🙂 = Great location in Market Common with plenty of surrounding shopping and dining options. Only a five minute walk from the orange line at Clarendon Metro. Children’s play area across the street at the Market Common courtyard. Fiercely committed to using only fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Smoke from the liquid nitrogen used to make their ice cream is a great attraction for the kiddos. The old school bike and ice cream cart on display is also a cool feature the youngins seemed to enjoy.
🙁 = Unfortunately, that same old school bike had an annoying bell that the little ones insisted on ringing. No high chairs or boosters. No cones or toppings. Street parking can be tough to find although there is a more expensive garage option available. Very small space with limited seating both inside and out. Can be a long wait on a busy day as there are only five mixing bowls.
Notes: Open Mon-Wed 11:30A-10:30P, Thur-Fri 11:30A-11:00P, Sat 10:30A-11:00P, Sun 10:30A-10:30P. They carry roughly 6 flavors, which get swapped out on a weekly rotation.
Tips: They offer choose-your-own ice cream sandwiches with your choice of ice cream AND cookie! Also, be warned, you will be paying more than you would at a Baskin Robbins or Ben & Jerry’s, but the portions are very generous. A small will net you 2 scoops of one flavor; a regular gets you three scoops of two flavors. Street parking is free on Sundays.
Okay. Here’s the situation. My parents went away on a week’s vaca…my bad. Sometimes I start a thought then get an involuntary need to rhyme radio-friendly 80’s rap songs. So, here’s the real situation. As a prelude to National Ice Cream Day, my parents were supposed to take me to DC Scoop last Saturday. It’s a yearly event where a bunch of local ice cream vendors set up shop for the public to sample their free wares. You heard me. FREE ice cream samples! But alas. Twas not meant to be. Even the uber spacious Dock 5 at Union Market was not enough to contain the throngs of heat-weary Washingtonians. That place was KAH-rowded! Pops was like, “Uhhhhhhhhh…no”. By that time, I was more itching for my nap than I was angry. I needed my beauty rest, ya’ll. Looking this good takes some serious maintenance!
So it was decided. DC Scoop was a bust. [cue sad, melting ice cream cone face emoji]
Sunday, I woke up fresh, looking like a million bucks, and ready to get my ice cream on! Today was National Ice Cream Day; it was hotter than a high-grade fever; and I would not be denied. Not again. Ice cream would be my Motrin.
To kick off the day, we visited the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. That place is one bad mama jama! And they have an interactive exhibit for the mini-me’s called imagiNATIONS. What a kick buttowski way to pre game for the day’s main dish…
…I SCREAM!! I mean, ICE CREAM!!
We hopped in dad’s ride and headed for Clarendon, one of NoVa’s popular, urban hotspots. While we were looking for parking, pops said this was one of his fave places back-in-the-day to get his dranketty-drank on. Good for you, dad. Good for you. Now, zippity-zip your lippity-lip and find some parking so I can get my ice cream on!
Then finally! There it was. The Nicecream Factory. Like a gorgeous mirage in the sweltering urban desert. Only it was real. Really real. We walked in, and there was a huge chalkboard on the wall to our right with all the flavors on offer that day. I took a gander at the choices then immediately realized…I didn’t know how to read. Thankfully, I brought my servants…I mean…parents to read them for me. I settled on a small Bananas & Cream. Moms got the small Peachy Keen, and pops got the Blackberry. Unlike most run-of-the-mill ice cream shops, we actually had to wait for our ice cream while they made it ON THE SPOT! Let me tell you, I’ve never had so much fun waiting for anything in my life! This was one of them “liquid-nitrogen-spots.” They start off with fresh, locally-sourced cream, liquid nitrogen that jonx, then BAM! Ice cream. But the fun part? All the smoky by-product seeping out over the entire counter. And when there wasn’t a smoke shower happening, there was a cool, old school bike and ice cream cart that deflected the fury of my exuberant spirit from the parentals.
But on to the ice cream! Holy Bananas & Cream, Batman! This was the real deal! It was the thickest, bananas-and-creamiest ice cream ever. I didn’t care that Nicecream didn’t have cones. I didn’t care that it didn’t come with toppings. Chunky Monkey got nothing on this! It was so good, mama kept stealing bites from me…on top of her own Peachy Keen! Can you say, GUH-reedy? Speaking of greedy, dad got a medium cup of their flavor of the month, blackberry – though he enjoyed, it he could have used a tad more berry flavor. Anyway, his bad. He got struck with a severe case of “the itis”. His childish excitement that came with the first spoonfuls that soon turned to geriatric lethargy halfway through. Lesson learned. He’ll be ordering a small next time. Because there will MOST DEF be a next time!