Doughnuts, steamed cheeseburgers, hot dogs and fries, artisan bread and pastries, a buffet of world class pizza, and more hot dogs with hot relish: something was still missing. How best to cap off this first day of the Roadfood tour? Homemade ice cream, of course! The Big Dipper hosted the tour with a personal touch and much generosity (see the Roadfood.com review). That's their signature flavor, toasted almond, topped with hot fudge in the photo above.
At The Big Dipper ice cream counter, orders were taken for whatever your remaining appetite could handle and, when it came time to pay the cashier, everyone was charged a buck. Very nice touch! As we spooned into cups and sundaes, owners Barbara Rowe and her son Harry told us the story of The Big Dipper, how they got into the business and how the ice cream is made. And that was really the theme of this year's Roadfood tour: the personal attention and enthusiasm of the owners, who were unfailingly thrilled and honored to be tour participants.
Chris: I really, really love this place. I think I’ve been here as many times as I’ve been to Blackie’s—usually right after eating Blackie’s hot dogs. Their toasted almond flavor seriously intrigued me the first time I had it, mainly because it was an imitation of an ancient flavor: the Good Humor bar of the same name. I swear I didn’t grow up under a rock or anything, but I think I may’ve had one of those bars once as a youngster. Good Humor anything wasn’t readily available from my neighborhood ice cream man, and even if they were, my youth was dominated by Nutty Buddies, fudgesicles, orange sherbet Push-Ups, and my ol’ standby, the ice cream sandwich. So when I tried this flavor when we first moved to Connecticut, I was blown away—and I’ve continued to prefer it here probably 95% of the time. (Similarly, I always order coffee Oreo at Ashley’s unless they’re out of it, but that’s a story for later.) It’s like the Mary Jane candy ice cream at Swal Dairy in Allentown, NJ—that’s another ancient flavor, but one I’d order every single time!
In any case, Barbara and Harry were so nice to us, and the girls behind the counter are always real sweet. Big Dipper is the only place I can think of that weighs their ice cream then charges accordingly, which I still think is strange every time I see the scoop on the scale. But I really do crave their ice cream and try to visit whenever we’re in the area.