When we asked friends what new places we should try in Calgary, every last one said Village Ice Cream. We willingly took their advice.
Small, craft ice cream companies are popping up everywhere (we consumed many a pint of Earnest Ice Cream in Vancouver before leaving), and last year, Billy Friley fulfilled Calgary’s need for summertime scoops.
The shop is inconspicuously located at the east end of 10th Ave SE, and charmingly-designed; there’s a little patio out front, and a chalkboard inside displaying their flavours.
Some of them are seasonal (like toasted marshmallow and black sesame) and some of which always stick around, classics like vanilla, strawberry, maple pecan, and guide’s mint.
The air is thick with the scent of freshly-pressed waffle cones, and there’s a fridge at the back full of take-home pints.
We met up at the Village shop with writer John Gilchrist, The Calgary Herald’s food critic, restaurant reviewer for CBC Calgary, and author of two (soon to be three) books about Calgary’s food scene.
He waited patiently while we sampled ice cream after ice cream, eventually settling on a vanilla sundae with hot fudge and pecans, and a waffle cone with scoops of toasted coconut and Phil and Sebastian coffee. The night before at Michal and Aviv’s, we’d also tried Village’s huckleberry (such a lovely, pale purple) and salted caramel.
The ice cream was wonderful – smooth, richly-flavoured, and not overwhelmingly-sweet. We lapped it up in the hot sun while chatting about how much the food scene in Calgary has changed over the past few years.
If you find it all a bit tough to navigate, follow John on Twitter at @GilchristJohn, and watch for his new book, coming soon! No one knows Cowtown culinary better than he does, but now we feel like we COULD give some pretty darn good advice about ice cream….