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July 31, 2008 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Thanks to the efforts of 17 home-schooled students, the ice cream cone is now the official dessert of Missouri. These ice cream connoisseurs say they put their brains together to create Bill 991 because a rendition of the cone was introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given all the ice cream and custard shops in town. So, take a break from the summer heat and relax with a refreshing cone. There’s a flavor to suit everyone’s tastes.
3304 W. Broadway Business Park Court 446-3071
Best atmosphere This walk-up stand sits in a secluded passageway behind Rio Grande with tables, old-looking streetlights and game-show music. A word of advice: Don’t call the owner Randy. His name is Scott Byergo, and he recently bought the shop from Randy. The specialty here is vanilla frozen custard. Byergo gets Madagascar vanilla extract delivered especially for the frozen custard. It’s good, but we’re not sure it’s worth his extra money. For anyone who was wondering, they now use Oreos instead of Hydrox cookies, and they added Nerds and gummies — the sign listing all the ingredients is old.
Vox recommends: Caramel pretzel
Weirdest request: Pineapple, Snickers and Oreo
Farmer’s Market: 1701 W. Ash St; Farm: 6800 N. Kircher 474-8837
most family charm Despite the 7-mile drive down a country road — the last quarter mile is gravel — the freshly made ice cream really is best right out of the machine. The farm-produced honey adds a signature sweetness that comes out in the vanilla. But if you don’t want to venture past city limits, Walk About Acres is at the Columbia Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday. The fruit flavors are tart and refreshing, but the mocha is equally tasty.
Vox recommends: Peach vanilla
Weirdest flavor: Raspberry mocha — no over-the-top flavor here
124 E Nifong Suite J 256-2636; 3405 Clark Lane 474-4882
overtly nostalgic Some customers order from the walk-up window, but on a July afternoon, six cars waited in the drive-thru and blocked others from leaving. The frozen custard creations looked great on the menu, but the store failed to inspire any sort of down-home feel-good sentiment that many walk-up stands provide their customers. The ’50s decor on the walls inside seemed cheap and forced and really added nothing to the custard.
Vox recommends: The Bopper — caramel, hot fudge and pecans
Weirdest request: Bananas and Reese’s cups
610 Cooper Drive North 442-8866
most precise With nine workers on the clock, matching white uniforms and squeaky clean surfaces, this place looks more like a factory than an ice cream shop. For its summer signature concrete, Andy’s has concocted Key Lime Pie. The subtle tartness complements the sweet frozen custard, but it lacks the bright-green color that makes key lime pie so pretty.
Vox recommends: Shortcake
Weirdest combo: Cherry bash — chocolate syrup, Heath bars, almonds and cherries
911 Rainforest Parkway 499-0541
friendliest staff A laid-back atmosphere and clean exterior set this place apart from the rest. They pride themselves on mistakes. Yep, that’s right, mistakes — they even have a sign to advertise it. Whenever one of the young women working makes the wrong combination, she dumps the dessert into a take-home quart. To our surprise, people actually dish out cash and pay for the quart. Although the content depends on the inaccuracies made that day, customers can’t resist. Manager Mardi Pritchett says, “One lady used to call everyday asking if we had any mistakes.” We’re guessing the reduced price makes it worth the mystery.
Vox recommends: Turtle
Weirdest request: All berries, no cherries
21 S. 9th St 443-7400
best flavors We have now gone in twice for the chai tea ice cream advertised on the outdoor sign only to be disappointed when it’s not there. But there are enough flavors inside to appease any discerning tongue. The lavender honey is refreshing with an herbal kick. The strawberry avocado sorbet brings the flavor of strawberry with a smooth finish from the avocado. The watermelon tastes like actual watermelon with a subtle sweetness. The Les Bourgeois Red/Ghiradelli is surprisingly nasty (at least to us; supposedly, people like it) — red wine isn’t supposed to be served cold anyway.
Vox recommends: Carrot cake
Weirdest flavor: Pineapple upside down cake
South Side of Eckles Hall, MU campus 882-1088
Most secluded This MU-owned ice cream shop is nestled behind the Agricultural Engineering building on campus. It houses 15 flavors and several graduate students who are educating themselves with the world of ice cream. Even though Tiger Stripes is its most popular flavor, Manager Rick Linhardt says he lets students test out and create new flavors. Some are currently in the works, but graduate student Liz Fenner says she can’t divulge the flavors yet.
Vox recommends: Strawberry banana yogurt
Weirdest flavor: Banana crunch