BY KARINA BLODNIEKS
It’s a Friday – the Florida heat is scathing, school just ended and, yeah, homework can wait.
What’s better to fill the gaping, stress-induced holes in your life than ice cream after school? Very little. It’s for that reason that I, a self-proclaimed Cooper City ice cream connoisseur, am constructing this totally-official-and-not-at-all-biased list of the best places to get ice cream in the Davie/Cooper City/Weston area.
Embarking upon this task was no easy feat; first and foremost, I had to consume enough ice cream to be a legitimate expert. But I like to believe I have an adventurous palate when it comes to frozen dairy products, so this list has been compiled using cutting-edge research tactics that even the best AP Capstone student wouldn’t think to use.
And so it begins.
Let’s get the obvious answer out of the way: yes, there is merit to driving down to Rock Creek’s Orion gas station in your pajamas and simply buying a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. That’s a tried-and-true way to efficiently and effortlessly get delicious ice cream at little to no cost or gas money.
Secondly, props to PheNOMeNOM Nitrogen Ice Cream in the Tower Shops. The ice cream is worth the drive, but the drive will potentially get you stuck in University’s mid-afternoon traffic jam. Worth it? You decide.
Fifth place: Cream
The social media-crazed Cream has been getting a lot of attention lately, and it’s not for nothing. A previous Lariat review dubbed it “good enough to make me decide that the drive to Weston was all worth it,” which is about all you can say about it. With slightly sub-par ice cream stuck between way-above-par cookies, it’s no surprise that most of Cooper City High School’s student body seems to be flocking over in droves.
But I have to say that the craze is almost illusory – the cookies overpower the ice cream, and biting into hard ice cream isn’t too fun. All in all, however, it’s a worthwhile experience that is worth the drive and the line, even if the atmosphere is more fun than the actual ice cream.
Fourth place: Cold Stone
Nothing hits the spot better than memories of middle school. While it may be our run-of-the-mill Cooper City ice cream spot, it’s close, convenient and actually pretty good. The simple, not overly complicated flavors bring out the perfect amount of sweetness. Also, the flavors are pretty on point, unlike when an ice cream just tastes off. It’s simple and sweet, end of story.
However, be wary of the Pioneer students. Early release days and Fridays are danger zones for any well-intentioned high schooler to go get some well-deserved ice cream. Middle schoolers start flooding the area around 3:45 PM, so keep your trip short and to the point.
Third place: Chill N Nitrogen Ice Cream
Yes, another Weston favorite. The drive is long, but not quite as backed up as a trip to the Tower Shops. A quick excursion down Weston Road will take you straight to the best nitrogen ice cream in a ten-mile radius. Chill N offers multiple base flavors ranging from authentic-tasting cake batter to a refreshing mint. The mix ins are good, also, allowing you to customize your ice cream for every occasion. Their menu is made to look like a periodic table, so you can nerd out while you’re there as well.
Unfortunately, the drive to Weston may be off-putting for some. But aside from the distance, I see few downsides to the marvelous ice cream experience that is Chill N.
Second place: Haagen Dazs
Maybe you outgrew the Pembroke Lakes Mall in, like, sixth grade, but hear me out: the Haagen Dazs kiosk is an essential part of every trip down memory lane. With great flavors and rich toppings, the Haagen Dazs booth in the mall far exceeds any expectations.
There are only a few down sides to our Cooper City favorite. Mostly, the location is horrible at best. If you’re in the mood for a lonesome night with lots of ice cream and self-reflection, the Pembroke Lakes Mall is probably the last place you want to be. But if you’re willing to brave the crowd in the name of self-indulgence, all the power to you.
First place: Carvel
This is the hidden treasure of Cooper City, Florida. Located only two and a half miles from CCHS, Carvel is by far the best, most reasonably-priced and conveniently located ice cream I’ve ever had. The strip mall is unassuming and the store itself is always empty, making for a surprisingly short wait.
It’s needless to say that the ice cream is great. I will admit: it’s not as good as Haagen Dazs, but the location and service far outweigh that. The owner is a nice man who I’ve seen every time I’ve gone.
All in all, Cooper City has a decent amount of good ice cream and options for every occasion.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock