For your Sunday drive, we screen for ice cream

Where you can still find the cream of the crop

Family: Events, Activities

August 12, 2004|By Joanne E. Morvay | Joanne E. Morvay,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Remember when you were a kid, and your parents would pile everyone in the car for a Sunday drive?

The neighborhood you knew so well would give way to neighborhoods you'd never seen. And eventually those might give way to back country roads where most of the scenery involved vast fields of corn and the occasional herd of farm animals.

If everyone behaved, there was usually a reward along the way, like an ice cream cone or a frosty milkshake.

We can't make any promises about the scenery. Development, like time, marches on.

But listed below are three ice cream stops definitely worth a Sunday drive.

Hoffman's Home Made Ice Cream

934 Washington Road, Westminster. 410-857-0824

Hoffman's has been a Carroll County institution almost since it opened in 1947. On a hot summer night, the lines often snake out into the parking lot. But that's where everyone goes to eat their ice cream, so there are plenty of folks to chat with while you wait. The ice cream menu recently featured 24 flavors, including coconut chocolate chip, tin roof, lemon custard and pina colada sherbet. The ice cream is made daily, and flavors are added at ice cream maker Jeff Hoffman's discretion. Don't miss the made-to-order milk shakes. Brimming with real ice cream and thick syrups, they're practically a meal. Open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

Take Interstate 695 to Interstate 795 North. Exit at Route 140 and follow into Westminster. Take a left on Route 97. Follow to a right on Main Street. Take a left on Washington Road. Hoffman's is a few miles down on your right.

Simple Pleasures Ice Cafe

6948 Laurel-Bowie Road, Bowie. 301-809-5880

This European-style dessert cafe with lace tablecloths and fancy glassware is just the place when you're still dressed in your Sunday best. The staff at Simple Pleasures will happily welcome you dressed down as well. Co-owner Terri Russell fell in love with similar cafes while living in northern Germany when she worked for NATO and the Department of Defense. When Russell returned to the United States, she and her mother, Santamaria Perrin, brought Old World ambience to their new family business. Homemade ice cream flavors include banana pudding, tiramisu, peach amaretto and stracciatella (made with imported Italian chocolate). The menu also features Italian ices, sorbets, cake, pies, sugar-free desserts and gourmet coffee and tea. Open 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.

Take Interstate 295 South to Route 197 toward Bowie. Route 197 becomes Laurel-Bowie Road. Follow for eight miles to Simple Pleasures, in the Bowie Plaza Shopping Center.

South Mountain Creamery

8305 Bolivar Road, Middletown. 301-371-8565

Take a ride out to Frederick County's scenic Middletown Valley for ice cream that's fresh from the farm. At South Mountain Creamery, the herd of Holsteins visitors pass on their way in are the hardworking heifers that provide ice cream's most important ingredient - fresh cream. Family-owned and operated South Mountain offers the basics of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, as well as a few extra flavors, such as cookie dough, peppermint stick and peach. The dairy's retail store also sells its own milk, yogurt and cheeses plus farm-fresh eggs. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Follow Interstate 70 West toward Frederick. Continue past Frederick to the State Route 17 exit south toward Middletown. Follow to a right on Milt Summers Road. Turn left onto Mount Tabor Road. Mount Tabor Road becomes Bolivar Road. There's a sign at the farm.

For more family events, see Page 37.

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