This week I ate so much junk food, and Handel’s made up a good portion of it. I sense a lot of salads in the coming week to compensate. On Wednesday I stopped at this ice cream place across from the Galleria (right next to Buffalo Wild Wings). They originate in Ohio and have expanded to 10 states. This location opened about a year ago. I think I’ve been here once before. I don’t recall what I ordered though. I arrived at about 5:30 and it was about 102º, perfect.
Inside the space is quite large. Half or more is behind the counter, chilled storage for their many flavors, and more space behind them, I assume where they make it. I’ve dabbled in ice cream making and the scale here is impressive. I can’t imagine the batch size they work with. On the menu I found the perfect item for this visit, a 4 scoop sampler [$6.75]. I decided I would pick 1 scoop from each of the 4 main ice cream categories on the menu (Chocolate, Specialty, Fruit & Vanilla). Including the basic flavors and some other specialty options (vegan / ice / sherbet) there were 50 flavors to choose from today.
I went with: Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie (chocolate ice cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter® ripple and brownie chunks), S’mores (graham cracker ice cream with marshmallow ripple, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows), Strawberry Cheesecake Chunk (cheesecake ice cream with strawberry ripple and cheesecake chunks) & Oree-Dough (vanilla ice cream with Oreo® cookies and cookie dough pieces).
In general, I really love the overall consistency of this ice cream. They keep it just cold enough to keep it solid because it’s very soft and almost fluffy in texture. I ended up taking most of it home, where I keep my freezer about as cold as it will go, and the ice cream was solid as a rock when I pulled it out the next day. Flavor-wise it held up well though.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie – The chocolate ice cream base here really dominated the flavor of this scoop. The brownies stood out well in terms of texture next to the soft cream. I think it could have benefited from more peanut butter. What was there simply got overwhelmed by the rich chocolate ice cream.
Strawberry Cheesecake Chunk – This one was delicious, and it was the one I was least excited about (I’m not so much into fruits with my sweets). The ice cream had a great cheesecake flavor to it and the strawberry ripple, which seemed almost syrupy, was a nice bright contrasting flavor. The cheesecake chunks sort of blended into the ice cream and I didn’t notice them that much.
Oree-Dough – While still good, this was my least favorite of the four. It just didn’t strike me as particularly special next to the others. There was plenty of cookie dough chunks and pieces of Oreo cookies though. I think the vanilla ice cream (which I am generally a fan of; “vanilla is a flavor” -Nick Wiger) is the weak link when right next three very good bases.
S’mores – The star of the show for me. I kind of blew right past the description of this and didn’t realize the ice cream base itself was graham cracker flavored. The color took me by surprise. This was amazing and really captured that mix of ingredients well. The marshmallows were still nice and soft, which I was really impressed by, but the marshmallow ripple did most of the heavy lifting for that flavor.
At work on Friday they had an ice cream social thing (a shockingly rare event from my company for its employees) and it turned out to be catered by Handel’s. So once again I was eating more ice cream. I went with the S’Mores again (it’s that good) and also tried the Mint Chocolate Chip (mint ice cream with chocolate chip specks) which was nice, bright (both in color and flavor) and as refreshing as a dairy-based desert can be.
All in all, Handel’s is a solid ice cream shop. They don’t do any sort of crazy or fancy stuff, just straight up good ice cream scoops.