Last week, the BF and I decided to follow our bellies and try out an ice cream place... or two... or three. And so we ate our way across Montreal in the name of a good summer treat.
Mile-End: Kem Coba
This place is no longer a nestled secret. If you've ever taken a stroll in the Mile-End on a Friday night or on the weekend, you may have come across a monster lineup on the corner of Fairmount and Clark. These lineups can get so friggin' long that there's even a Twitter account that lets you know how many people are standing in line.
With that being said, I've walked right past that lineup for the past few years because me and lineups are not friends. And so I eagerly awaited my week off to finally indulge in this elusive, magical ice cream. We went on a Thursday afternoon, a few minutes after they opened, and there was a small group in front of us.
As I said, BF and I were driven by our bellies on this day, and the sign said Rose ice cream + raspberry-lychee sorbet soft-serve swirl (AKA "La Romantique")... and that is exactly what we ordered. I had it on a cone because I'm a purist and I'm also a glutton for disaster: it was hella hot that day so I ate that thing pretty damn quick.
Verdict: this cone was so delicious. For backstory, I'm not a huge fan of ice cream. Truth be told, I am more of a sorbet person (I'm lactose intolerant) but I'm also a total sucker for soft-serve. This ice cream was perfect in terms of texture, very creamy and lots of flavor. You definitely get a good deal of raspberry with hints of rose, which made for a not-too-sweet, a little tangy, and just enough of it all kind of treat. And that rose flavor really added an aromatic scent to it.
Picky-eater BF describes it as "delightfully delicious."
NDG: Ca Lem
Making our way a little more west, we stopped at Ca Lem in NDG. First observation: what's with ice cream places and hot pink + lime decor?
We don't usually venture this far (we 're east-enders!) though I had been following Ca Lem on Instagram for the past month or so, and they had been posting these pictures of their sour watermelon candy soft-serve. Did you read that last line? Sour watermelon candy soft-serve. Do you know what that looks like? It looks downright tasty. And then one day, they posted an image saying it was a limited time thing and well... my heart broke a little.
/End sad story.
We stepped in and there was the soft-serve they were currently serving: green tea and coco ash. Annnd sold. The girl behind the counter handed me this puffy, black and green swirl that smelled sweet and green-tea-y. BF and I sat outside to scoff on this thing and I think I deserve a medal for coming out of it without having stained any items of clothing.
The soft-serve at Ca Lem was much softer and less creamy than the one at Kem Coba. While the flavors had a soft sweetness to them and were tasty, the texture wasn't as rich as I expected. The other fail on my part - I did not think through what black ice cream will do to your face. My lips, tongue and teeth were all black for an hour or so and it looked like I had spent my afternoon sipping on an oil can... a delicious oil can.
Little Italy: Havre aux Glaces
Last of the trifecta on our tummy maps: Havre aux Glaces, tucked away in Jean-Talon Market. We just finished having a heavy lunch post-Comiccon at Taco King and I was totally jonesing for a refreshing sorbet. I knew there was an ice cream place somewhere in the market, I just for the life of me couldn't remember where it was. In about five minutes, I tracked this badboy down and went for what seemed to be the popular choice: strawberry sorbet made with Quebec strawberries.
This sorbet did not disappoint! Now I HATE strawberry-flavored everything. And this thing was not strawberry-flavored: it was made with ACTUAL strawberries and that is very apparent the moment you set your lips on it. If you're a fan of smoothies, the flavor is much like when you have a strawberry smoothie, refreshing sensation, seeds and all. It was super tasty, light, and just the right amount of sweet. Unlike the other two, this one was a scooped sorbet and not soft-serve, but the taste is just so next level I couldn't care less.
What did I learn on this mission to making our tummies explode? You should trust what the signs on these places say. If they're promoting a certain flavor, it's probably because it's popular, or it's what they're particularly proud of on that given day.
I'd say this strategy worked out well for me in all three cases: don't follow your heart, follow their sign!
What ice cream place do you recommend? Would you try one of these? If so, which one? Let me know in the comments below!