Friday, September 28, 2007

Hidden Gem (Ice Cream Counter: Inside Dr. Bombay)

I have eaten my fair share of ice cream in town this summer, none of which were of the supermarket variety. This was almost unexpected. With the closing of What's the Scoop on Highland and the moving of beloved Hank's in Grand park, the pickings looked slim for a while. Then things looked up the day we drove by Dr. Bombay near Candler park. The unusual name set off a light bulb in my head. I had seen that name some time ago, in the context of some hidden ice cream counter.

We got a prime parking spot right out front on that lazy Sunday afternoon. Walking in from the bright sunlit street, I had to take a moment to adjust to the dimness within. The tiny space was crammed with tall bookshelf, mismatched tables, and well worn sofas. It looked like some one's well lived in den, inviting and comfortable. A man in an equally well worn t-shirt sat at one of the little tables sipping a cappuccino over a book. He didn't look up. Neither did a couple quietly chatting at the sofas on the other side of the room.

We felt self conscious for a second in the quiet space, feeling like intruders. Then I saw a rack of baked goods on a counter in the far back corner and relaxed. The counter was old fashioned and displayed only a handful of ice cream flavors behind glass panels that threaten to become too cloudy with age. The flavors were straight forward, banana, vanilla, chocolate, etc. None of it looked fancy, but the texture of the offerings looked creamy.

We each got a single scoop split between two flavors. The single scoop turned out to resemble two stacked baseballs in danger of toppling over the too small styrofoam container. We carefully balanced the massive construction on a high top near the counter and dug in. Creamy, creamy, creamy was the word of the day. Pinky sized pieces of banana studded throughout the big ball of frozen cream on the top of my cup, while little nibs of cookie punctuated the smooth vanilla ball underneath. The cream was so rich, I almost couldn't take it after a few bites, almost.

The monster of a scoop defeated me about half way through. But I planned to go back for more, perhaps with a good strong cup of black coffee.

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