Saturday (after running 14 miles) I had the pleasure to judge The Ice Cream Sandwich Throwdown – Saratoga vs. Albany. Daniel B & the Saratoga Idiots had put together this amazing tour of ice cream sandwiches in the Capital Region, and we had to find out who had the best– Saratoga or Albany. I, of course, was Team Albany! Chris tagged along to be a provisional judge, also so I had someone to split the ice cream sandwiches with. I did burn a lot of calories previously, but four ice cream sandwiches is a bit much!
We first made our way to Comfort Kitchen in Saratoga, whose ice cream sandwich was a recreation of the classic drumstick ice cream cone.
Their ice cream sandwich was vanilla ice cream between two pizelles, dipped in chocolate ganache topped with crunchy salted peanuts.
The cheapest of the bunch, their ice cream sandwich was on the small side, but still a great deal at $3.50 per sandwich. The sandwich held together great, although I would have liked a bit more ice cream since I got a bit lost among the chocolate and toppings. I did really enjoy this sandwich.
Next up was Wheatfields’ ice cream sandwich, which was two HUGE coconut macaroon cookies with amaretto gelato. This one fell short. The gelato didn’t taste like gelato to me, mostly because it was really icy instead of creamy. The cookies themselves were tasty alone, but when eating like a sandwich, they squeezed the ice cream right out, so they were very hard to chew and eat like an ice cream sandwich was supposed to be eaten.
Next up was ALBANY! We headed to Creo to see what they had in store. Their ice cream sandwich was a pistachio cookie topped with chocolate drizzle, and inside was blood orange ice cream. I LOVED the ice cream (someone said it tasted like creamcicle..truth!) but like Wheatfields, the cookies were so big and dense they squeezed the ice cream right out of the sandwich. There was also supposed to be fennel in here somewhere, but nobody tasted it. Overall, the cookie and ice cream tasted great separately, but it lacked as a complete sandwich.
It did look very pretty!
The chef brought out a special concoction for us to try after we had our sandwiches—strawberry cheesecake gnocci. It was meant do be done like a shooter–and the flavors together tasted just like strawberry cheesecake. The chef said it was bit of molecular gastronomy.
Last but not least, it was time for the City Beer Hall…the one I’d been waiting for. I had had this ice cream sandwich a few times before and I knew it was a winner. This time was no different! It was apple cider donut ice cream between two giant oatmeal raisin cookies. This cookie just screams fall–both the ice cream and cookies are made locally, the cookies from All Good Bakers and the ice cream from Bowman Orchards.
A dream, no? The bits of cider donuts in the cream really made it for me. The sandwich doesn’t fall apart and the ice cream stays put!
This sandwich just screams FALL in the capital region, and with fall fast approaching with the summer still holding on, it was a perfect preview for what’s to come. It was my favorite of the day, with the sandwich from Comfort Kitchen a close second. Albany never failed to disappoint. Unfortunately, Comfort Kitchen won overall, giving Saratoga the win. But it was close!
Chris, on the other hand, voted for Comfort Kitchen, but I don’t blame him, it was a good sandwich.