The Fountain of Youth: Ice Cream at Bruster’s

Conversation turned, last night, to the subject of ice cream.

Michael K. is an ice cream afficianado. He has a mega-ton ice cream/gelato maker and his knowledge runs deeper than mine, thus far, on the matter. He was happy to hear about my serene out-of-body experience with the vanilla bean.

“What’s your favorite ice cream in Atlanta?” he asked.

“Jake’s,” I answered, maintaining my cool.

“Bah!” he said. “Jake’s is frozen treacle. What you need is Bruster’s.”

“Bruster’s!” I said, astonished. “You mean the red and white stand near where I live with the sign that looks like Luden’s cough drops?”

“That’s the one,” said Michael K.

“I don’t believe it,” I said, mortified.

“Well,” explained Michael, “Jake’s freezes its ice cream for too long. Bruster’s serves theirs almost immediately after making it.”

“Let’s put this to the test,” said Mark.

We drove to Bruster’s.

And now for a brief aside, regarding the title of this post.

Pulling up to Jake’s, Mark and I spotted the cutest thing you ever did see. Across from us in our parking spot, was an old couple–maybe in their 70s or 80s–in their Cadillac, each licking ice cream cones like children. It’s hard to explain how beautiful the image was: this old man and woman, like kids in high school, licking their cones with a total lack of self-awareness. They seemed so happy. And so young.

“That is so cute,” said Mark.

I wanted to take a picture, but that would have been weird.

But it’s amazing, isn’t it, how ice cream is a great equalizer. Everyone loves ice cream. You might not picture Bush and Kerry sharing a hot tub, but you can picture them on a bench–side by side–with ice cream cones, can’t you? Or J. Lo and Ben, after they make up? It brings the world together.

It reminds me of a Wordsworth poem: “I scream / You scream / We all screamest for ice cream.”

So here’s the Bruster’s stand:

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And here’s my cup of white chocolate raspberry:

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Indeed, it was creamier and fresher than Jake’s. I still prefer the quirky flavors at Jake’s (particularly their Key Lime Pie ice cream), but I will agree with Michael K. that Bruster’s is much less frozen. And, plus, Bruster’s had that adorable old couple. Wonder if they’re still there?

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