I live in New Britain, CT, and surprisingly (for a state that consumes the most ice cream per capita!), there really aren't many good ice cream places to choose from nearby. Nothing that I know of in the city itself, and while the local Cold Stone Creamery used to be a good, short trip for us (located on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington), it's been changed into a frozen yogurt joint. I'm sure the froyo is good and all (haven't tried it yet!), but that wasn't what we were craving the other day after a long, hot day - I had gotten stuck in a train car without A/C for my ride home from work!*
Mortensen's original location on the Berlin Turnpike. From their Facebook page.
Anyway, the boyfriend and I been asked to do a favor for a friend in the West End of Hartford, so I decided to jazz the trip up by making a detour on our way back home, to Mortensen's! We had just intended to get ice cream, but realized we really needed to get some food in our bellies, too, so we started with burgers (mine veggie) and fries, all of which was very good! The place certainly isn't JUST ice cream, so plan to have a whole meal there if you can squeeze it all in!
Unfortunately, we couldn't. We'd spent most of the meal perusing the BINDER filled with flavors and their descriptions, and had settled on some flavors we wanted to try. However, when it came time to order dessert...we decided we'd have to do to-go ice cream instead, and enjoy our dessert later on. Our waitress kindly offered to hand-pack a couple of pints for us (this is usual practice - they will pack pints, quarts, etc. at your request). I chose Graham Central Station and Maine Black Bear (even though there were a bunch of other flavors I wanted to try - but I always have to remind myself to try the unusual flavors, because I can get the staples anywhere!). Troy chose their mudslide (I think it was called Mud Pie?), but when they didn't have that (the ice cream is made fresh daily, and flavors are constantly rotating), they offered to mush together their cookies n' cream with their coffee. So we both went home happy! We thoroughly enjoyed our ice creams, and I definitely plan to go back again soon to try even more flavors! (Although Graham Central Station has become a new favorite....)
Mortensen's has been around just about FOREVER, and they are great, local, family-owned restaurant, so if you find yourself driving through central CT on a road trip this summer, be sure to stop in for a real treat. One of my favorite things about the place? They have fruit flavors which they offer year-round (strawberry, peach, etc.), which they switch out for seasonal ones when the time is right. So, if you're there, say, during our peach season, you'll get locally-grown, fresh fruit in your ice cream! And if you're not, you'll still get their premium ice cream with peaches from a carefully selected source (they indicate the locations from which all their fruit originates on the menu). I love the concept, I love supporting fantastic local businesses, and of course - I love the ice cream.
*While I don't NEED air-conditioning in my daily life, I've decided that it's definitely necessary in an enclosed train car where you can't open the windows and are stuck with dozens of other people, just all sweating it out...it must have been about 20 degrees warmer in there than it was outside! Ugh.