“I love ice cream” is not a shocking, special, or compelling statement. I would be far more concerned if someone stated the opposite than if someone simply confirmed what I assume about all sane, non-lactose-intolerant individuals. Thus, I will not state the obvious.
I will, however, confidently assert my belief that Thomas Sweet’s chocolate chip cookie ice cream is the greatest ice cream in the world. NO, NOT chocolate chip cookie dough. Be careful. The world will tell you that going through your life eating flavors like chocolate or cookie dough or cake batter or black raspberry is acceptable. The world can be a cruel and misleading place. You could have been eating chocolate chip cookie ice cream this whole time. Quick, move fast, before it’s too cold.
I find it hard to pinpoint why chocolate chip cookie ice cream is so good. We can look to the contents: the coffee base and the smooth texture mixed with chocolate chips that are delicious in their own right. We can look to the uniqueness: the only similar flavors I have encountered are mere impostors, such as your local ice cream store’s Toll House and what have you. We can look to the warmth with which the Thomas Sweet employees greet you upon your arrival in their cozy little store. Just kidding, there is nothing warm or cozy about the environment; the ice cream redeems what is otherwise a cramped space filled with workers who seem to disdain both ice cream and human beings with equal force. I love this ice cream flavor more than the men behind the counter hate giving it to me, more than they despise anyone who dares ask to sample a flavor or receive a small cup for water.
While consuming a cup of chocolate chip cookie for a completely acceptable fourth time in the span of a week just a few days ago, a friend asked me: “What other flavors do you like here?” Um…
If I had ever tried any others, I would have been happy to tell him.
In my dozens (conservative, judgment-avoiding estimate) of trips, dating back to family vacations over a decade ago, I have never had a different flavor at Thomas Sweet, with the exceptions of one underwhelming chocolate milkshake and one cup of chocolate chip cookie dough, served to me because I did not emphasize clearly enough that I wanted not that boring flavor but the one that makes grown men (or, at least, one college-aged semi-man) salivate and groan. I say this not out of some misplaced sense of pride or accomplishment; instead, I say it to convince you to eat chocolate chip cookie ice cream. I dream of a day when children walk the streets of D.C. armed to the chocolate chip-filled teeth with the stuff, forsaking both the mundane and outlandish (pumpkin ice cream, you gotta go) flavors of their ancestors.
If chocolate chip cookie has one flaw (and surely there cannot be more than one), it is the hardness of the chips, which tend to be mouth-watering but can become mouth-endangering if the ice cream is frozen at too low a temperature. Some might also bring up that, despite this endlessly convincing ode you are currently reading, the immaculate flavor is still ice cream — delicious but not good for the proverbial beach body. To that I respond: depending on where you live, Thomas Sweet is just far enough away to lie to yourself about the walk there and back burning off a significant chunk of the generous portions’ calories. It is truly amazing what the mind can persuade one to believe when the body feels bloated and mistreated.
Even for those of you who will not convert to the chocolate chip cookie lifestyle — and I fear there will be some doubters, poor souls — do not let the looming cold scare you away from the ice cream store, a perfect place to escape to from the dairy-free hell of studies and stresses. Even if you find yourself shivering from the cold of the ice cream, remember that ice cream actually warms the body’s core temperature and has several key nutrients.
So make sure to make time for ice cream. And do everything you can to make it chocolate chip cookie, based in a coffee flavor but perhaps birthed from the minds of ice cream gods.