“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.”
—Howard Johnson, et. al, 1927.
The first time I heard that line it was sung by my paternal grandfather, a man who liked singing and loved ice cream. Summer gatherings at my grandparents’ house featured homemade ice cream, each cousin taking a turn cranking the wooden contraption. My mother continued that tradition, albeit with a motorized model, delighting in coming up with new flavors that my sister and I were happy to taste-test. My mother is also renowned for baking amazing breads, the foundation of many a childhood sandwich. I’m reminded of these moments after my recent visit to the Iceycle Creamery & Pedalers Deli, a small shop serving a combination of creative ice creams and sandwiches featuring fresh-baked bread.
The business name stems from its origins as a bicycle ice cream cart that still makes occasional appearances around town. The bicycle theme is reflected in sandwiches with names such as “Tricycle Club” and “Pedalerstrami,” even extending a 10 percent discount to cyclists who ride to lunch.
The staff working during our visit were beyond friendly, eager to answer questions and offer information about the menu. I mention this because there’s good service, and then there’s “I really care about this product and the work I put into it.” Hard to say when I’ve witnessed this much enthusiasm while ordering either ice cream or sandwiches in recent memory.
I went with “The Fixe” on jalapeño cheddar bread ($8.75). What I received was a sandwich big enough for two, stuffed with porchetta, salami, provolone, red pepper, aioli, olives, pepperoncini, arugula, tomato, onion and seasonings. The bread was a large, sweet French roll topped with cheese and chiles, baked fresh that morning and every bit as good as it sounds. I added a cup of pork chile verde ($2 with a sandwich, $3.50 on its own), and I’m glad I did. More of a stew than soup, this cup of spicy, piggy goodness was almost better than the sandwich. Let’s call it even.
My wife ordered “The Cruiser” on the same bread ($8.75), featuring ham, turkey, Monterey jack, avocado, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. She enjoyed it but felt the bread was a bit on the sweet side. I tried a bite and had to admit hers tasted sweeter than mine. Not sure why that could be—perhaps the selection of ingredients somehow brought out a sweet note my sandwich lacked?
Speaking of sweetness, there’s plenty of that on the ice cream side of the room. Available in waffle and sugar cones, hand-packed pints, half pints, quarter-pints and cups, the flavors vary week-to-week depending on the mood of the wizard behind the curtain. Having just had a sizeable meal, we settled on single-scoop cones ($2.50 each), my wife choosing Earl Grey tea while I threw the diet out the window and chose maple bacon. Real chunks of bacon, real maple extract. Damn, that’s good.
My wife only made it through half her cone, partly due to being full and the fact that this ice cream is closer to the fatty mouthfeel of gelato than not, something she doesn’t particularly love. I’m not a huge fan of bergamot, but I finished her cone because at this level of quality, it’d be a shame not to. Other flavors we tasted included sweet potato casserole (more like pie), fresh prince of Persia (rosewater, pistachio), chocolate salted lavender, pineapple jalapeño sorbet, toasted sesame (think tahini), and ricotta fig. Somehow I missed tasting the “I Do Declare” bourbon peach, but I’ll definitely be back to try that and more.