Remember the way ice cream used to taste? Remember running on hot asphalt in flip-flops after a tinkling ice cream truck? Recall the chill of that freezing chocolate against your lips, the stickiness on your fingers, the melting sweetness against your tongue. Ice cream is the ultimate comfort food, the treat of childhood, birthdays and break-ups. The Comfy Cow updates the feelings and flavors of ice cream with equal parts panache and taste.
The Comfy Cow, with three locations, is locally famous for the Comfy Cow Challenge, a mammoth ice cream sundae taken on by Man Vs. Food. The ice cream parlor offers a nice bastion of flavors regularly, supplemented with seasonal offerings (caramel apple and pumpkin were available on my visit) and "Foodie Flavors" on Mondays, which have included lemon lavender, moonshine, and fig balsamic. The Comfy Cow also offers ice cream pies, sundaes, frozen bananas and chocolates from The Cellar Door.
My boyfriend and I arrived at the Comfy Cow on a Wednesday evening and were pleased with the vintage chic decor and patient service. We ordered a double scoop each; Dulche De Leche De Salte and Vermont Maple Walnut for me, and Erica's Peanut Butter and Jelly and Cinnamon Sugar for him. The Dulce De Leche De Salte had a subtle salty finish after the custard-y thick caramel. The icy maple walnut was swirled with honest-to-goodness real maple syrup and buttery chunks of walnut that dispersed a slightly dark flavor through the scoop. The cinnamon ice cream was peppered with flavorful spice, and the peanut butter and jelly was lightly sweet grape with just a hint of peanut butter underneath.
The Comfy Cow does something admirable: it takes something easy to offer shoddily and makes it fresh and interesting. Too many ice cream parlors scoop premade and dull flavors day in and day out without innovation. A hard scoop of grocery store vanilla is always welcome, but a spoonful of soft swirled caramel is much more enjoyable. A trip to the Comfy Cow is both a trip down memory lane and a gourmet peek into the future of our favorite frozen treat.