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The Real Scoop

July 10 2002

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Summer is here, and as people everywhere are looking for ways to cool off and cool down, truth is found in this familiar childhood saying. Swimming pools are open and lemonade stands line the street, but where can you find what you really want to cool off - the best ice cream cone? Locals have different opinions, but lots of suggestions about where to find the perfect scoop.

LEE’S ICE CREAM & DELI, a privately-owned ice cream parlor, has been operating in Reston Town Center for the last nine years. Lee’s serves a variety of gourmet ice creams, specialty sundaes and soft serve and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Lee’s is known for its unusual flavor, Arbuckle’s Delight, a chocolate chip ice cream with a unique twist. Gourmet chocolate is poured over vanilla ice cream. The chocolate crystallizes and forms chocolate chips, thus making Arbuckle’s Delight. In June, Lee’s held a customer appreciation day. Between 2 and 3 p.m., Lee’s gave away more than 600 ice cream cones to local patrons and those visiting Reston Town Center. As said by general manager Donna Tourangeau, “We wanted to do something nice for our customers.” A franchised location of Lee’s Ice Cream is located in McLean, at the food court on the lower level of Tysons Corner Center.

MOUNT VERNON AREA residents enjoy Tubby’s Chili Parlor and Frozen Custard for a nontraditional frozen treat. Behind the cartoon-decorated facade, Tubby’s, located at 8723-B Cooper Road, serves up frozen custard that is richer and creamier than the usual soft-serve ice cream. Tubby’s offers a variety of custard concoctions, including sundaes, milkshakes and Tubby’s famous “concretes.” Tubby’s concretes are available with numerous toppings mixed in, including Snickers, Oreo, peanut-butter cup and the highly recommended strawberry banana. Local patron Vernon Dodson enjoys Tubby’s for its concretes and its prices. “Tubby’s is the best around,” Vernon proclaimed.

IAN AND DON GODWIN OF HERNDON enjoy getting their summer treats from Milwaukee’s Best Frozen Custard in Chantilly. Ian and Don like the fact that Milwaukee’s Best serves frozen custard instead of ice cream, making for a creamier treat. Milwaukee’s Best uses a traditional Milwaukee custard recipe, with 1.4-percent egg yolk baked into the custard mix. The stores import this classic treat from Milwaukee and then mix it to perfection on the premises. This technique gives Milwaukee’s frozen custard a special consistency. As said by Jennifer Frankhouser of Herndon, “Milwaukee’s custard is rich.” Frankhouser also commented on the store itself, saying that Milwaukee’s is “fun for the kids.” Milwaukee’s offers something different in the way of atmosphere. A train adorned with Harley Davidson emblems chugs its way around the store on a track near the ceiling. Both indoor and outdoor seating are available. Lynn Saint-Mire of Chantilly put it best when she said, “Milwaukee’s Best has more room, more novelties and more people service” than local competitors. “It just has better atmosphere,” Saint-Mire said. Milwaukee’s Best has three area locations: Chantilly, Manassas and Woodbridge. The Chantilly store is located at 13934 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway. A fourth location in Herndon will open this fall, hopefully in September. Milwaukee’s serves frozen custard, gelati, Italian ice, sundaes and baked desserts. A different flavor custard is available each day of the month, with the flavor of the day varying among locations.

IN FAIRFAX, residents enjoy Yum Yum Ice Cream Cafe, 12164 Fairfax Towne Center, for its frozen treats and its Mediterranean delicacies. Kim Enger of Fairfax says that her favorite place to get ice cream is Yum Yum’s, both for the ice cream itself and for the fact that Yum Yum’s is not a chain. Popular ice cream favorites at Yum Yum’s include Twix ice cream, double caramel ice cream and specialty sundaes. While Yum Yum’s serves up a variety of foods, 70 percent of its sales are from its gourmet ice cream. Yum Yum’s also offers a variety of gourmet coffee and tea beverages. Yum Yum’s is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month.

OTHERS STILL ENJOY the ice cream treats offered by familiar ice cream chains. Local youths Jeff and Oksana Russell of Herndon enjoy Baskin Robbins ice cream. They choose Baskin Robbins' traditional classics, preferring Baskin Robbins’ mint chocolate chip and chocolate, respectively. Ayesha and Punita of Vienna, too, prefer Baskin Robbins ice cream. Ayesha also prefers their mint chocolate chip, while Punita chooses the banana split. Baskin Robbins has locations in Alexandria, Springfield, Burke, Fairfax, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, Centreville, Leesburg and Sterling.

Ben and Jerry’s, while having few Fairfax County locations, remains a crowd-pleaser. Susan of Ashburn chooses Ben and Jerry’s, satisfying her ice cream craving with Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz. Ben and Jerry’s has locations in Dulles Town Center and Dulles Airport.

Maggie Moo’s in the Best Buy Metro Center in Springfield serves ice cream flavors made directly in the store in 40 different flavors. Maggie Moo’s offers a non-dairy sorbet, a non-fat ice cream and a no-sugar-added ice cream, in addition to its premium ice cream. Maggie Moo’s also has ice cream cakes and sundaes.

Whether choosing a mom-and-pop parlor or a classic ice cream chain, choices abound when looking for a frozen treat. As the lazy days of summer roll by, grab a cone, kick back and try to beat the heat.