Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bobtail Ice Cream

A few months back a bunch of my fellow med students and I went to Monsignor Murphy's for pub quiz night. After an intense night of trivia, our team captain Renee Banakis took us to her favorite ice cream joint Bobtail Ice Cream Company. That was before the days of Jeff Eats Chicago, but last week I happened to find myself right down the road. Some of you may have read my post on Chilam Balam, the fantastic Mexican tapas restaurant in Lakeview. Well, we had a pretty filling meal, including dessert, but we were so close to Bobtail that everyone dug down deep and made a little more room in their stomachs.

There's not too much to talk about with an ice cream place. The restaurant is one large room with a typical ice cream display counter. They have a nice outdoor seating area, although when I sat down I clearly didn't realize there was a puddle in my chair until it was too late.

There was a moderate line when we got there, but we got through it in about 15 minutes. One thing that's nice is they're not stingy with the free samples. Ice cream can vary a lot from place to place, and you might know what the cake batter tastes like at Coldstone, but when you go somewhere new you need to try stuff out. The workers seem to understand that too, and there's a very friendly vibe to the place.

The price is pretty reasonable, around $3-5 depending on how many toppings you get and what kind of cone. Mostly though it's nice that you get a real big amount of ice cream for the money.

The Food
There's a large assortment of options at Bobtail that you might expect. The sundaes and banana splits looked delicious, but we did just have dessert shortly before. We all went for scoops. Schneider got the Peanut Butter Chip in a Waffle Cone, Pedro got the Pistachio in a cup, Sophia got the Peanut Butter Chip and Cookies N Cream in a cup, and I got the Cubby Crunch (vanilla, sprinkles, oreos, and toffee) in a Sugar Cone.

 The Cubby Crunch in a Sugar Cone

The Peanut Butter Chip and Cookies N Cream in a cup

The ice cream was really good. It was very creamy, had stand out flavors, and held up nicely even as we ate it outside in the hot weather. The way Sophia put it was that it "just satisfied that feeling." I'm not sure if it's the best in the city though. I'd maybe give that title to Homer's or Margie's, but this was pretty darn good.

I've had really good ice cream and really bad ice cream in my day. I'd say some of my favorite comes from the Elegant Farmer in Wisconsin, and my least favorite comes from iCream in Wicker Park. The key factors are the creativity in flavors, the high content of ingredients, and the level of creaminess. Bobtail did really well on the ingredient content and pretty well on the level of creaminess. Mostly I like to get chocolate, and they didn't seem to have any special chocolate choices which was a little disappointing. I didn't try everything they have to offer, but I got a good feel for a bunch of their flavors. I'm giving Bobtail 4 out of 5 Pearls.

Bobtail Soda Fountain on Urbanspoon