I wrote the other day about my new series, The Quest for Uhlman’s, and today it begins! Before I go into my ratings of two ice cream shops today, I’ll explain the rules for how this will all work. I’ll rate every shop I go to on their taste, price/portion ratio, atmosphere, and flavor selection. Uhlman’s marks the middle of this spectrum and earns a rating of 0 for all of these categories. Everything else will compare to Uhlman’s on a scale of plus or minus 5 (so if, say, the taste is much worse than Uhlman’s the ice cream would get a negative five, but if the atmosphere is a little better than Uhlman’s it could get a positive 2). I’ll add all of the numbers together and see how it compares overall with Uhlman’s. So with that, here it begins!
The Moose Cafe–The Moose is more of a soft serve location than a traditional hard ice cream spot, but I’m rating it just for kicks and to get this whole thing started.
Taste–The Moose has tons of flavors (more to come in a minute), including a couple of pre-designed sundaes like the Pleasing Peanut Butter Sundae. Their soft serve is really good, whipped cream is nothing special, and the things that they add in (like syrups and candy) are good also but can sometimes get stuck on the top and by the end you’re stuck with a massive amount of soft serve. While it tastes good, the ice cream’s consistency, being soft serve, makes it an unfair comparison as the Moose should be compared to Dairy Queen instead of Uhlman’s. If you’re looking for traditional, hard ice cream, it’s not the right place to go. However, it is a great substitute for DQ. -3
Price/Portion Ratio–Uhlman’s can be expensive if you’re looking for a cheap nighttime outing. The Moose, on the other hand, is fairly cheap in comparison. Two sundaes cost less than $5, so it’s a pretty economical option. +2
Atmosphere–The Moose is open all year long. It’s located in a parking lot next to Nonni’s on Stafford Street in Tiverton. Although the shop’s surroundings aren’t anything special, it’s pretty comfortable inside with a massive moose head and some good, comfortable chairs. It doubles a coffee shop and restaurant, so it’s a nice place to hang out inside. -1
Flavor Selection–The menu at this place is out of control. I felt like I was watching the video Muffins with some of the weird flavors they offer, and my sister and I made it into a game to try to guess what wasn’t a flavor. Although they have basically everything (and if they don’t have it, you can make your own flavor), it can be overwhelming when you step in and see a gigantic menu. So while they have so many options, it can be a little much. 0
Overall–The Moose Cafe gets an overall rating of -2: not bad, but not quite Uhlman’s. If I were comparing it to Dairy Queen, it would definitely be a closer race.
Taste–Gray’s is pretty typical New England ice cream. Their ice cream is a lot creamier than Uhlman’s and can taste a bit heavier (although all ice cream is pretty heavy). They have pretty good milkshakes (or cabinets in Rhode Island). Their ice cream is good, but a lot of times when you order a flavor like Oreo there won’t be enough Oreo bits in it. I’d say Gray’s is good for plain flavors of ice cream, but if you’re looking for something a bit snazzier, it’s lacking. -3
Price/portion ratio–I said that Uhlman’s is expensive, but Gray’s is even more so. For two small ice creams it cost about $8. The portions are pretty generous, but forget about it if you’re going to come here with the whole family. -4
Atmosphere–Gray’s scores some points on atmosphere. Uhlman’s is located on the fringes of Westborough’s main road in a nice area, but if there aren’t any tables and the place is crowded, you can be out of luck as there’s nowhere really else to sit. Gray’s, on the other hand, is located right in Tiverton’s Four Corners, and there are shops and places to walk around nearby so you can take your ice cream elsewhere without having to sit in the car and having to go home. Gray’s has another location in Bristol right on the water which definitely wins when it comes to atmosphere. +2
Flavor Selection–Gray’s doesn’t have quite as many options, and they were out of their chocolate peanut butter flavor all of last summer (which once I tried it I found out there weren’t any peanut butter cup chunks or anything and it was just a blended deal). They have some cool flavors like eggnog because they’re open year round, and their coffee flavors like mocha chip are great. -1
Overall–Gray’s gets a -6 overall. I feel bad because I probably hold a grudge against the place as everybody raved about it before I moved to Tiverton, so I was expecting something even better than Uhlman’s. Gray’s does have good ice cream, and I would recommend it to visitors. However, the value for your money isn’t the best and you should stick to coffee and mocha chip here.