Frozen Delight: Chilly treats that hit the sweet spot

Once again, the editors at Cary Magazine presented the food writer with a grueling assignment: Go find and write about the best frozen treats in the area. Ten thousand calories and many pounds later, here are five places worth sating your sweet tooth.

Goodberry’s Frozen Custard
As sure as summertime brings hot temperatures, you’re virtually guaranteed to find people lined up at Goodberry’s, an outpost for frozen custard lovers. Customers don’t seem to mind waiting for their cups of goodness made from fresh milk, cream, eggs, pure cane sugar and other natural flavorings.

“We make the custard fresh every hour at all our locations because the freshness of the product is also a key ingredient,” said Henry Braithwaite, Goodberry’s vice president and son of founders Harry and Joan Braithwaite. Nine locally owned and operated stores are strategically positioned throughout the Triangle area.

Braithwaite explained that frozen custard is considerably richer than ice cream. “The egg is a natural emulsifier and produces a very smooth and creamy dessert,” he said. When made in special proprietary machines, Goodberry’s product is denser than other frozen desserts because there is less air whipped into it during the freezing process.

So what’s the most popular item? The signature Carolina Concrete, which is so thick that it’s served upside down. Countless flavor combinations can be made on any given day, as any of the available fruit, nut, candy or syrup toppings may be mixed in to create a distinctive taste sensation. “Our specialty sundaes and frozen custard cakes are quite popular as well,” Braithwaite said.

Since there’s no indoor seating, most patrons find a seat in the courtyard and savor their concoctions. Goodberry’s is open seven days a week.
1146 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary (919) 467-2386
2325 Davis Drive, Cary (919) 469-3350

Happy Holly’s
Family-owned Happy Holly’s is a nifty drive-through and walk-up kiosk that offers patrons ice cream, shaved ice, milkshakes and other indulgences. What’s more, a new fenced-in area provides a convenient space to play games like cornhole and mini-golf.

“We serve Hershey’s ice cream, and we make the shaved ice on-site,” said Rich Tammaro, the good-humored general manager, who hails from Long Island, N.Y. “We also like offering a fun place for families to hang out and enjoy themselves.”

Happy Holly’s offers about a dozen flavors of preservative-free Hawaiian shaved ice such as green apple, strawberry cheesecake and piña colada. Other creations include floats, low-fat yogurt, milkshakes, banana splits and more.

Open daily, Happy Holly’s provides outdoor seating with large umbrellas, small plastic chairs for kids and offers 10 percent off for anyone wearing any type of sports uniform. “We also give the same discount to school teachers, police officers, fire and rescue personnel and senior citizens,” Tammaro said.
527 N. Main St., Holly Springs
(919) 552-0637

Marmalade Skies
Frozen yogurt is enjoying a huge resurgence, and among the most distinctive self-serve joints around is independent shop Marmalade Skies. Not just another typical strip-mall-situated fro-yo establishment, Marmalade Skies features many items free of gluten, sugar, fat and lactose. Never mind the various offerings contain high levels of healthful live and active yogurt cultures.

“We like to offer people plenty of healthy options,” said General Manager Hanna Ho, whose family owns the store. With more than 20 rotating flavors of yogurt like cake batter, vegan lactose-free pomegranate-raspberry or nonfat lemon frenzy, choices abound.

When it comes to garnishes, 50-plus selections cover all the bases. Want fresh mango, strawberries or kiwi? Or how about dark chocolate chips, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds or dried cranberries? Don’t forget to add requisite coverings like hot fudge, caramel and — of course — sprinkles.

Whenever you go, select your cup, swirl in yogurt, add toppings, weigh, pay (currently 45 cents per ounce) and enjoy. Samples are available upon request. Prepackaged 20-ounce to-go containers are also accessible.

Prefer a yogurt-based smoothie with fresh fruit instead? Marmalade Skies has that covered as well. “We also offer Tuesday specials when kids 10 and under get 50 percent off,” Ho said.

Vibrant orange walls and several inviting couches inside encourage lingering. Open daily, Marmalade skies is also a Wi-Fi hotspot.
280 Meeting St. #103, Cary
(919) 859-7373

D.H. Hill Creamery

Situated inside D.H. Hill Library on the N.C. State campus, the Creamery serves up Howling Cow products, which are fashioned from milk produced by cows at the university’s nearby research farms. The result is consummate hand-scooped ice cream, shakes and sundaes.
Ice cream flavors range at the Creamery range from cherry vanilla and chocolate chip mint to campfire delight and dulce cheesecake. Butter almond and peanut butter spin are also worthy of consideration.

While popular specialty sundae Chancellor’s Choice features vanilla ice cream with fudge ribbon and peanut butter cups, the decadent blue ribbon milkshake comes loaded with three large scoops of any flavor ice cream. “We add a splash of heavy cream, a dash of vanilla and then blend it to perfection,” said store supervisor Susan Stephens, who resides in the Capital City.

Although surprisingly the Creamery is closed on Saturdays, students and guests delight in late-night visits Sunday through Thursday, when the store is open until 1 a.m. The shop closes at 8 p.m. on Fridays.
2 Broughton Drive, Raleigh
(919) 513-3502

Henry’s Gelato
Henry Dirkmaat constantly dreams up new flavors of gelato, the Italian variant to ice cream. With more than 130 flavors listed on the Henry’s Gelato website, it’s safe to say customers have plenty of choices.

Small batches of gelato are produced on-site daily by Henry or other specially trained artisans. Approximately two dozen flavors are showcased in display freezers at any given time, and these are rotated regularly to maintain diversity.

Sophisticated and unfussy concoctions are presented with equal aplomb. Consider Belgian chocolate, caramel apple, baklava and bubble gum. Then there are selections like cozy interlude (dark roast coffee with chocolate and hazelnuts) and peach champagne.

Popular sorbets include blood orange, fruits of the forest, lemon and grapefruit. “We also sell a lot of gelato-based cakes and pies,” said Henry, who lives in Pinehurst and became enraptured with gelato in Florence, Italy, more than 20 years ago.

During the summer months, the three area Henry’s Gelato stores are open seven days a week.
1063 Darrington Drive (Preston Walk), Cary
(919) 388-5888

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