What’s a summer without lots of ice cream? When the weather turns steamy, I’m always thinking about where I’m going to get my next frozen fix. If I’m lazy, that’s Ben & Jerry’s, located in convenient proximity to Whole Foods and Borders in downtown Silver Spring. I love the decadent creaminess of B&J’s, and the flavors are yummy—but at this store they never, ever seem to change. Season after season, I’ve seen the same dozen or so, and I end up ordering the same thing—cookies-and-cream, or coffee, or chocolate. I’m bored.
What to do? Put out a little extra effort and drive a few blocks down Georgia Avenue to Moorenko’s Ice Cream Café.
It’s a local company, so the store feels small-town in a good, non-corporate, owner-cares-about-the-business kind of way. Surrounded by cheery turquoise walls, a blackboard full of flavor choices hangs behind the counter. Familiar ones include the ever-popular trinity of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Others are delightful surprises—bittersweet chocolate (deep and rich), Guinness (yes, beer), megajolt (intense coffee), peanut butter cup, peach melba, banana, honey lavender, drunken raisin (with a brandy kick), olive oil (a nod to NY trendiness), and salted caramel and praline (so to-die-for, says general manger John Landis, that it’s hard to keep in stock). They change, so if you want to try something, don’t wait. There’s a hefty list of scrumptious possibilities that may rotate into the lineup by the next time you visit. Check out their best flavors ever— http://www.moorenkosicecream.com/flavors.htm
The store offers several cone-or-cup options. You can also get a banana split, a milk shake, a float, tea, coffee (brewed or espresso-based), hot chocolate, and as many containers as you need/want/can carry of your favorite flavor—or flavors—to take home.
There’s also a large, comfortable area with big picture windows on two sides where you can sit and savor your selection. Take your pick of traditional tables, stools at a bar, and two overstuffed living room chairs. To round out the whimsy, there’s a bubblegum machine in the corner. Put in a quarter, turn the crank, and be as blissfully happy as if you were ten again.
Moorenko’s Ice Cream Café
8030b Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD
703-862-6595 for “Ice Cream Emergencies” (whatever they are)
Half-hour free parking at the Veridian Apartments garage next door.