BY MOLLY CONGDON
AND REBECCA ISENHART
CAPITAL REGION — It’s grueling work, but somebody’s got to do it.
Over the past couple of weeks, most of the Gazette’s weekly news team has been gathering news tips regarding the very best local soft-serve ice cream, followed by a painstaking fact-check.
Countless peanut butter cup sundaes were ruthlessly interrogated. No waffle cone was spared.
For days, Your Clifton Park reporter Molly Congdon and Your Niskayuna reporter Rebecca Isenhart asked the tough questions in service of Your Clifton Park readers.
“Are sprinkles extra?” we asked. “Just how dangerous is the Death by Chocolate?”
Here is the final result, Your Clifton Park’s inaugural report on the state of soft-serve ice cream in and around Clifton Park. Because after all, you have a right to know.
Country Drive-In, 1455 Crescent-Vischer Ferry Road, Clifton Park
This 1950s style stop, affectionately known as CDI by locals, makes you feel as though you’ve gone through a time warp. You expect to see a carhop come and collect your order. Unfortunately we forgot our poodle skirts, but there’s always next time.
There may be limited flavor selection, but if you slather your order in a layer of thin, crispy dip, you can’t go wrong. Each week they feature a special. How does white chocolate sound to you?
Also, happy to report, they have gluten-free cones. Rejoice, celiacs, rejoice!
Control Tower Ice Cream, 1050 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
You will feel like you could be directing aircraft from the ground as you sit, lick the chocolate dripping from your cone and fix your gaze at the sky as planes take off and descend at Albany International Airport.
Kids will have a field day at the nearby mini-golf course, go-kart track and batting cages. Something they might love even more is the Tons of Fun Sundae — vanilla ice cream layered with M&Ms, Nerds, Gummy Bears, chocolate syrup and topped with the works (whipped cream, nuts and a cherry).
Parents, we apologize in advance!
Bumpy’s Polar Freeze, 2013 State St., Schenectady
As soon as you pull into the parking lot, you’ll realize how this business acquired its name.
There’s a soft splashing of water, the gurgle of engines and — when you finally round the corner — you will see a joyous sight: bumper boats.
But what tickled us most were the names of the sundaes. Some our favorites were Elephant Poop, PMS and Soggy Bottom (yes, this will be served in a Chinese takeout container).
Even though there is no shortage of flavors — 135 total — you can make the healthier choice with a smoothie or even go out on a limb with a frozen banana.
P.S. — If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the Belly Buster size. We dare you.
Guptill’s, 1085 New Loudon Road, Latham
Known for its enormous indoor roller skating rink, Guptill’s is also home to the “Coney Express.” It’s a classic walk-up ice cream stand that hides a stockpile of candies, toppings and dips that could likely carry the employees through the apocalypse.
Suffering from option overload? Party a little with birthday cake soft-serve dipped in birthday cake shell. On a date, go halfsies on a banana split; they’re generous enough to share.
Jumpin’ Jack’s, 5 Schonowee Ave, Scotia
This adorable, retro-style restaurant, surrounded by picnic tables and adjacent to Collins Park, wins the day for kid-friendliness. Though the soft-serve options are limited to traditional vanilla, chocolate or frozen yogurt, there are plenty of topping options and the cone prices were some of the lowest we encountered.
Swap your phone for a Frisbee and bring the whole crew for an old-school summer evening of games and creamy goodness.