Posts Tagged ‘oldschoolfrozencustard’

Old School Frozen Custard, Seattle, Washington

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

(This post is being simulcast on the Seattle PI and Tastingmenu. I encourage readers of each to check out the other. End of announcement.)

With all the fuss about new ice cream shops opening in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, I wonder if Old School Frozen Custard has gotten the attention it deserves. Open for a few weeks I’ve been there more often than I care to admit. The vintage pictures of Seattle high schools on the wall are cute, but it’s the smell of fresh waffle cone being made that hits you when you walk in. But before that, let’s back up. What’s with “custard” anyway?

The folks at Old School will tell you that Frozen Custard is prevalent in the Midwest. It differs from Ice Cream in that it has some egg yolk which replaces a bunch of the typical fat in the ice cream. The folks at Old School say their base (imported from the Midwest) uses a tiny amount of pasteurized egg yolk to reduce the fat by a third. (No, I’m not advocating frozen custard as a diet food.) Every hour (when things are busy) the folks at Old School make fresh frozen custard, flavoring it on the spot in their big custard machine. Vanilla and chocolate are staples and each day there’s a new special flavor. I’ve seen Tiramisu, Blueberry, and Lemon (and tasted them all). On this day the specialty flavor was Chocolate Banana Nut.

(I did confirm with an official Midwesterner that frozen custard is indeed found in the Midwest and is “butterier and creamier” than regular ice cream.)

OK. Here’s the deal. Flavor-wise, the vanilla is excellent, the chocolate is very good, and the specials have been hit or miss for me. For example, I didn’t get much banana in the Chocolate Banana Nut but my eating companions got a mouthful. And despite that I’m a flavor snob (and perhaps it’s because I generally get the vanilla) the texture of the frozen custard is what wins the day for me. Holy crap! That is the densest, silkiest ice cream I’ve ever had. It is just an absolute pleasure to eat. And since you’re only dealing with a foundation of three flavors each day, the toppings available are numerous.

Various sauces and syrups are on the menu including all the zillions of candy/cookie toppings you would expect. The waffle cones are handmade to order on the spot. Hence the welcoming smell. There are enough topping varieties to keep you busy for some time. Right now my favored combo is hot fudge and whole peanuts. There’s something about the whole peanuts that just ratchets up the deliciousness relative to crushed peanuts.

Bottom line: I’m still a fan of ice cream parlors with lots of interesting, handmade, delicious flavors. And Old School Frozen Custard could certainly ramp up their flavors, but the texture of their custard is positively mesmerizing. While I have plenty of choices of where to get my ice cream, I keep coming back to Old School.

(Note on the pictures: another week without my trusty DSLR means another week of crappy pictures. Damn you iPhone for tempting me with your convenience!)

UPDATE: I got my camera back and it’s behaving… for now. Added a five more pictures to the gallery. They’re better quality. And yes, this necessitated a repeat visit to Old School. Oh well.

See all our Seattle writeups and photo galleries at our Seattle restaurant guide on Tastingmenu.