s Ice Cream. Aldo’s is a the mega church of ice cream spots. They have ice cream, soft serve, gelato and then an entire bakery as well. Overwhelmed? Yeah, me too. The options left me pulling the classic sample song and dance of trying two flavors and then going on to order a completely separate one.

I settled on Mint Patty. It was nothing jaw dropping, but hit the spot. I felt like there was just so much I want from Aldo’s plethora of choices that no one scoop could fulfill my ice cream desires. It was not a swing and miss, I’d call it a double on the baseball scale.

So as already discussed, I love my cream. So the following night, round two at The Ice Cream Place. This time I wasn’t messing around. With cost not being a factor (good betting skills, won me the cone), I went for it. A walking sundae is what they call it, but I could barely handle this thing sitting down. Take a homemade waffle cone add a scoop of ice cream (mine was Snickers), drizzle that baby in hot fudge, scoop on the whipped cream (yes, scoop from a bowl) and top it with a cherry and you have yourself a homerun.

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Best bite was the last, as the hot fudge pools up nicely in the bottom of the cone. Ok, Ice Cream Place you have proven yourself worthy. Back on the good list. Meaning more cones to come.

Two Words: Get it.
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This would be a good Match.com profile picture, just so they know up front what they are getting into.IMG_3383.JPG

Cream Chronicles: The Ice Cream Place

As you may have realized based on last week’s Fun Fact Friday, I like ice cream. OK, I love it. OK, I’m slightly obsessed. It’s a summer thing, something about being handed that cone with it’s size and flavor determined only by the ice cream gods makes me look forward to summer like you won’t believe.

Being from New England I have grown up with the privilege of being handed superior cones. New England ice cream produces tend to use a higher fat cream percentage than other parts of the country and it makes a difference. So it being summer, I am at it again, but now I am on an island, thankfully a New England Island. Block has no shortage of ice cream options and if you take a look at my Master Key, you can see #10: Try every ice cream shop on the island;I plan to visit them all.

Like the go-getter that I am I took to my goals yesterday and tried out my first scoop shop. The Ice Cream Place. The name was good enough to get me in the door. It was not an expected cone. Long story short I was using their sitting area to eat my lunch because they were closed, but as I was grubbin’ the owner and a few employees all show up. They didn’t say anything, but I was feeling like I should probably pretend I had been camping out their opening so they didn’t think I was too much of bum.

The Ice Cream Place has a pretty good selection of flavors. With soft serve and soft serve frozen yogurt choices in addition to their homemade hard packed flavors. I settled on Almond Joy. On the flavor scale, it was 7/10 but it was not as creamy as I prefer my cones. The cone itself was a little stale, but the shop does also offer it’s own freshly made waffle cones (sorry I’m not made of money, there was no trying that one.)

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I eyed their baked goods as well, and will likely return to grab a few of the “Panda Brownies” that looked tempting. But overall the shop performed below my expectations. But they do have a great seating area I have to give them that. Hopefully as the summer goes on when I stop by again (because I know I still probably will), another flavor might “wow” me more.

Is there a certain something you like in your cones? What is your favorite ice cream stop in New England? What’s your favorite flavor? Because I can do a psychoanalysis based on that information alone.