762 Yates St.
Hours: 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Summer is here in Victoria, BC and ice cream parlours all over the downtown area are no doubt going to see a surge in business. There’s at least one per 3×3 city block. Pretty soon, I think I will have to rate the five or so businesses that I’ve sampled over the and during the years when the craving hits. With Milkcow being the latest and a franchise-based operation, I have to ask myself if they are worth the wait?
Korean dessert shops don’t seem to have a long life-span in Gordon Head, the area which I live. One space at the corner strip mall has been turning over from one sweet shop to churros (run by a Korean) to still another sweet shop all within 2-3 years. Hopefully, in Downtown Victoria, they can last longer.
Parachute Ice Cream
105-2626 Bridge St
Hours: 11 to 7pm
Phone: (778) 265-1999
I’m rarely in the area of Rock Bay, where the industrial side of Victoria exists. Plenty of automobile shops and breweries are strewn around. It’s amazing how only a couple of years will see change. Gone are a lunch stop — where I had the best bison burger I’ve ever had (review on Victoria burger blog) — and one of Prima Strada’s locations. They now operate out of Cook St (Fairfield area) and Fort (in the municipality of Oak Bay).
Now, other stops have sprung up, which includes a coffee shop offering nouveau sensations (i.e. ethically sourced ingredients) and a few doors up is Parachute Ice Cream. They opened in May 2016. After walking around to see what’s changed, I should make a point of being in this area more. At night, this location can be dodgy. This operation closes at 7pm every day. During the warmer seasons, I suspect they stay open longer. This detail is important for those who linger around. Down the block is Moon Under Water Brewpub and Saltchuck Pie Company. Both will be places I will want to check out. For beer lovers, they can have their pick of Hoyne, Driftwood or Vancouver Island Brewery to get kegs. All three should have rooms to sample their latest brews.
Molly Moon’s Ice Cream
The only difference between Victoria, BC’s Cold Comfort operation to Seattle, WA’s Molly Moon’s is perhaps the latter has several operations than one. The quality of the cream is similar (both are hand-crafted in store), the service is super friendly and the variety … perhaps the same. During a wet Pacific Northwest night, the craving for ice cream certainly hit me.
Now that summer is here, I’m reflecting on which ice cream parlors I miss. Both operations have a cozy place to hang out in, and I have to say they are equal in exceptional variety and quality!
Sustainability is key to both operation’s success. While there were issues with my home-based operation not able to provide exacting details to satisfy the Canadian Food Inspection Agency requirement to provide sufficient labeling to sell in groceries, I’m sure at Molly Moon’s they could if they wanted to.
Les Chocolats Favoris
1010 Government St
JS: Move over Beacon Drive-In, there is a new ice cream shop in town and they speak Québécois French. Can a bit of olde England (Victoria) stand up to the noveau French invasion? Personally, I will say Beacon has little to worry about. But careful, do not drop your guard. Do not take Favoris lightly. Sure Beacon has their own lightly creamed sweet ice cream but when the urges take over, now and again, I want a hearty ice cream that is less on cream but more filling. For these urges, I shall run to Les Chocolats Favoris.
ES: I like the fact that the president of this company, Dominique Brown, decided to open up shop here in Victoria instead of Vancouver. They are based out of Quebec and to have an operation here is a gamble. Over the summer, during the busy tourist season where a cruise ship stops by every few weeks, this place was busy! Of course, James and I were late in learning about it and we still wobbled our way over to try ice cream off-season.
The draw has to be with the size of the portions offered. When I was walking to the Inner Harbour later, some tourists gawked at what I had left and I pointed them to where they could buy one.
1115 N Park St #2
I miss being able to buy Cold Comfort Ice Cream at nearby outlets like The Root Cellar. This dessert is made in small batches and the unique flavour combinations are what makes this brand special. Ever since the Canadian Food Inspection Agency came in to say this product can not be sold elsewhere due to insufficient labelling (it did not conform to legislative standards), I have to visit the shop in the North Park neighbourhood of Downtown Victoria.
The issue came down last year in December and my craving for this local delicacy did not hit until recently. I discovered on their Facebook page photos showing rose water and lavender flavoured delights. I crossed my finger and hoped those were still available. I love the exotic flavours this local company offers! There’s a texture in their products not created by other brands. I love it when companies innovate. Ben and Jerry has competition!
The fact that Cold Comfort’s base of operations offers ice cream mashed in between cookies, graham crackers or a doughnut only cemented my need to visit sooner than later. I don’t want to wait for the Spring or Summer months to arrive to sate my taste buds.
Recently, they’ve been offering some unique flavours like Earl Grey and Blueberry Swirl. I wanted to savour every remaining bit off my plate. Anyone watching me would think I’m making love with the pottery. While those type of manners do not fly, is what I’m doing wrong? I ordered this cream sandwiched between a doughnut supplied by Empire Doughnuts.
On a cool night, even at the start of Spring, this company’s product certainly hits the spot. The store is open late on Fridays for the dating crowd, and who cares if I arrived alone. When I need to embrace Cold Comfort, I’m just there. With this place also selling Emile’s Organic Bread and Four Quarters Meats for sturdier meals, I may come here instead of hitting the grocery store for loading up on snacks for my trip to Seattle next month!
If a brown sugar and vanilla flavoured ice cream sandwich doesn’t give my dentist the shivers, I honestly don’t know what will. While at the Root Cellar today, I debated if I should get some Avalon brand ice cream (my favourite) and as my glance strayed downwards, I saw that there’s an unobtrusively made package sporting the name: Cold Comfort.
Okay, Spring is here. Finding a new dessert to sample made my heart thump. To discover organically sourced handmade ice cream sold me in more ways than one. The price is more than what I would normally pay for (nearly $5 for an ice cream sandwich), but the taste: oh what a difference! The Scotch sugary mildness and accented flavour of the vanillas was very nice. I’m thinking that the sandwich itself was a sugar bread and oh boy—is that a drill I hear in the background?