Sunset Ice Cream & Gifts

2211 Front Road, LaSalle, 519-978-0177
Date visited: June 19

Billing itself as “Where ice cream meets art,” Sunset Ice Cream & Gifts offers more than just a snack — it’s an experience.

The ice cream isn’t the art, though.
Sunset offers 16 flavours of London Ice Cream co. product as well as floats, milkshakes, and a range of candies and other sweets.
In addition, the store is a gift shop, heavy on garden wares, which suits its setting: outdoors, patrons are welcome to tour a garden that features a pond boasting koi and even a frog.

We tried a Lime Creamcycle and Pralines and Cream, each in a sugar cone. The lime was surprisingly good, although even Marta said it could have been a bit more tart. Ask for the kids’ size although it’s not listed on the board — it’s a dollar cheaper than the posted $2.99 price for a single. A double is $3.99 which includes the sugar cone upgrade.

The shop is located directly next to Chappus Farms, which sells local produce in season. It’s south of the main part of town, and its seating choices: benches, chairs and even brightly-painted kids’ picnic tables, offer lots of comfortable perches.

A couple of indoor tables are used to hold tea parties!

Bottom line: We spent much longer than we had planned enjoying this oasis.

Marta’s notes: “It has good ice cream and you would probably enjoy seeing the fishes.”

Slinky’s Dairy Hut

100 Lesperance Road, Tecumseh, 519-735-1717
Date visited: June 12

Slinky’s is an institution. Situated at the terminus of the Ganatchio Trail, it operates seasonally — “from March Break to Hallowe’en,” our server said, serving a variety of ice cream treats.

Besides 32 flavours of Nestle and London ice cream hard pack, the store offers soft serve, frozen yogurt, and fancier concoctions: sundaes, banana splits, parfaits, milkshakes and sodas and floats. A word of warning though — our server told us their recipe for a Boston Cooler involves Vernor’s mixed with soft ice cream, rather than the traditional vanilla hard pack.

A girls’ soccer team ahead of us in line challenged the single server, but she handled them all quickly and expertly. Our orders of single scoops of Triple Chocolate Brownie and Gold Medal Ribbon, respectively, tasted good, but the servings were small for the price — $2.79 for a single and $3.99 for a double, plus 65 cents extra for a sugar cone and 85 cents for a sprinkle-edged cone. The total came to $7.49, our most expensive yet for the smallest cone yet.

Soft serve will run $2.19 for a single, $2.49 for a double, and $2.79 for a triple, more with a dip.

There are several stand-up tables indoors and a series of benches lining the outside, facing the parking lot.

Bottom line: Slinky’s may be a Tecumseh tradition, but it is not really worth visiting unless you’re in the neighbourhood.

Marta’s notes: “The ice cream was really good and the staff are friendly.”

Dari DeLite

2686 Howard Avenue, Windsor, 519-969-3845
Date visited: June 5

A stand-alone drive-up, Dari DeLite offers a limited selection of hard ice creams. On our visit, the sign listed six Sealtest flavours but the bins contained Chapmans products.

In fairness though, no one goes to Dari DeLite for hard ice cream; it’s really all about the soft serve.

A quick-moving queue forms to order cones in vanilla, chocolate or twist at three price points — $1.48, $1.76 or $2.10. Dipped in chocolate, the cones increase in price to $1.78, $2.05 or $2.38. A waffle cone will set you back $3.05.

On a really hot day, eating soft serve is a race against time and gravity to consume the sweet treat before it drips down your arm. It’s worth it to spring for the dip, which forms a casing that actually helps slow the dripping.

There is limited afternoon shade at Dari DeLite, no indoor seating and a few benches ranged along one wall facing the parking lot. But when the weather is pleasant, there are almost always families and young couples, patrons are happy and the staff is friendly and efficient.

The establishment serves its soft ice cream in a variety of creations, from sundaes to banana splits. Its menu also boasts shakes, malts, slushes, and even hot dogs (I’ve never seen anyone order one though).

Bottom line: Dari DeLite is not designed to satisfy a real ice cream craving, but is a quick and convenient stop for soft serve.

Marta’s notes: “I like the location because on a hot summer day, you can grab your ice cream and go for a walk in Jackson Park.”