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CustardThing!


Jason Perlow
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CustardThing! Cafe

100 N Washington Ave, Bergenfield, NJ

(201) 439-1818

Summer nights are all about the ice cream, and I like to keep a number of different parlors in my rotation. One that I like to go to a lot, and not just because it’s only a few minutes away from where I live, is CustardThing! in Bergenfield. CustardThing, like many other modern-style ice cream places is big on “mix-ins” like you would find at Maggie Moo’s, Cold Stone Creamery, or the long gone Steve’s.

But the ‘Thing has a twist — its got a unique method of doing the mix-ins. Instead of having scoop monkeys throw your ice cream onto a cold slab and then fold in your nuts, candy, or wet toppings manually, they take a frozen block of either chocolate or vanilla custard and insert it into the mixing cup of this diabolical-looking machine that looks like a cross between a concrete mixer and a drill press, which then shreds the ice cream and toppings into peices, creating a smooth, creamy, concrete mixture of ice cream and topping flavor. Sort of like a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but thicker and able to stand up to gravity, like Carvel soft-serve.

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The evil custard press.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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A lifetime ago there was an icecream place in Allendale called Rainbows that had a similar machine and all the candies and cookies and frozen fruit to mix in. Sounds similar, they dropped in a block about the size of an icecream sandwich and all your goodies and pulled the handle....Vanilla ice cream with double watermelon Jolly Ranchers

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Did it really grind up the Jolly Ranchers finely? I love me some Jolly Ranchers, but too hard and sticky for my teeth now.

The chocolate with cherries is mine. I look through the whole list of flavors and go back to it time and time again.

I love the pic of the girls in the window. They were really having a hard time deciding on what to order.

Warning: the small is too big for me, and Jason (!) so don't bother with a large unless you're sharing with someone.

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A lifetime ago there was an icecream place in Allendale called Rainbows that had a similar machine and all the candies and cookies and frozen fruit to mix in. Sounds similar, they dropped in a block about the size of an icecream sandwich and all your goodies and pulled the handle....Vanilla ice cream with double watermelon Jolly Ranchers

tracey

There was a Rainbows in New Milford too... near the Burger King on River Road.. in that strip of stores just south of the BK.

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What a place!! Went there tonight (parking in the rear). Holy Custard!!! Delicious and HUGE portions. I was facinated with the use of that custard mixer. I was not pleased to see a table of young men (teens to me) playing cards with a pile of money on the table. It was very discomforting to my wife who quickly said, "I'll meet you on the patio outside." She left me to fend my own flavor! LOL We shared a small vanilla w/wet walnuts. I didn't realize they only had two flavors: vanilla or chocolate. I wonder how many eGulleters were in there at the same time as I heard (more than once), "This is my first time here." Thank you, Jason!

Nutley Resident

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Proud to be a Nutley Township Resident

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Is this place new, or did it replace another custard and ice cream place? An ex-bf lived in Bergenfield, and we went to a custard place on Wash Ave that had a similar 'drill press' machine...can't remember the name of it, but that exterior shot sure looks like the same spot. You drive in one way on the right side of the bldg, park in the back or on the side, and exit out the other side, no? I just remember that it was on the northwest side of Washington, pretty far north up the street...

Edit: I think the Daily Scoop in Montclair (near Watchung Plaza) has one of those machines too...they definitely do the mix-ins the same way.

Edited by Curlz (log)

"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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It replaced a place called Margie's several years ago. It's on the opposite side of the street as La Batalla, maybe 50 yards away.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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What a place!! Went there tonight (parking in the rear). Holy Custard!!! Delicious and HUGE portions. I was facinated with the use of that custard mixer. I was not pleased to see a table of young men (teens to me) playing cards with a pile of money on the table. It was very discomforting to my wife who quickly said, "I'll meet you on the patio outside." She left me to fend my own flavor! LOL We shared a small vanilla w/wet walnuts. I didn't realize they only had two flavors: vanilla or chocolate. I wonder how many eGulleters were in there at the same time as I heard (more than once), "This is my first time here." Thank you, Jason!

Traditionally, custard as served at these types of places -is- only vanilla or chocolate. But with the wet and dry mix-in's, there's a lot you can do with just vanilla and chocolate. I like the wet fruit mix-ins combined with stuff like coconut and peanut butter or Heath bars, with perhaps some hot fudge.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Glad you enjoyed your custard, NutleyResident. I've never before seen teens playing cards in there like you described. Usually it's couples or families at the tables. Most people only go inside to get their order, then eat outside.

Curlz - Sounds like you were at the same location, like Jason said, it's been other incarnations of similar concept for the past few years. But the CustardThing! concept is one they are trying to franchise, and they really gussied the place up when they recreated the store. You used to not even go inside, just ordered at the walk up window.

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Thanks for the clarification--that's the place I was thinking of. Good to know!

"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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