Friday, July 29, 2011

#032 Best Chocolate Shop

This weekend, during my adventure to the library and my trek to the Co-op, I decided to check out Goody’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain, rated #032 Best Chocolate Shop. Goody’s is located in the North End, which is basically Boise’s version of a trendy district. From what I have seen, the houses are absolutely gorgeous (along Harrison Street) and feature gargoyles, giant pillars, and the works. Many are from the beginning of the twentieth century. From what I have heard, the yards are tiny, the people are yuppie hippies, and there might be a drug problem (gotta love gossip).

To give you an idea of the general buzz about the North End, it is the place Boise-ians (Boise-ites?) in college tell you to get an apartment in. It is the place where aforementioned apartments cost more simply because they are in the North End. It is the place where, when a coworker mentions she just bought a house in the North End, people ask if she is obsessed with recycling and if she only shops at the Co-op as they make jokes about driving a diesel truck through her neighborhood whilst tossing garbage out the back.

Basically, the North End is charming, trendy, slightly hippie, and has a cute little district called “Hyde Park” that is essentially a little shopping mall/restaurant area. This is where Goody’s is located.

Goody’s doesn’t have a parking lot that I could find, but it is right on the edge of Hyde Park, so it is really easy to park along the streets in the neighborhoods surrounding it. It is also fairly close to the Boise Co-op, so it is nice to check out both if you are ever in the area (but I am not sure if it is in walking distance – I get very confused how far I have driven when I try to navigate the one-ways).

Goody’s has fantastic hours. I think most nights they are open until 10:30 pm! It also smells delicious, like fresh ice cream. I was surprised by how authentic it looks. When you walk in, it really looks like you have gone back in time to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. One review even said they make their own sodas by mixing the syrup in themselves, so they are extra delicious. They are two big bars, and a few small round tables. The majority of customers were sitting outside, where they will deliver your ice cream and treats and where there are a bunch of tables to enjoy the nice weather.

Goody’s also has a bunch of stuffed animals and beanie babies on shelves around the store. I used to LOVE beanie babies, so this was a nostalgic display. In addition to drinks and ice cream, they also sell lots of candy. However, a lot of it was behind the counter in glass jars, which made it hard to peruse. Up on one shelf, they had a giant lollipop for sale for $48!

Some tasty things that stood out on the menu were the homemade ice cream bars – they had Ol’ Nutty Marion, as well as a Cookie Jar Bar. They also had a popcorn machine, with caramel corn available ($10 for a large box, $5 for a medium box and $2.50 for a small box).

Brownie sundaes sounded amazing, and for $6.50 you could get a brownie, your choice of ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry.

The ice cream flavors were:

• Vanilla bean

• Strawberry

• Oreo cookie

• Coffee bean

• Chocolate almond

• Chocolate

• Cake batter

• Butterfinger

• Vanilla Yogurt

• Cherry Yogurt

• Frozen pink lemonade

I prefer exotic ice cream flavors, which may have been where I went wrong. I ended up ordering a single scoop of Cake Batter ice cream on a cake cone, for $3. I thought the price was very reasonable and the serving size was perfect. However, the ice cream just didn’t thrill me. I am not sure of the root cause of the issue, and engaged in some discussion with my coworkers. First of all, I had very high expectations, as the reviews on Yelp were phenomenal. In fact, one guy said the ice cream wasn’t very good, and I had to wonder what was wrong with him before I had even visited Goody’s. Maybe this was a case of too high expectations? Second of all, I have read numerous studies that say when you expect something to be good, you envision it as good, as expectations shape your experience. This would refute my previous comment about high expectations. What do you guys think?

Anyway, when I mentioned I didn’t really like it to a Boise local, she said she LOVES their ice cream and I think the large crowd outside would attest to this. I just found the cake batter really bad. If I hadn’t known what I had ordered, I would have thought it was just an especially buttery vanilla ice cream. It didn’t taste at all like cake batter, and here is where we decided the problem lies. I may have just gone too new school at an old school place. Clearly Goody’s specialty isn’t fancy, new and modern. Maybe my ice cream was just out of their league, and I should have stuck to something like Oreo…a classic.

However, another disappointing issue was the cone. Normal franchise places like Baksin Robbins have AMAZING ice cream cones and they even make their own waffle cones. I guess I figured Goody’s would have delicious cones, but I have to vote otherwise. True, I didn’t get anything fancy like a waffle cone; I just got a cake cone. But, I have had better sugar cones straight out of the box.

If I make it to Goody’s again, I think I will have to try their frozen chocolate bananas for $3. They also had yummy sounding dark cherry chocolate dips for $10/lb and all sorts of jawbreakers ($.75 for a medium, $1.50 for an extra large). I used to love Jawbreakers from our version of a candy shop, Hallmarks. It is now out of business, but I loved to get jawbreakers from there and always ended up licking them until my tongue was raw.

One thing I purchased and did love at Goody’s was Jelly Belly jelly beans. The quality really does vary depending on where you buy them. Sometimes they can be super fresh, and other times they taste really stale. These ones were fantastic, and $8.50/lb. A lot of the reviews seemed to find the candy prices astronomically high, but all the candy was around $8.50/lb and I think that seems reasonable.

The best way to sum up Goody’s was a little girl I saw in line with her grandparents. Her hands were clasped and she looked up at her Grandma, “Granma, can I pwwweeease have some ice cream?” It is an adorable little nostalgic shop, but I could think of five places to go and get better ice cream. Pick your poison, I guess!


Lauren Hairston said...

I'm sorry the ice cream was disappointing, because it looks like a really cool place. I love all the great things you're finding to do in Boise, so I got on Living Social to see if they had "365 things to do in Wichita." Nope! Poor Wichitans...

amazey said...

I'd love to see pictures of the houses with the gargoyles and and such! I love driving through the historic areas of old towns and looking at the houses.

terri said...

Oh no, sorry you didn't particularly like the ice cream or the cone. I've never had a chocolate banana but I want one now ha.

Kelsey said...

Thanks Lauren :) I think I was most excited to move to Boise because it was a finally a town on Living Social's list of places to do fun stuff! It is the best and easiest way to find cool things in a town...I bet yelp might be able to help you a little bit, maybe? Have you ever tried it? Not as good, but can help, especially with finding restaurants to try.

Amazey, that is a great idea. I will give Goody's another try and go for a frozen banana, then stroll the street and snap some pictures for you :) I LOVE old houses.

And Terri, I can't believe you haven't had a frozen banana! I love them. Speaking of frozen foods, I love grapes frozen in the freezer. You let them sit out for about ten or fifteen minutes, and then they are icy and super refreshing.