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Ice Cream fans get their dessert fix at Jeni’s

Jeni's ice cream draws a packed house for both their familiar and innovative flavors.

Courtesy Jeni's Ice Cream

Jeni's ice cream draws a packed house for both their familiar and innovative flavors.

Savanah Seyer, Contributor

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While the Central West End is always a bustling place full of shoppers, food- lovers and socializers, on Sunday night around 10:00 p.m. things were beginning to calm down. Restaurants were clearing tables and cars were beginning to vacate their parking spots. However, this increasing tranquility had not yet come to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, an old favorite in the St. Louis area.

In stark contrast to the emptying restaurants around it, Jeni’s, which closed in only an hour, had a line of close to 40 people, which wrapped around the wall, out the door and onto the sidewalk out- side. Families, couples and even dogs were waiting patiently for their taste of Jeni’s quirky and delicious flavors.

The interior of Jeni’s was a minimalistic dream. With white walls and small, tasteful splashes of color around the room, the entire building felt clean, open and offered the perfect spot to enjoy a treat. The menu was written on a massive chalkboard above the counter. The chalk- board is not only an adorable decoration, but serves a practical function, with the menu of Jeni’s changing frequently to include new, adventurous flavors like the “Supermoon,” a combination of marsh- mallow flavors. While my companion and I read the menu intensely, the familiar smell of sweet ice cream faintly drifted throughout the room and teased those of us in line waiting for our turn to order.

The employees rushed around behind the counter, handing customers flavor samples and scooping ice cream into waffle cones. While they seemed a little stressed due to the high volume of people in the shop, they were incredibly friendly and patiently waited on one customer after another with the same cheerful disposition shared by the people prepared to consume their ice cream. The employee working the cash register was especially chipper, as he tried (with near success) to sell us pints of the ice cream available in the freezer behind him. After asking him how the night was going, he smiled tiredly and said simply, “We’re busy.”

Once we made it up to the counter, a variety of flavors, some familiar, some not-so familiar, were available for customers. Flavors such as Green Mint Chip, Mocha Black Cherry Pint and Sweet Cream Biscuits with Peach Jam practically begged me to taste them. After sampling a variety of flavors, including the Supermoon — which, as the menu description suggests, recalls the taste of the milk from a bowl of Lucky Charms — my companion and I both decided on two incredibly tasty flavors: the Sweet Cream (essentially frozen whipped cream) and the Brown Butter Almond Brittle (a buttercream ice cream mixed with candy pieces).

I learned there are many ways to enjoy Jeni’s Ice Cream. The store offers traditional waffle cones, pints and sampler plates, which offers an array of half scoops of ice cream. I went with the traditional option, which is two half scoops in a bowl. As if each option wasn’t enticing enough, they are all reasonably priced as well — a huge bonus for this broke college kid. My order ended up costing me only $5.

After I made my selection, the employee behind the counter scooped two perfectly round scoops into a small bowl, and topped if off with a triangular piece of waffle cone, making my order look almost too good to eat. Key word: almost. Others seemed to share my assessment, judging from the amount of people taking pictures of their order before putting down their phones and picking up their spoons.

After finding a seat — which was no small accomplishment, considering the amount of people who’d come into the shop that night — we sat down to enjoy our ice cream. The first bite told me I had made an excellent choice. The Sweet Cream lived up to its name, being both delightfully sweet and creamy, and it was the perfect complement to the Brown Butter Almond Brittle. With just the right amount of crunchy candy and smooth buttercream, the Brittle flavor instantly became my new favorite ice cream.

I would recommend Jeni’s to anyone. With perfectly priced and proportioned scoops of ice cream it is a wonderful place for students. The beautiful setting in the Central West End is not only visually pleasing, but also convenient for any SLU student looking for a dessert close by. Most importantly, however, Jeni’s is a feast for the taste buds.

While enjoying my own ice cream Sunday night, I heard similar expressions of approval from the patrons sitting around me. Each person had a different combination of flavors, and the empty bowls and smiles of each customer said it all. Jeni’s is a home run in the dessert department.

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Ice Cream fans get their dessert fix at Jeni’s