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Artichoke

Cold Stone Creamery

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Last night, after having dinner at Sushi Sen-Nin's new East 81st Street location (great sushi, but another topic), the person I was with suggested going to Cold Stone Creamery on Second Avenue near 86th. I had never heard of Cold Stone and despite living on the Upper East side, did not know that one had entered the neighborhood.

For those that are unfamiliar, Cold Stone is like the Steve's ice cream that existed years ago on the Upper West side. Ice cream placed on chilled granite and mixed with fillings of your choice. There was a line when we arrived and so we waited. I have an issue about waiting on lines for food, it feels too much like a soup kitchen.

My turn. I ask for a small cup coffee ice cream with some chocolate chips. I do not usualy like things in my ice cream, aside from pistachios, but, when in Rome. The guy behind the counter attempts to upgrade me, "For less then $0.50, you can have the next largest size." Had I somehow wandered into a movie theatre? No, I will stick with the small cup. "You should realy get that in a waffle cup, ice cream does not taste good out of styrofoam." Huh? Perhaps I should also eat it with a mother of pearl spoon. Odd that the company would choose styrofoam and its mystical flavor altering qualities as their cup of choice.

As I am growing increasingly frustrated over the difficulty in simply ordering a small cup of ice cream, the lovely sake haze I had from dinner was shattered by an eruption behind the counter. In unison, all of the employees shout "Cold Stone! Cold Stone! Cold Stone!" and then each employee breaks into a rap, "my name is Davie, my hair is wavy..." My only thought was someone please shoot me. I want to meet the person in the corporate office who thought this one up "Hmmm...we will sell an inferior product and it will be served by rapping employees, yes...I am a genius." I want to suggest that the Central Intelligence Agency include Cold Stone employees in all interrogations of Al Qaeda terrorists. Trust me, the terrorists will sing like canaries in a matter of minutes.

How was the coffee ice cream I finally received? Imagine taking spackle, mixing it with a ton of sugar, a very weak cup of Maxwell House coffee and chilling it. The styrofoam cup would have tasted better.

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Thank you for this piece on Cold Stone .. an appropriate name if there ever was one!! :laugh: You would buy shares in a company foretelling its own epitaph??


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Yeah, I hate Cold Stone. They do the selling up routine to children, after the order's been placed: "Would you like some chocolate chips in your ice cream? Would you like some M&M's in your ice cream?". You can make a really expensive cup of ice cream that way. Too bad I refuse to pay for it.

Oh, and the ice cream sucks.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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This chain has totally infested the towns I live in. I cannot understand how anyone can like the pallid lump of cold sludge (spackle is a good word!) that this place serves. And the "singing"?

Not to mention that they're like $5 for the smallest cone, so you're forced to overeat. No wonder Americans are getting fat. What a racket. I'll take Ben & Jerry's from the supermarket any day over this crap.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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They have to push the fillings because they cover up the bland flavor of their ice cream.

Give me a confidently flavored bowl of plain 'ol vanilla over some namby-pamby ass nothin-tasting drek crammed full of more drek.


Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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Cold Stone's ice cream is poor, poor, poor.

I'm not a big fan of Marble Slab Creamery either, nor MaggieMoo's -- though that one is a teeny bit better.

I'm surprised that Cold Stone does so much business when Haagen-Dazs serves perfectly competent ice cream all around the city.

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namby-pamby

:biggrin::biggrin:

Never heard that one before...can I use that??

Here in Jersey, we have Maggie Moo's, which is the same concept of taking run of the mill ice cream and mixing stuff into it. They make it more palatable by not singing....

We're eating at per-se tomorrow, I was thinking of asking Chef Keller to belt out his version of L.L. Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" :biggrin:


"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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An acquaintance of mine is opening two of them in the DC 'burbs. He is a complete tool and actually made high school kids "audition" for their jobs. I had never even heard of them or their shtick until our mutual friend told me about his new business venture.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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how is this stuff different from a dq blizzard?

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Maggie Moo's, despite the cutesey cow-motiff, is better--mostly based on the product they serve. Mix-in ice cream is not the problem inherently.

As for the issue about asking about Super-sizing the order (upgrading... whatever)... I suppose I can deal with that if they are willing to take "no" for an answer and just move on.

The "lines" are more a symptom of where you live, I think. Short of mowing people down, postal-style, I don't see any getting around it.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Having never been to a Cold Stone (one is opening near my house here in DC soon though), I came to this thread intending to post something to the effect of "I love ice cream. How can you complain about ice cream?"

I'm fully cognizant of the fact that not all ice cream is good, however I love ice cream enough to overlook small (small) dips in quality.

But then I read about the rap shtick and am prepared to bitch about Cold Stone w/o ever having been there. Ugh.

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Mix-in ice cream is not the problem inherently.

I used to live near the original Steve's shop (gone now), and the mix-ins were a fun complement to what was very good ice cream (Steve Herrell still sells good ice cream at Herrell's). Didn't mind waiting in line for it. I've never seen a Cold Stone Creamery, never even heard of it before it was mentioned on eGullet, but it sounds pretty dreadful.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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how is this stuff different from a dq blizzard?

The 'stuff' mixed into this ice cream is done in front of you on a chilled slab. You look at a buffet of mix-ins that include chopped cookies, candy bars, sprinkles, and other flavors. You choose your base flavor and with two giant paddles, the gunk is literally spackled about on the cold marble before being scooped into said cup or cone.

It is pretty grotesque, IMHO.

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I used to frequently go to one of the old Steve's--the one in Dupont Circle, in D.C.--when I went to college there. It's sad that his concept has been so abused since then.

The fact that it looks like spackling isn't the problem. It all has to come down to taste. Are you simply infusing candy into the ice cream to cover a lack of taste? The base--the ice cream--has to already be good and the crap you add has to highlight it, not introduce the flavor in the first place.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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how is this stuff different from a dq blizzard?

The 'stuff' mixed into this ice cream is done in front of you on a chilled slab. You look at a buffet of mix-ins that include chopped cookies, candy bars, sprinkles, and other flavors. You choose your base flavor and with two giant paddles, the gunk is literally spackled about on the cold marble before being scooped into said cup or cone.

Kind of the Benihana's of ice cream. :wacko:


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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The fact that it looks like spackling isn't the problem

I was not saying it looked like spackle, that was the actual texture of the ice cream. As for the taste, the overwhelming taste is simply sweet and too sweet at that. When you have Haggan Daz coffee, there is that immediate, great coffee flavor coming through. I am by no means an ice cream snob. I have had and enjoyed ice creams of varying quality, but this was this was the very first time I have eaten ice cream and actually thought it tasted bad.

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My point was that it's not the process which is the problem--it's the ingredients.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Yes, it's definitely the ingredients that are the problem, well that and the pushy sales style. And the singing, always the damn singing.

Let's not drag an innocent guy like Herrell into this. Steve's is nothing like Cold Stone.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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My point was that it's not the process which is the problem--it's the ingredients.

I agree with you. I tried to find the ingredients on Cold Stone's web site, but was only able to find nutritional information.

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how is this stuff different from a dq blizzard?

The 'stuff' mixed into this ice cream is done in front of you on a chilled slab. You look at a buffet of mix-ins that include chopped cookies, candy bars, sprinkles, and other flavors. You choose your base flavor and with two giant paddles, the gunk is literally spackled about on the cold marble before being scooped into said cup or cone.

Kind of the Benihana's of ice cream. :wacko:

So it's not actually different from a blizzard. you just get to watch someone mess with your blizzard before putting it in a cup and charging you 3 dollars more? what a novel idea....

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We're eating at per-se tomorrow, I was thinking of asking Chef Keller to belt out his version of L.L. Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" :biggrin:

I think I speak for all of us when I say that we're expecting audio as well as photos on the Per Se thread for this one, Anthony!!! Perhaps you can convince him to do a few other numbers as well...?!? And if he's good, maybe he can get in to that Chef's Theater... :shock:

DO ENJOY. :wink:


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I think it's just that the ice cream is really poor quality. At DQ, they mix the soft ice cream with the mix ins in what looks like an immersion blender (if that's the right term.) I love the mix-in idea, and had a fabulous cup at Scoop De Ville in Philadelphia recently. Cold Stone just doesn't start with a good product, IMHO.

Also the signing shtick is really annoying when you are waiting for your ice cream, and the server stops to sing. I actually said, "Would you please shut up and finish my ice cream so I can get out of here?" I got a really dirty look.

Needless to say, I am not going back there!

Neil


Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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While I agree that the singing is obnoxious and the mixing together a gimmic, I don't agree that the ice cream is bad. I've had Cold Stone several times and like it alot--seriously, Ben and Jerry's isn't better, to my taste they're both about the same, and yet no one's bitching about their millions of scoop shops. It's corporate ice cream, not a local producer--that should be kept in mind I think. Sure I prefer to hit a Lazy Sundae (Arlington VA) or Capogiro (Philly) when I can, but those places are sadly few and far between, and cost a ton more. (Don't extend this argument to restaurants--the ratio of local restaurants to corporate restaurants is much larger than the ratio of local ice cream shops to corporate ice cream shops, I suspect.)

Where do you all go when you crave a cone on an ordinary day (I realize I'm asking New Yorkers, with their millions more options than us more common DC/Philly/elsewhere folk)??

I'll be moving to Madison WI soon--looking forward to easy access to good custard there.


Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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While I agree that the singing is obnoxious and the mixing together a gimmic, I don't agree that the ice cream is bad. I've had Cold Stone several times and like it alot--seriously

Sara - I've been hiding in fear, because I feel the same way. :blink: I like the cheesecake ice cream (or yogurt) at Coldstone, mixed with fresh raspberries and chocolate brownies.

When I crave a cone here in NYC, I hit either the Ben & Jerry's on the corner of 104th and Broadway (only 1.5 blocks from my apartment, the rat bastards, and on the way to the subway) where if they're out of waffle cones they'll MAKE you one fresh, or Emack & Bolio's on, um, Amsterdam and something. 79th or something.

I've only been to Cones once, but liked it.

I also liked the ginger ice cream at the Chinatown Ice cream factory.

K, thinking that today is actually the perfect day for some ice cream.


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Where do you all go when you crave a cone on an ordinary day (I realize I'm asking New Yorkers, with their millions more options than us more common DC/Philly/elsewhere folk)??

That's probably not true. Ice cream stores actually aren't that prevalent (or that varied) in NYC. Hagen Daaz, Ben & Jerry's, Baskin Robbins... that's 95% of it, and they hardly pack every corner.

I'll be moving to Madison WI soon--looking forward to easy access to good custard there.

I've never been to Wisconsin, but I know in Missouri the ice cream is already better than the east coast product by a large factor, so Wisconsin ought to be a slam dunk.

Then again, Cold Stone Creamery is actually a product of the West--Arizona to be exact: Click here. to learn who to blame...

Also the signing shtick is really annoying when you are waiting for your ice cream, and the server stops to sing.

I'd be most worried about saliva transfer.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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