Before I ventured to my interview in Beantown, I needed some Joe. Obviously. I mean, have you met me?
I saw a little cafe that advertised Ice cream and coffee, and immediately thought that this was my type of place. Come to find out, that the coffee is good but the ice cream is better and apparently it is some of the best ice cream in the world according to the NYT. Yes, the NYT. Be impressed. I sure was. I did not care that the hour was slowly creeping to noon (yes it was the morning), I was going to get myself some ice cream…after I had some coffee of course.
Toscanini’s is located in Cambridge closer to MIT than to Harvard, and the exterior is not conspicuous at all, with its pale yellow paint job, and wall sized windows with TOSCANINI’s boldly printed across them. Apparently, they do not want you to get lost trying to find the place and for that, I give them my nod of approval. The interior is modern and sleek and definitely has a bit of a hipster vibe to it. In the middle of the cafe/ice cream ship is a large high wooden table that is definitely intended for those working on their macbooks with the large power surge hanging from the ceiling. Although this tightens the space a little bit, there is additional seating in the front as well on the side adjacent to the large table. Furthermore, those large wall-size windows do provide a lot of light which also helps open up the space. The ceiling has that architecturally modern gridded wooded fixture which is cool to look at and meshes well with the rest of interior.
So, yes the coffee was good but that is not really the point of this post.
The ice cream. The I-ce cream. The iceSCREAM. There are so many inventive and amazing flavors that Toscanini’s has to offer, choosing one was probably one of the most difficult decisions that I have had to make in a long time. Well, I might be slightly exaggerating but really, they have all of the standard flavors you can think of and even the not-so-standard flavors. But then they go crazy with flavors like Bourbon Black Pepper, Vienna Finger Coookie, Ginger Snap Molasses, Strawberry Honey Sorbet, Burnt Caramel, Mango Ginger…and the list goes on and on and on. Also, for you buds watching those waistlines, they also have yogurt! Flavors like Malted Vanilla yogurt and coffee yogurt…just to name a few. You are probably all wondering what I ordered…well, I am always a girl who likes to make the most of a situation, so I had 1/2 Chai and 1/2 Bananas Foster. Some of you know my profound love for Bananas Foster dessert and so when I saw it in the ice cream form, there was no doubt in my mind what I was going to get. I also wanted to get a little bit more caffeine in my system, so I also opted for the Chai.
Both flavors were absolutely delicious. The ice cream base was not to creamy, the flavors were poignant but not overpowering and I felt like I was cheating myself out of eating real bananas foster and drinking chai. I never knew I would find such a gem hiding in Cambridge, but it was definitely some of the best ice cream I have had. Also, I just give them a ton of bonus points because they are not afraid to play with spices in their ice cream for example with their use of Cardamom in certain flavors. They also play to the season for example with their current Apple Ginger Snap flavor and also their Candy Corn Totopop flavor. Don’t even ask me what that last flavor is because I have no idea.
Nevertheless, a trip back to beantown would definitely warrant a trip to Toscanini’s even in the sub zero temperatures that the winter will inevitably bring. I mean, you can always eat your ice cream and then drink a cup of hot coffee, right?
Boston friends, go to Toscanini’s if you already haven’t. Even if you have, go again. Please. For me.
Grade: A- (I just wish there was a spot more of seating)
*Don’t ask me where that English term just came from*