A&E’s rootin’, tootin’ ice cream roundup

These parlors’ cold treats will take the hitch out of your summertime giddy-up!


Mark Vancleave


Jay Boller

If warmer weather means one thing, itâÄôs the erectifying emancipation of beach-stallionsâÄô rippling pectorals. That, and ice cream! Combining the two by watching a shirtless stud tease rocky road around the rim of a cone? Whoa, Nelly âÄî donâÄôt even get me started. In summation, the following is a tally of the best Twin Cities ice cream haunts to satisfy whatever urges the rise of mercury brings. Franklin Freeze 2328 Franklin Ave. E., Minneapolis Franklin Freeze âÄî in keeping with the Seward neighborhoodâÄôs hipness âÄî is like a punk rock Dairy Queen . The tiny shop gives off a retro DQ vibe, but its disarmingly yellow façade and insane soft serve flavor count (24) throw corporate insipidness to the wind. âÄúWeâÄôre a typical mom and pop shop,âÄù co-owner Elizabeth Tolzmann said, adding that she and her husband Scott relish being a community asset. Customer Faves: Strawberry cheesecake, BaileyâÄôs and cream Warm weather without ice cream is like: âÄúSummer without a pool,âÄù according to Scott Tolzmann. IzzyâÄôs Ice Cream 2034 Marshall Ave., St. Paul HereâÄôs the IzzyâÄôs gimmick: the supplementary mini dollop of ice cream that tops their scoops is âÄúthe Izzy.âÄù But IzzyâÄôs doesnâÄôt hinge itself on cuteness; its main signifier is stellar ice cream thatâÄôs made just feet from the register. The parlorâÄôs 30-plus flavors entice from many angles, but shift manager David Orman says customers are visibly pained when they run out of salted caramel. âÄúItâÄôs the heartbreaker,âÄù he lamented. Customer Faves: Salted caramel, Norwegian chai Warm weather without ice cream is like: âÄúThe Gophers without their own football stadium,âÄù according to Orman. Grand Ole Creamery 4737 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 750 Grand Ave., St. Paul âÄúWe patented the malted milk ball in the bottom of the waffle cone,âÄù said Peter Kaiser, a server at Grand Ole Creamery. âÄúDonâÄôt let IzzyâÄôs tell you otherwise,âÄù he added with a grin. Potential ice cream parlor beefs aside, Grand Ole has been slinging the cold stuff since 1984. A family-owned operation, they make their product (including the hotly contested cones) and serve up the most generous portions in town, Kasier said. Costumer faves: Black Hills gold (caramel, Oreos and pralines) Warm weather without ice cream is like: âÄúWinter without a coat,âÄù according to Kasier. Pumphouse Creamery 4754 Chicago Ave. S. Minneapolis Ask Barb Zapzalka, owner of Pumphouse Creamery, why her joint is the best, and hereâÄôs what you get: âÄúWell, we taste the best,âÄù is her earnest retort. City Pages would tend to agree, as Pumphouse snagged their 2009 âÄúBest Ice Cream ParlorâÄù award. DonâÄôt like carbon footprint with your dessert? Pumphouse uses all-natural ingredients âÄî organic when possible âÄî and gets seasonal foodstuffs from local suppliers. Costumer faves: Sea-salted caramel, chocolate peanut butter Warm weather without ice cream is like: âÄúSummer without sun,âÄù according to Zapzalka. Liberty Frozen Custard 5401 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis Alright dairy snobs, custardâÄôs not technically ice cream, but this South Minneapolis spot ranks regardless. In fact, the non-ice cream angle might be what sets Liberty apart. âÄúWeâÄôre the only frozen custard shop in town, which immediately makes us better than everyone else,âÄù owner Vicky Uhr said, adding that custardâÄôs softer and creamier texture gives it the edge over ice cream. If that made your cold treat allegiances tremble, the mid-century retro shop whips up their own custard daily. Customer faves: Turtle Sunday Summer without frozen custard is like: âÄúNot summer at all!âÄù according to Uhr. SonnyâÄôs Ice Cream 3403 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis SonnyâÄôs product can be found in many a local grocery store, leading some to believe itâÄôs a big operation. In fact, SonnyâÄôs is made in Crema Café, a family-owned venture for over 65 years. âÄúThe owners make choices that sacrifice profit for the world we live in,âÄù said server Aisha Gomez, alluding to her employerâÄôs emphasis on organics and paying employees handsomely. SonnyâÄôs doesnâÄôt just offer small-batch ice cream from 100 percent Minnesota cows; they also boast sorbets from seasonal ingredients. Customer faves: Ginger sorbet Warm weather without ice cream is like: âÄúSchool with no pants,âÄù according to Gomez. Sebastian JoeâÄôs 1007 Franklin Avenue W., Minneapolis; 4321 Upton Avenue S., Minneapolis A lakes area institution, Sebastian JoeâÄôs doesnâÄôt need to tell you they rule; itâÄôs evidenced by the massive lines spurting out the doors every summer evening. Owner Tim Pellizzer and his brothers started making gourmet ice cream in Minneapolis way back in 1984, and the shouldnâÄôt-be-novel secret of âÄúeverything fresh/all naturalâÄù has been employed from the get-go, Pellizzer said. Sugar not enough to keep you geeked? JoeâÄôs roasts its own coffee beans in-house for an additional jolt. Costumer faves: Oreo, raspberry chocolate chip Warm weather without ice cream is like: âÄúSummer without the sun,âÄù according to Pellizzer.