I first discovered Jake’s Ice Cream about six or seven years ago (thanks to my pal Katy) and I’ve loved it ever since. It is, quite frankly, the best I’ve ever had, bar none. And believe me, I’ve tried quite a bit. I love good ice cream. Jake’s is made by hand in small batches, and while it’s much harder than soft serve, it’s still softer than most. It actually tastes like what you might get out of a real, honest-to-God, old-fashioned churn at home, if you had the genius to create such amazing recipes as Chocolate Slap Yo Mama and Brown Sugah Vanilla.
The flavors are amazing and constantly changing. My favorite, the astonishingly delicious Brown Sugah Vanilla, is usually available, although some of the other varieties of vanilla, such Yo Daddy’s Vanilla, Honey Vanilla, and Vanilla Malt, are a little more rare. Not to worry, though, they are all terrific. I am especially fond of cinnamon ice cream … and have more than once visited Jake’s and found two different cinnamons available at the same time. In all, I’ve found five different cinnamons at one time or another, including Cinnamon Chocolate, Cinnamon Roll (with real pieces of yummy cinnamon rolls), Cinnamon Kenya AA (cinnamon with coffee!), Cinnamon Apple Piescream, and just plain Cinnamon. I’m not sure I could pick a favorite. Although in the interest of journalistic investigation, I intend to keep trying.
Speaking of coffee, there are at least six varieties of coffee ice cream, and nine chocolates—from the simple but terrific Just Plain Chocolate to the exotic (and rather surprising) Mexican Hot Chocolate, with adds a bite of hot pepper. Don’t laugh. It’s unusual, sure, but amazing. The point is, there is always something new to try, although it’s hard to say no to old favorites, since you never know if they’ll be there next time. I haven’t seen the Root Beer Float variety in ages.
Not to worry, though. Whatever happens to be there … it’ll be wonderful. The problem, alas, is making a choice. Thankfully, American genius has concocted the two scoop/two flavor cup or cone. Give Jake’s a try. I challenge you to find better ice cream.
When I first discovered Jake’s, they were located in a funky old house on Church Street in Decatur, Georgia, just a block or two from the Square. They later moved to a space on Clairmont, which was fine but just never quite the same. Now, they’ve moved to the Irwin Street Market, which I think is my favorite space of all. Jake’s shares the space with a breakfast nook and lunch counter, a coffee shop and bakery, a few shelves of homemade pasta sauces, and a market.
Aside from Jake’s, of course, I’ve only tried the bakery. I recommend it highly. It’s run by the baker himself and his wife, and their obvious pride in their cannoli is well-justified. The coffee has always been hot, fresh, and well-brewed. The other treats look almost too inviting.
The space itself includes lots of comfy chairs and tables, perfect for lingering over breakfast, a coffee, or an ice cream with friends, a laptop, or a good book. It’s deliciously unpretentious, relaxed, and welcoming—spacious and wonderfully quiet, perfect for reading, working, or conversation. It’s a cozy, welcoming space—one of my very favorite urban hangouts in a city that is rich with them. I can’t wait to go back and try the breakfast. I’m planning to do some writing there this week. I hope to see you there.
One complaint … Jake’s doesn’t (yet) have hot fudge. Granted, their vanillas are all so good that they don’t really need it, but somehow, it seems like a must. But don’t worry. Rumor suggests that homemade hot fudge is in the works. I’m looking forward.
UPDATE: the hot fudge may be coming sooner rather than later. Jake himself has informed me that testing of various recipes begins this week. I’ll keep y’all posted.