Sunday, October 22, 2017

For many years, when my family had nothing doing on a Sunday, my father used to suggest hiking at the Flat Rock Brook Nature Center. Afterwards, my father would always obliquely mention that Ice Cream on Grand was nearby. He reasoned that our hiking (sluggishly, for two miles), made us clearly deserving of enjoying fresh, homemade ice cream. To this day, I am still not sure if going to Ice Cream on Grand was an afterthought, or if it was my father’s true intention when he suggested we take the hike in the first place. Regardless, I always looked forward to those Sundays at Ice Cream on Grand and would often only go on the hike because I knew I would be rewarded with delicious ice cream afterwards.

Recently, I returned to Ice Cream on Grand where I was able to test out the store’s new flavors. Coming into the store, on assignment for The Jewish Link, was like returning to a “kid in a candy store” state, except with ice cream (better than candy)! I immediately noticed the variety and breadth of flavors available. One of my favorite options offered is their soft-serve ice cream, which I remembered from the countless times I ordered the Brown Bonnet. The Brown Bonnet is created through pouring hot fudge onto cold vanilla ice cream, the fudge immediately hardening into a chocolate shell.

Not only does Ice Cream on Grand offer soft-serve ice cream, but it has mouth-watering hard ice cream as well. With an astonishing 32 flavors, Ice Cream on Grand has a wide variety of options. While still having the traditional flavors of chocolate, cookie dough and cookies & cream, Ice Cream on Grand also offers out-of-the-box flavors, such as rum raisin, matcha green tea, yuzu, passion fruit, Nutella, bubble gum sorbet, dulce de leche and Cookie Monster. Cookie Monster and Nutella are the store’s most popular flavors.

The diversity of ice cream flavors comes from the owner’s constant additions and change of flavors. “We like to experiment with flavors and be current or even ahead with some new ideas for new flavors and try to accommodate various taste buds,” said Syed Rizvi, the owner of Ice Cream on Grand.

The accommodations that the shop strives for are evident in that it has flavors appealing to children as well as flavors more targeted for adults. It always has four sugar-free ice cream options. Rizvi explained that Ice Cream on Grand respects dietary restrictions and is understanding that many people suffer from limitations such as diabetes. “We are happy to accommodate some of the food limitations people with diabetes face daily.” The maple walnut and coffee sugar-free versions my colleagues tried are so delicious, however, that they said most people would likely not know they are guilt-free.

This season’s new flavors include yuzu (a Korean citrus fruit, similar to a pomelo or sweet grapefruit) ice cream, passion fruit ice cream and blood orange sorbet. In addition, the mango ice cream recipe changed to a new and improved version of itself. All of these flavors have been proven successful and are appetizing additions.

With its friendly service, unrefusable ice cream flavors and custom-made cakes, Ice Cream on Grand was able to sell 6,731 items (including toppings) last week through 2,762 transactions, with one transaction coming from a single customer for a large family.

Of all the ice cream flavors I tried on my recent visit, dulche de leche and Cookie Monster were my favorites. Cookie Monster, a tribute to everyone’s favorite furry, blue monster from Sesame Street, consists of vanilla ice cream dyed neon blue, mixed with cookie dough and Oreos. I highly recommend this ice cream to those with a sweet tooth, or in my case: teeth.

Ice Cream on Grand is a peanut-free facility and is under the supervision of the KOF-K. The store is located on 523 Grand Avenue in Englewood and is open from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the summer. For more information, call 201-569-5346 or check out their website: www.icecreamongrand.com.

Chani Shulman, a rising sophomore at Manhattan High School for Girls, is a summer intern at The Jewish Link.