Friday, August 23, 2013

I Scream for (Quality) Ice Cream!

I stopped by the spot where Istria Cafe was on 51st in Hyde Park after work today hoping to get some gelato. Istria closed down earlier this year and was recently replaced by Bridgeport Coffee. Istria used to have good gelato -- one of the very few places around Hyde Park that serves reasonably priced, reasonably good frozen desserts. Unfortunately, the new owners are not continuing the tradition. Instead they are sticking to traditional coffee house drinks, some pastries, and limited sandwiches.

The owners of Istria had been threatening closure for a while. They closed their 57th street location in 2010 and gave this interview in 2012 about the strangulation effect Chicago over-regulation and bureaucratic discretion was having on their business:

So now I have one fewer frozen dessert places to choose from. In fact, there is not one decent ice cream place in Hyde Park! There are a couple of gelato places left, a frozen yogurt place, and a new ice cream shop, but the quality is only okay, and the prices are through the roof. I might even make the stronger claim that there is not a good ice cream place south of the north side of Chicago! And I love good ice cream, so this makes me sad. I would love to be proved wrong, so if you know of a good place, please let me know in the comments.

Maybe I'm just spoiled. Really spoiled. Really, really spoiled. I grew up down the street from a Graeter's and a Jeni's. That's not even mentioning Knights or the other quality homemade ice cream shops around central Ohio. After growing up with that, Coldstone and Baskin Robins just don't cut it for me.

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