BY REBECCA ISENHART AND MOLLY CONGDON
CAPITAL REGION — It’s grueling work, but somebody’s got to do it.
The Gazette’s weekly news reporting team has been out diligently gathering news tips regarding the very best local soft-serve ice cream, followed by a painstaking factcheck.
Countless peanut butter cup sundaes were ruthlessly interrogated. No waffle cone was spared.
For days, Your Niskayuna reporter Rebecca Isenhart and Your Clifton Park reporter Molly Congdon asked the tough questions in service of Your Niskayuna readers.
“Are sprinkles extra?” we asked. “Just how dangerous is the Death by Chocolate?”
Here is the final result: Your Niskayuna’s inaugural report on the state of soft-serve ice cream in and around Niskayuna.
Because after all… you have a right to know.
Bumpy’s Polar Freeze, 2013 State St., Schenectady:
As soon as you pull into the parking lot, you’ll realize how this business acquired its name. There’s a soft splashing of water, the gurgle of engines and — when you finally round the corner — you will see a joyous sight: bumper boats.
But what tickled us most were the names of the sundaes. Some our favorites were Elephant Poop, PMS and Soggy Bottom (yes, this will be served in a Chinese takeout container).
P.S. — If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the Belly Buster size. We dare you.
Country Drive-In, 1455 Crescent-Vischer Ferry Road, Clifton Park:
This 1950s style stop, affectionately known as CDI by locals, makes you feel as though you’ve gone through a time warp. You expect to see a carhop come and collect your order. Unfortunately we forgot our poodle skirts, but there’s always next time.
There may be limited flavor selection, but if you slather your order in a layer of thin, crispy dip, you can’t go wrong. Each week they feature a special. How does white chocolate sound to you?
Also, happy to report, they have glutenfree cones. Rejoice, celiacs, rejoice!
You will feel like you could be directing aircraft from the ground as you sit, lick the chocolate dripping from your cone and fix your gaze at the sky as planes take off and descend at Albany International Airport.
Kids will have a field day at the nearby mini-golf course, go-kart track and batting cages. Something they might love even more is the Tons of Fun Sundae — vanilla ice cream layered with M&Ms, Nerds, Gummy Bears, chocolate syrup and topped with the works (whipped cream, nuts and a cherry).
Parents, we apologize in advance!
Known for its enormous indoor roller skating rink, Guptill’s is also home to the “Coney Express.” It’s a classic walk-up ice cream stand that hides a stockpile of candies, toppings and dips that could likely carry the employees through the apocalypse.
Suffering from option overload? Party a little with birthday cake soft-serve dipped in birthday cake shell. On a date, go halfsies on a banana split; they’re generous enough to share.
Kurver Kreme, 1349 Central Ave., Colonie:
The curated, rotating flavor selection at Kurver Kreme represents a divergent philosophy from Guptill’s endless choices. On any given week, expect to find classic chocolate and vanilla, a fruity sherbet, a unique softserve and two flavors of low-fat yogurt, all of which are announced on the restaurant’s website each week.
The long line on summer evenings is testament to the tastiness of this seasonal local staple. It’s well worth the wait.
Jumpin’ Jack’s, 5 Schonowee Ave, Scotia:
This adorable, retro-style restaurant, surrounded by picnic tables and adjacent to Collins Park, wins the day for kid-friendliness. Though the soft-serve options are limited to traditional vanilla, chocolate or frozen yogurt, there are plenty of topping options and the cone prices were some of the lowest we encountered.
Swap your phone for a Frisbee and bring the whole crew for an old-school summer evening of games and creamy goodness.