Sundae Sundays: Baskin Robbins II: Soft-Serve Caramel Sundae

My Yogurtland Sundae Sunday was enjoyable but inspired me to find some real soft-serve ice cream. This weekend I put forth a little more effort and drove the extra two miles to Baskin Robbins.

I last visited BR in search of a top-notch hot fudge sundae and was generally happy with the results. I like that they keep their toppings heated (shame on you, Ben & Jerry's, for using a room-temperature squeezie bottle) and decided to try a caramel sundae. Granted, hot toppings + soft-serve ice cream = very ephemeral dessert. Heck, though, if I liked the sundae enough, I would be too busy eating it to care if it melted within minutes.

The store was surprisingly slow on a warm spring afternoon: a bad sign, perhaps, for BR, but great luck for me, as it suggested the employees probably wouldn't rush in making my sundae. And, indeed, the pleasant scooper went slowly through the sundae's construction, stopping at various stages to inquire if I wanted more caramel (yes, please), an additional topping (yes again, Heath Bar, please), whipped cream and a cherry (of course, thank you).

BR's soft-serve has a purer vanilla flavor and thicker texture that distinguishes it from other watery and less expensive varieties I've had at lesser establishments (e.g., McDonalds). Although I nearly drowned the ice cream in topping, the sundae retained its shape long enough for me to consume most of it.

For the record, I think butterscotch is vastly superior to caramel, and would always choose the former over the latter should both be available. Alas, not the case at BR. The caramel was decent but unsurprisingly saccharine; however, the dairy mitigated the sweetness, especially when I adjusted my spoon's topping-ice cream ratio. And the Heath Bar bits: heavenly as always. That candy bar can do no wrong in my book.

Next Sundae Sunday may actually be a homemade concoction. I welcome suggestions for themed topping and ice cream combinations; right now I'm considering "peanut butter and jelly," "cereal happy times," "chocolate craziness" and other sophisticated motifs.

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Joanna O'Leary