Ice Cream: Uniting the People

DSC_0016Francesco’s Gelato
208 SW 2nd Street
By Alicia James
Ever walk into a joint expecting mediocrity only to have your mind blown? Welcome to Francesco’s Gelato. Unlike other places that serve lumpy, frozen heresy in fluted cups, Francesco’s has mastered thick, flawlessly smooth, European-style gelato. The freezer case beckons customers with an expansive flavor selection that changes multiple times a day during summer. In addition to riffs on crowd-pleasing chocolate, Francesco’s scoops indigenous tastes like marionberry and blueberry lavender. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples. The staff is surprisingly patient, as well as enthusiastic about pairing suggestions. Current favorites are orange dark chocolate, hazelnut, lemon meringue, pistachio… I could go on for days like Bubba Gump.

215 SW 3rd Street
By Alicia James
Formerly Spice’n’Ice, Koriander continues the Southeast Asian food/Italian gelato legacy. Choose from a daily rotation of 18 suave flavors ranging from standard vanilla to seasonal sorbettos. Notable ones include chocolate hazelnut (think Nutella) and vanilla birthday cake. $2.50 gets you a small, or piccolo if you woke up feeling like Marcello Mastroianni. It will be plenty unless you actually enjoy dairy bloat. Stay and jam to classic rock or saunter a few blocks to the Willamette River and say “Ciao!” to your neighbors.

Yogurt Extreme
2001 NW Monroe Avenue
922 NW Circle Boulevard
By Dave DeLuca
Quick, what’s the happiest place on Earth? No, it’s not Disney. It’s Yogurt Extreme on Circle. It’s a sugar junky’s dream come true. Ten frogurt flavors sold by the ounce in cups sized big and really big. The toppings bar is a bounty of candy, fruit, and surprises.
The wife gets her hot fudge sugar rush for the year when we make our Saturday night pilgrimage. I prefer to go “healthy” with strawberries and peanut butter syrup atop most of the frozen flavors.
Like I said, it’s a very happy place.

Market of Choice Gelato
922 SW Circle Boulevard #110
by Anthony Harris
How lucky are we to have a Market of Choice in our town? The correct answer is “very.”

The bakery goods, pizza, and deli food available at this store are hands-down awesome. However, also greeting customers as soon as they walk in is a cold case packed with an impressive variety of gelato flavors that are among the best Corvallis has to offer outside of Francesco’s. The staff are always quick to offer you a sample of each, so the decision-making process is less daunting.

Cold Stone Creamery
2350 NW 9th Street
By Jaime Fuller
Despite my preference to patronize locally owned businesses, there are a few cases where I am willing to make an exception. One of those is Cold Stone Creamery. Nowhere else can I find such smooth, soft, and creamy ice cream hand-mixed right in front of me on a frozen stone counter.

The fact that their ice cream is a little bit gooey is what sets Cold Stone apart from the rest. There’s also the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked waffle cones that pervades the entire store and billows out the front doors. See how long you can resist that…

336 SW Washington Avenue
by Patrick Fancher
Thirty-one flavors is the staple of the hand-scooped ice cream biz, which has kept the oft-overlooked downtown Baskin-Robbins shop open to Corvallisites for YEARS. Seriously, I’ve met so many people who don’t know where this shop is.

You can’t go wrong with this popular chain store’s cold creations. Well, unless you order a scoop of daiquiri ice. Gross.

Variety in the form of 31 or more available flavors, shakes and sundaes is what sets them apart from the imitators and local competition. I can’t find my favorite scoops (birthday cake, strawberry cheesecake, pink bubblegum, and cotton candy) just anywhere.

Dairy Queen
303 SW 3rd Street
By Johnny Beaver
There are plenty of great places to go if you want froyo or curry-lima-bean-cockroach gelato, but there’s nowhere else on Earth that has mastered the art of cramming a gutload of candy and cookies into top notch soft serve.

With classic sundaes, ice cream shakes, cones and a ton of innovations, like the Peanut Buster Parfait, you’d be a sucker to count Dairy Queen out when on an ice cream run. I can’t speak for the food, but the Arctic Rush drinks are fantastic. Gulping one down assures brain freeze, and is not unlike injecting quadruple-sugared Kool-Aid right into your eyeball… with little bits of ice in it.