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Graeter's

2376 Ferguson Rd., Cincinnati, OH - (513) 451-1484
Posted By Michael Stern on 12/9/2006 9:29:00 AM
We don’t normally recommend chain restaurants, but Graeter’s is a relatively small outfit in Ohio and northern Kentucky; and we would be remiss in our devotion to the gods of ice cream if we didn’t pay homage to its outstanding sundaes, turtle sundaes in particular.

We eat a turtle sundae almost every opportunity we get, and as devotees of the perfect combination of caramel, chocolate, and nuts, we can tell you with full certainty that Graeter’s turtle sundae is one of the best. As we observed the confectionary artist at the store in Cincinnati’s Western Hills do it, the caramel and chocolate sauce were blended together before the sundae was built. Into this syrupy bog was folded an immense measure of toasty-crisp pieces of pecan nut, and this entire mixture was spread all around the base of a mountain of vanilla ice cream, which was then crowned with a cherry. While most turtle sundaes are topped with chocolate and caramel and nuts separately, the combining of those three elements gave this one a heavyweight flavor punch impossible to resist.

The turtle is one of Graeter’s "fancy sundaes" (a few others include the Cherry Cordial, the Persian Nut, the White Tower, and the Swiss Chocolate), and sundaes are but one of the ice cream parlor’s specialties. Also on the menu are some dazzling “signature sodas” – Nectar (vanilla-almond), Chocolate Mint, Root Beer, etc. – as well as frappes, malts, phosphates, banana splits, parfaits, coolers and cones (single or double dip, regular or waffle cone).

Sharp-eyed ice creamaholics will note that the flavor selection is dramatically tilted towards chip flavors. At least half the available flavors include chips (black raspberry chip, mocha chip, peanut butter chip, toffee chip, etc.). These are no ordinary chocolate chips, let us tell you. They are chunks, not chips, made by pouring molten chocolate into ice cream as it’s being churned in small batches (which Graeter’s calls the French Pot Process). The chocolate chills, shatters, and spreads throughout the mixture in great lopsided pieces.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
fancy sundaes
Black Raspberry Chip
chocolate chip ice cream
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

There are so many different chocolate chip flavors available that it is hard to choose only one. This two-scoop cup contains regular chocolate chip on top and the house signature black raspberry chocolate chip down below.
"There are so many different chocolate chip flavors available that it is hard to choose only one. This two-scoop cup contains regular chocolate chip on top and the house signature black raspberry chocolate chip down below."
Michael Stern





A close-up of the blend of chocolate and caramel with oodles of broken-up pecan nuts: the combo that makes a turtle sundae one of the Midwest's great sweets
"A close-up of the blend of chocolate and caramel with oodles of broken-up pecan nuts: the combo that makes a turtle sundae one of the Midwest's great sweets"
Michael Stern


If Graeter's has a signature flavor, it would be the black raspberry chip.  This is one of America's great ice creams!
"If Graeter's has a signature flavor, it would be the black raspberry chip. This is one of America's great ice creams!"
Cliff Strutz


Besides their regular flavors, Graeter's always has interesting seasonal flavors, too.
"Besides their regular flavors, Graeter's always has interesting seasonal flavors, too."
Cliff Strutz


The order counter at Graeter's on Ferguson Rd. You can place your order and then sit down ... or you can stand here and watch your sundae being made by the experts.
"The order counter at Graeter's on Ferguson Rd. You can place your order and then sit down ... or you can stand here and watch your sundae being made by the experts."
Michael Stern


A downtown Cincinnati branch of Graeter's. During a recent visit to give a talk on behalf of the Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, we stopped here multiple times for cones and cups.
"A downtown Cincinnati branch of Graeter's. During a recent visit to give a talk on behalf of the Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, we stopped here multiple times for cones and cups."
Michael Stern


This particular Graeter's was a convenient stop for dessert after lunch at Price Hill Chili, which is just a five-minute drive away.
"This particular Graeter's was a convenient stop for dessert after lunch at Price Hill Chili, which is just a five-minute drive away."
Michael Stern



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