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Archive for the ‘Creemee’ Category

The first creemee I had from Sama’s Cafe in Middlebury was well over twenty years ago.  It was called Lyon’s place at the time.  While the names have changed a number of times since that first creemee, the consistent quality and affordable prices have remained.  In the summertime Sama’s is a gathering place for the entire community.  There’s a rhythm to the flow of customers; college students in the early afternoon, little league teams in the early evening post-game, couples and families after dinner.  The Sama’s creemee is the perfect punctuation to a summer evening.  Whether you are taking one for the road or relaxing on their patio drawing out the last remaining hours before dusk, it has a way of slowing down time.

Setting

Middlebury’s not a big town, yet Sama’s has a feeling of being out of the way, a fact I appreciate in a creemee stand.  In August you my well sit for five or ten minutes without a car driving by.  The seating area offers benches and tables if you are in the mood to sit and savor.  A short walk will take you to the falls of Otter Creek, Main Street shops or Middlebury College if you are in the mood to amble.  Having those options is something I’ve always appreciated about Sama’s.  Most creemee stands are either in the middle of nowhere or lack good seating.

Offerings and Price

$2.00 for a small and 25 cents for sprinkles.

Creemee Review

We opted for the vanilla-chocolate swirl with chocolate sprinkles.  Naturally that produced a chocolate dominated creemee, but the vanilla wasn’t completely lost.  The chocolate flavor was a rich mocha which was punctuated by the sweet chocolatey sprinkles.  The small at Sama’s is a pretty good size, definitely making this a good bang for your buck purchase.  The sprinkle coating was perfect.

Located at 54 College Street in downtown Middlebury, the Creemee window at Sama’s is open from 11-8 Sunday through Friday and open until 8:30 on Saturdays. 

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The beauty of the creemee lies in its simplicity.  A swirled, soft ice cream in a plain little cone.  That’s it, nothing complicated or grandiose, just simple good creemee finished with a crunch as you nibble the cone.  The Sapbucket isn’t so pure that we’ll only devour creemees unadorned, but by and large that’s our preference.  It helps that there haven’t been too many advances in creemee technology in the 21st Century.  We’ll allow for the occasional sprinkles, maybe a dip once in a while, but never the flavor infusions that tip the edges of the creeemees with wild colors and dubious flavors.  If someone does offer an innovative approach on the creemee, the Sapbucket will give it a try, but we always approach with suspicion.

Which brings us to our next stop on the Creemee Crusade, Cookie Love‘s Love Shack in North Ferrisburgh.  They’ve been serving up their creemees for a while, and we’ve been hearing reviews yet never had the chance to stop.  Always seem to be heading by just after they’ve closed or without time to stop.  If you aren’t familiar with Cookie Love they make some damned delicious cookies, which can be found in both their prenatal and hatched stages.  So the obvious draw for Cookie Love creemee is a creemee rolled in cookie chunks.

Setting

Cookie Love is in on Route 7 in North Ferrisburgh.  It shares a parking lot with the town Post Office.  You’re coming here for the delicious cookies, cookie dough or creemees, not so much for the view.  There’s a picnic table if you don’t want to risk bits of cookie falling off your creemee and into your lap.  Which is probably bound to happen anyway, you just won’t veer into oncoming traffic while trying to save those bits of cookie.

Offerings and Price

Chocolate, Vanilla and Mixed creemees, with your choice of cookie topping.  A small topped with cookie rang up at $3.75, which is higher than your average creemee.  But remember, this one has a COOKIE on it.

Creemee Review

All of our preconceptions about creemee additions melted once we saw the Cookie Love creemee in person.  Look at that thing.  You’re probably salivating just checking out those giant cookie chunks.  We’ll we didn’t look for very long before diving in, and man was it good.  The chunks nestled nicely into the creemee allowing for good bites of both creemee and cookie.  We opted for their “Puppy Love” cookie topping (peanut butter chocolate chip) and that added another dimension to our chocolate-vanilla swirled creemee.  We veered from our normal creemee eating style to gobble up all the chunks before they fell off.  In some ways it felt like we were eating two deserts, creemee and cookie and then a smallish creemee as well.  We certainly didn’t mind.

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Parked at the edge of Battery Bark in downtown Burlington, Beansie’s Bus has served as a local landmark for decades.  The arrival of spring in Burlington is marked by the scent of fried foods wafting from the bus through the air of local neighborhoods.  Reliably serving up Michigan’s, fries and creemees to amblers, concert goers, families, and the occasionally aggressive seagulls that call Burlington’s waterfront home, Beansie’s bus encapsulates many great things about the creemee experience.  Your four major categories of creemee locations are: creemee stand,  gas station, creemee window at a dining establishment and creemee stand on wheels.  This last category is a particular favorite of the Sapbucket because you know the purveyors are working their butts off in a sweltering tin can and the creemee is likely to be great.  Plus, eating a creemee served from a bus was cool before anyone had ever coined the term food truck.

Setting

Battery Park and a spectacular view of Lake Champlain are the backdrop for your creemee experience.  Park benches for everyone, swings for kids, room for dogs to romp and couples to stroll, there’s something for all here.  Plus, with Beanse’s proximity to the Burlington Police Department, you can easily take care of any parking tickets or moving violations you’ve accrued in the Queen City.

Customers

Folks from the neighborhood, tourists, families, children.

Offerings

Chocolate, Vanilla, Swirl

Creemee Review

A good representation of your basic vanilla creemee.  Dense, tightly swirled creemee that fills up the majority of the cone.  The small will last you a loop or so around the park.  Good vanilla creemee flavor and crunch to the cone.  Creemees purchased later in the day generally seem to be fresher and are less likely to have any hint of “soggy” cone from being part of a sleeve opened the night before.

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The first creemee of the year is special.  Like the first snowfall it signals a transition to a new season.  Everything seems a little brighter, our collective mood is lifted by the warming weather and life is full of the possibilities and opportunities of summer.  We missed the first creeeme offerings during the warm snap in March, which seemed like an absurd time to start the season anyway.  The Sapbucket’s first creemee of 2012 marks the start of a new feature “ The Creemee Crusade,” in which we traverse the four corners of the state to scarf down these delicious treats and highlight the places they are offered.  This isn’t a hunt for the best creeme, since the best one is the one in your hand.  But we’ll highlight the sure handed serves, the unexpected flavors and all the runs, drips and soggy cones along the journey.

Setting: Overlooking Burlington harbor, Burlington Bay is perched just above the waterfront and offers a great view of Lake Champlain.  It’s a short walk down the hill from Church Street and feels close to most everything in Burlington.  A number of tables are adjacent immediately next to the creemee window and about two dozen white plastic tables are around the corner on a deck with a view of the lake.  If you are one to savor your creemee, you will be able to enjoy it along the boardwalk and waterfront park.

Customers:  Creemees are a universal favorite, but each location will attract a different type of devotee.  Burlington Bay is the mixing pot of creemee stands.  Mothers with children, men in business suits, teenagers, college students, the occasional little league team will all be found here.  The lines can get long, but the experienced staff keep things moving.

Offerings: Vanilla, Chocolate, Black Raspberry and Maple.

Creemee Review:  The creemes here are of average size for the price, perhaps trending on the expensive side.  $2.50 for a medium, $2.99 for a large.  What they lack in size, they make up for in density.  The experienced staff here aren’t going to hand you off a creeme looped around to hide a hole in the middle.  This is a well crafted, almost wavy swirl.  On this stop we opted for the chocolate-vanila swirl.  The chocolate was as expected, rich with an almost powdery sweetness like chocolate milk.  The vanilla was a surprise, it was fantastically sweet with a great marshmallow flavor.

Verdict: There’s a reason Burlington Bay is regularly ranked as Burlington’s top creemee spot.  The combo of the location, quality creemee  and service keep folks coming back.

Located at 125 Battery Street in Burlington, Burlington Bay also offers a full lunch menu.  Like them on Facebook.  

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