Flyby Tries: The New Harvard Square Ben & Jerry’s
In hindsight, getting ice cream in the middle of a frigid Boston winter may not have been a great idea, but in the name of journalism, we decided to make the trek to the new Ben & Jerry’s located at 35 John F. Kennedy St. We had to dodge street puddles and trudge through black sludge (socks unfortunately not spared), but we eventually made it to our destination.
Annette: Honestly, the customer service was enough reason to visit the store. The person behind the counter was like an ice cream genie pulling out flavors we had never even heard of left and right. When we asked for recommendations, she didn’t even have to glance at the menu to know exactly what we were looking for. I wanted flavors overflowing with sugar (chocolate, caramel, and cookie dough) and without hesitation, the lovely worker suggested Phish Food and The Tonight Dough. Raymond wanted something a little more vanilla, and the worker recommended Half Baked and Milk and Cookies.
I ended up getting a small sugar cone with a scoop of Tonight Dough and a scoop of Cherry Garcia (I was stepping outside my comfort zone and incorporating fruit into my diet) for a total of $6.75. Raymond, on the other hand, stuck with the worker’s recommendation and got a small sugar cone with a scoop of Half Baked and a scoop of Milk Cookies with sprinkles for a total of $7.50.
Annette: If an ice cream is not loaded with chocolate syrup, chocolate chunks, caramel, and cookie dough, I don’t want it… usually. One thing I was not expecting was how much I enjoyed the Cherry Garcia. It was the perfect level of sweetness to keep you wanting more (like the Fuze Raspberry Iced Tea from the dhalls) AND it had chunks of chocolate to satisfy your chocolatey needs. Overall, the flavor was a 10/10, would-recommend experience. The Tonight Dough was obviously good, but how could it not be good with all the sugar!
My only large disappointment was the fact that they didn’t have any cake cones. Gorgeous gorgeous girls are cake cone girls, and this store just did not deliver. If I’m loading up on calories in my ice cream, I need my cone to be less sweet to keep my conscious guilt free. It was unfortunate that I had to settle for a sugar cone, but I’m pretty sure the freezing cold walk to and from the shop made up for all the extra calories.
Raymond: This was my first time trying Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and honestly, it was pretty damn good. Did it live up to the hype? Not necessarily, but it was a solid cookie dough ice cream experience. The rainbow sprinkles did overpower the flavor of the actual ice cream, however, so do be aware of that when deciding whether or not to get extra toppings.
Ice cream aside, the cone (an often overlooked component of the ice cream experience, in my opinion) left a lot to be desired. We both got the classic sugar cone, but it tasted more like a mix of cardboard and the bran part of (off-brand) Raisin Bran. I was definitely disappointed, especially since I love the feeling of finally being able to take that first bite of a crunchy cone.
Annette: There were no chairs! No chairs! I don’t know if this was a COVID-19 precaution (which is very understandable, of course) or just a stylistic choice, but having at least a small window booth with some stools would’ve really elevated the ~vibes~. Lack of indoor dining aside, the decor was giving middle-class house kitchen. There were those Ikea ceiling lights and wood touches that gave the store a nice clean look, but honestly the ice cream was good enough to make you forget about the interior design.
Raymond: I agree with Annette about the decor (and the chairs!), but what I really want to talk about is the marvel of engineering that is the rotating ice cream cone stand right next to the cash register. Instead of having to juggle both an ice cream cone and your wallet as you struggle to pay, your ice cream cone can safely rest itself on the stand. When you’re done paying and you’ve put away your wallet, you can then rotate the stand, pick up your ice cream, and be on your way. Life changing. Literally life changing. My jaw dropped when I saw it. I took photographs. This must have been the transformative experience I was promised when I came here.
This is it. It’s great.
Is It Worth It?
Harvard Square has a lot of ice cream shops. Like, a lot. There’s J.P. Licks, Lizzy’s, Milk Bar, BerryLine, and now (once again) Ben & Jerry’s. Did we really need another ice cream shop? No, not really, but a wider selection never hurts. While it may not be a new Curious George merch store, the Ben & Jerry’s shop does have a solid selection of the quintessential and quirky flavors they’re known for. If you’re a big fan of the flavors, this is definitely the shop for you, but otherwise, you’re probably not missing out on much by choosing one of the many alternatives to satisfy your ice cream cravings.