The Guilty Pleasure: Mary Mint Showboat Sundae Where To Get It: Mary Coyle Ol' Fashion Ice Cream Parlor, 7th Ave and Missouri Price: $6.75-$8.75 What It Really Costs: Ignorance is bliss. Very delicious bliss.
While we may not get snow around Phoenix, there are still signs that winter is upon us. At the bar where I work, we've been selling hot buttered rum at an astonishing pace. People in denial don their scarves when the thermometer hits 68 degrees. And, autumnal pumpkin-flavored everything* goes out the window in favor of wintry tastes. The flavor that seems to get everyone's attention is eggnog. Folks, the only eggnog-flavored thing worth drinking is eggnog. After you've had a batch of real, homemade eggnog, everything else is just milk with guar gum and natural flavoring.
The flavor that catches my interest this time of year is peppermint; to be more specific, peppermint chip ice cream. When I was growing up, a carton of Dreyer's peppermint ice cream was a wintertime staple in the freezer. Now that my tastes have expanded, I've learned that Dreyer's ice cream is hyper-stabilized junk. You can leave a dish of it on the counter for half an hour, and it holds its shape. Eww. Around here, we can do much better.
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For many years, Mary Coyle has offered a darn fine peppermint chip ice cream. It's excellent on its own. It's even better as the Mary Mint showboat sundae, topped with hot fudge, whipped cream, and the obligatory cherry on top. If you've had a sundae anywhere else in town, you've likely noticed that hot fudge is doled out like it's a precious endangered resource. On a really good hot fudge sundae, there's supposed to be a little too much hot fudge. Mary delivers with just enough hot fudge that it feels a little naughty. Which is to say, there's exactly as much hot fudge as a sundae should have.
A little bonus to remember: If you want Christmas in July, Mary Coyle offers peppermint chip ice cream year-round.
*Side note: If you still haven't had your pumpkin fix, I recently found killer pumpkin pie gelato at Lombardo's Gelato. It tastes like pumpkin, not just pumpkin pie spice. No word how much longer they'll have it around, so you might want to go soon. Caveat: To get your hands on it, you'll have to brave Arizona Mills or Metrocenter. Good luck with that.