Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
Although Village Ice Cream has been officially open for less than a month, it already feels like an old friend. I'd first heard of Village Ice Cream from a friend who had a chance to try some of the flavours when the shop first opened up - back then, owner Billy Friley sold ice cream for a few hours on Friday afternoons. The concept of artisan, small-batch ice cream featuring local ingredients sounded interesting, and when I found out what some of the flavours were, I was even more intrigued. So I was pretty bummed when I thought people could only get their ice cream fixes on Friday afternoons.
In June, I ran City Chase and was surprised to find that it was a ChasePoint! The ice cream was starting to melt a little, but I got to blind taste test and identify the cardamom, huckleberry, maple pecan, toasted coconut and salted caramel ice creams. I guessed the last two right, and came close enough to the others that I passed the test!
Actually, I guessed cardamom too - after a couple bites, I recognized the distinctive herby taste (in university a girl on my floor recommended I chew on some to settle an upset tummy), but thought to myself, no one would ever make that a flavour! So I guessed chai, but after the volunteer who was running the ChasePoint said, "I'll give you that," I blurted out cardamom so I hope that counts :P
Anyway, I was super-excited to finally hear of their grand opening and to find that they are usually open late! B. and I headed down after supper on the rainy Saturday, after most of the crowds had gone, for some 2-for-1 ice cream goodness.
I'd tasted many of the flavours at City Chase, but I decided to sample the rich, creamy, subtly flavoured Village Vanilla Bean (which B. eventually got) and the light, fruity Hibiscus Juniper sorbet. The staff pointed out that the ice cream is definitely a higher fat product, and that no one else in Calgary does the same thing. (Yes, there is gelato, but that is made of milk instead of cream.) You could really taste the difference between the ice cream and the sorbet.
I finally settled on a single scoop ($5) of the seasonal flavour that day - Oaxacan Chili Chocolate. The rich chocolate was spiked with cinnamon and chili. So good. I've heard that they might bring it back as a regular.
Since it was 2-for-1, we decided to spring for the waffle cones ($1) handmade in store. B. loved his, but I found it a bit thick, hard and a little difficult to chew through some parts. It cut the roof of my mouth :(
Last Saturday, B. and I walked the 3K from his house to Village. B. decided to go for something more daring, so he tried the Guide's Mint. Inspired by the Chocolatey Mint Girl Guide cookies, the guide's mint is fresh-tasting, not too sweet and dotted with chunks of homemade chocolate cookies. Again, I went for the seasonal flavours - the Mango was good, but a little too subtly flavoured for me, but the Lemon Poppy Seed was bright and refreshing. I went for a sugar cone this time.
On the walk back, we went up the 5th Ave Flyover (Yes, there's a walkway there!) As fireworks from the Stampede's Light Up the City exploded into the sky - we saw fireworks coming from three locations! Awesome.
So far, all the ice creams I've tasted at Village Ice Cream have been very creative and not sickly sweet. I can't wait to find out what flavours Billy will have up his sleeve next! (If not, I have yet to try that Bolivian Roast Coffee... also I think I'm the only person in the city who thinks the Salted Caramel is too salty! ...Please don't hate me for not liking your beloved Salted Caramel :P) I'm looking forward to more 3K walks this summer! (Have to earn that ice cream, you know.)
Village Ice Cream
431 10 Ave SE
Calgary AB T2G 0W3
Open noon-11 PM every day. Free parking available.