Restaurant: The Dairy Barn, Horseheads, New York
I grew up in a small town in Upstate New York. And while this town was small, there are still parts of it that I still talk about today.
Not just school. Not just softball. Not just my friends.
But places I used to go. Even small towns have malls…and as a teenager, I spent a lot of time at the Arnot Mall in Big Flats, New York. However…my most favorite place to go was what we locals referred to as “The Old Barn.” However, when this old barn was transformed into an ice cream shop, it became known as The Dairy Barn.
I spent so many spring and summer days eating ice cream off a cone. Usually I got a small chocolate/vanilla twist. Or the Dole Whip in a cone. Sometimes I’d get it dipped in chocolate or cherry topping. Sometimes I was allowed to have sprinkles. And on some rare occasions, I was able to pick from the hard ice cream flavors and have a really special treat.
When I went up to Utica, New York to run in a road race, Cathy and Jenn, my travel compatriots and two of my biggest race support crew, indulged me by allowing a rather big detour down through the Big Flats area. I had let those in the area know that I was going to be in town, briefly, on Sunday afternoon…and that should they want to get together…I would be hitting up The Dairy Barn.
Yes…this lactose intolerant girl was going to indulge in some ice cream. And why not? Ice cream is usually how I round off a race day anyway. This was no different…just somewhere else.
I can’t really write up a review of The Dairy Barn in Horseheads, NY. They are not like my local ice cream shop or Jeni’s up in Columbus, Ohio…meaning they don’t make their own ice cream. They do serve up Perry’s Ice Cream, however. Perry’s Ice Cream is native to Upstate New York…so at least it is somewhat local! So, I do give them that. The Dairy Barn can make up different sundaes (including banana splits…and I was tempted!) in addition to their regular ice cream in a cone or cup.
With my friends all assembled, we placed our orders. And there were definitely some fun flavors to choose from. I appreciated that The Dairy Barn had out their allergen list of all the flavors they were serving. This took a lot of guess work out and also meant that I could go with some of the hard ice cream instead of the Dole Whip, should I so choose. And so…that’s what I did.
Now, these flavors are definitely fun and delicious. Jenn went for the flavor called Piece of Cake, which is light yellow cake ice cream with chocolate flavored frosting swirls and pound cake pieces inside. Cathy went with a unique flavor she had never seen before. It was definitely one of the more interesting sounding ones…being that it was popcorn flavored ice cream with sea salt caramel swirls and caramel truffles. My friend Karen got the same kind. As for me…I originally was going to get a flavor called Fools Gold (peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter candy swirls and chocolate coated toffee pieces), but changed my mind after spotting one called White Lightning. White Lightning is dark chocolate ice cream with streaks of thick mint flavored white fudge lightning. And it was AMAZING! Rich dark chocolate with yummy fudge throughout it. It was two of my favorite things all packed into a giant “small” scoop. Mint. Dark Chocolate. Heaven. I let it just melt away on my tongue and took my time to eat it…loving and indulging in every sinful spoonful.
If the ice cream shop isn’t making their own ice cream, I give them props for choosing a company that is based out of Upstate New York and quite regional. Loved every bite of my ice cream. And at The Dairy Barn, they don’t skimp on portions either. All of us got a cup of our ice cream of choice, and it was a big scoop of ice cream…probably 2 servings packed in. I didn’t care. I was going to devour every bit of it. And each cup of ice cream was very affordable too. That large serving of delicious Perry’s ice cream ran us $2.50 each. Can’t beat that. And that was for the “small” size. I can’t imagine what the large size would be.
But the best part of this journey was getting reacquainted with people I hadn’t seen in years. It was way too short of a time, but I enjoyed every moment with Jenn, Karen, and Shannon…who I hadn’t seen in 15 years…since graduating high school. No one really has changed. We all are still goofy, still having fun, and still enjoying life. And we all got to do it together…for about 45 minutes…over ice cream.
If you find yourself passing through the Horseheads/Big Flats area…swing by The Dairy Barn and grab a scoop of ice cream. Try out a flavor you may not see anywhere else. Go with family. Go with friends. Indulge. Do it with a smile. And know that The Dairy Barn keeps a list of all allergen information for all of their flavors at the counter. So do so with a sound mind.
And if you happen to be returning to the area…get together with friends. Friendship, smiles, laughter and ice cream. That’s what these days are all about.