Who says ordering and eating ice cream should be boring?
A number of long-standing ice cream shops around the Capital Region boast wide-ranging menus, chocked full of interesting flavors and combinations of ingredients, some that sound intimidating, confusing or downright bizarre at first blush.
With summer in full swing, and regular trips for ice cream a must, here are some of the area businesses that comprise the cream of the crop when it comes to original frozen concoctions.
Bumpy’s Polar Freeze
2013 State St., Schenectady
At Bumpy’s Polar Freeze, the sundaes are far more appetizing than some of the names that accompany them.
In order to enjoy some of the more eye-catching menu options, customers will first have to specifically ask for the “Elephant Poop,” “Toucan” or “Soggy Bottom” sundaes.
The Elephant Poop sundae comes with chocolate vanilla twist ice cream, brownie pieces, mini marshmallows, and toppings of caramel, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry.
The Soggy Bottom contains Oreo, vanilla ice cream, marshmallow, peanut butter, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry, while the Toucan sundae is pineapple ice cream, Pina Colada syrup, banana, whipped cream, coconut and a cherry on top.
Manager Chris Britten credits a previous owner with creating the out of the ordinary of menu options, which have stuck in the years since.
For those seeking something a little more generic, the walk-up stand offers more than 120 flavors of ice cream as well. The business recently began offering delivery, as well.
1057 Curry Road, Schenectady
At this Schenectady ice cream shop, visitors can get a Boston-named treat that’s both drinkable and edible.
The Boston Shake is a milkshake topped with ice cream or a sundae, owner Bob Draiss said. The frozen treat can be sucked down from the bottom with a straw, and scooped away from the top with a spoon.
Other popular items specific to Curry Freeze include cotton candy flavored ice cream, frozen pops shaped like Spiderman and other characters and floats, Draiss said. The most popular item at a given time often depends on the weather.
1349 Central Ave., Colonie
Kurver’s most popular item is the standard vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles, owner Cheryl Apple said, but beyond that, customers enjoy the stand’s more complex concoctions.
Among those are the strawberry shortcake sundae, the hot fudge brownie sundae, and a sundae that includes a glazed donut from Schuyler Bakery, cut in half and filled with the customer’s choice of ice cream.
Other creative sundaes come with equally creative names. There’s the Dusty Road, the Peanut Butter Zinger and the Monkey in the Middle, which comes with bananas, a chosen flavor of ice cream, chocolate syrup, Reese’s Pieces and whipped cream, Apple said.
“I think a lot of people seem to get it because of the name,” she said.
Guptill’s Coney Express
1085 New Loudon Road, Latham
A throwback to another era, Guptill’s ice cream is located right next to a roller rink owned by the same family.
Those looking to cool off this summer will find an extensive menu of shakes, cones, cups, sundaes and flurries, among other options.
Guptill’s in Latham features dozens of flavors, some of which can be combined into a twisted cone. The most notable flavors of hard ice cream include Almond Joy, cake batter, maple walnut, death by chocolate and toasted coconut.
Patrons can also enjoy various milkshake flavors, including pineapple, mocha and banana, as well as other, more typical flavors.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous ice cream in the region comes from Stewart’s Shops, which frequently places near the top of flavor contests in the region and state.
In addition to its constant offerings of chocolate chip cookie dough, mint cookie crumble and others, the chain released in April its list of seasonal ice cream flavors, available in cones, sundaes, shakes and hand packed pints through the summer.
Among the choices are cherry cheesecake, key lime pie and chocolate caramel tornado, which is chocolate sea salt caramel ice cream mixed with a chocolate caramel swirl and chocolate-covered honeycomb pieces.
Stewart’s is also selling “Happy Camper” ice cream, which is graham cracker flavored ice cream mixed with graham cracker pieces, chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a marshmallow swirl.
A final seasonal offering is Cookieccino: Mocha cappuccino flavored ice cream with crushed Oreo pieces.
Did we miss a fun, flavorful or outlandish frozen treat from around the region? Let us know in the comments where your favorite location to grab a cone, sundae or shake is.