I inhaled the thick aroma of fresh-baked waffle cones – so strong I could almost taste them. The thought of having to wait in the line winding out the door of Betty Rae’s Ice Cream before I could get my hands on a waffle cone was irking me.
My stomach rumbled as I was watching them stir the ice cream through the small window at the back of the parlor. I slowly inched my way to the front of the line until I was greeted by a cheery girl offering me taste tests. Despite all the time I spent in line to consider and reconsider my flavor, my indecisive tendency left me ordering two items on the menu after trying all but four of the 24 flavors.
The mint-chocolate-cookie flavor tasted like freshly picked mint leaves, rather than the Baskin Robins green dyed and pepperminty flavor. The lavender-honey flavor tasted as if someone had just picked a lavender flower and doused it in fresh honey. That and the Jasmine Green Tea ice cream made me want to spit it out, not because it was horrible, but more because I was completely unprepared for it. As I tasted both of the flavors, I could feel the woman behind the counter studying my sour face and shock at the strong flavor. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t what I ate.
The ice cream tasted natural, not artificially altered in the slightest. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Chamomile and Granola with Raisins flavor or their signature “The King,” a banana and honey flavor with peanut butter chips whipped into it. However, I couldn’t help but give them props for coming up with such creative flavors. I am generally a more traditional-flavor kind of gal, so the peanut butter, coffee, chocolate-brownie, strawberry, etc. were more my speed.
After trying the twenty out of 24 flavors, I ordered a regular scoop of strawberry in a waffle cone and a mini chocolate-brownie ice cream with a shot of espresso on the side. Staring at the espresso steaming out of a cup the size of a kiwi, I couldn’t tell if I should take a sip or not, but I was instructed to pour the espresso over the ice cream. New concept to me, but very worth trying.
The warm, strong espresso, from local coffee distributor Thou Mayest Coffee, added a sharp flavor to the cold sweet sensation of chocolate-brownie. This made me feel like I could indulge in some chocolate ice cream even in the morning with the newfound espresso addition.
Next I retrieved my waffle cone, a Swedish design wrapping the outside of it, not a traditional checkered-like imprint. After studying the intricacy, I took a whopping bite. The first crunch of the outer side of the waffle cone led to a softer center, mixed with sweet, fresh strawberry ice cream. The fruity light flavor and crunchy sweetness of the cone put me in a frenzy of sugar-overload.
While I savored every bite of my treats, the open door allowed a refreshing warm breeze to circle its way in and back out, drifting the waffle cone scent out onto Wornall – devilishly persuading unsuspecting pedestrians to indulge in some ice cream.
I sat on the wooden benches observing the dainty jars of daisies and succulents placed at each table area inside Betty Rae’s. The orange-tinted, ceramic tiled, wall had a metallic shimmer to it – a sunshine effect. Summer was practically beaming inside Betty Rae’s.
But the best part for me wasn’t even the strong flavors or the thick waft of freshness I could smell from outside, but that all of the ice cream is house-made, daily. Not only is the ice cream fresh, but the flavors use no food coloring or artificial flavoring. The owner tries to use mainly local ingredients for the waffle cones, ice cream and coffee. I love organic and local, and knowing everything is freshly made almost made me feel like eating the ice cream was healthy — well as healthy as ice cream can be…
Betty Rae’s hits the spot on even a gloomy day. The cheerful ambiance, friendly workers and variety of tasty treats they have to offer makes the experience as fresh and exciting as the ice cream itself