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Channel 5 News Features Stricklands Ice Cream (June 2014)

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Stricklands Featured in the "Top 10 Things to See" at the Firestone CC Bridgestone WGC Event!

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25 Words That Mean Something In Akron

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Stricklands in the Top 500 Franchises

Stricklands awarded the ""Top 500" by Entrepreneur Magazine!

Monster Munching - A blog about dining, cooking, and eating in and around Orange County, California


Stricklands - Irvine, CA


Nothing in life is as sweet as ice cream in summertime. To indulge in it during these hot months is always a forgivable sin. That diet can wait. It's summer after all.

In Irvine, the best place to treat oneself is Strickland's on Campus Drive.

Hailing originally from Ohio, this solitary California outpost of the franchise sells soft serve, freshly made out of gleaming churning machines that look like they belong in the engine room of a steamer ship. The ice cream produced by these metal contraptions is silken, devoid of ice crystals, and thoroughly smooth. Before Haagen Dazs hardens, it would taste like this.

Two special flavors are offered, along with Chocolate and Vanilla, which are always available. You can order it straight up in a cone or have it dolled up in a myriad of ways, including drizzled with toppings for a sundae or whipped into a cold shake.

When you order it as is, a unique conical scoop sculpts each serving into a shape out of Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" with stiff, undulating curves that end in pointed peaks. This is Stricklands' signature -- something they probably should patent.

We had our vanilla soft serve with half a banana, some chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chopped nuts, and a Maraschino cherry. They called it a Banana Boat ($3.95). We called it "summer."

Interesting Trivia: Since our visit last summer, Stricklands has garnered a smattering of accolades from the local press, which they proudly framed. One that was featured more prominently than the others was from fellow food blogger and Chowhound, "Professor Salt."

RoadFood.com Review
Reviewers Writeup:
"One Akron food expert told us that Strickland's serves custard without the egg, which is a culinary oxymoron. Custard is defined by the fact that it contains eggs. But the story goes that during World War II, when eggs were in short supply, Strickland's learned to do without. After the war, they got grandfathered into the definition of custard in Akron and they have been serving their unique product ever since. Strickland's web site makes no reference to lack of eggs in the formula devised by "Uncle Bill" Strickland and first mixed in his garage. 
Eggs or no eggs, we love this good stuff. It is dense, thick and full-flavored, clearly the product low-overrun production, meaning minimum air is pumped into it. If custard had muscles, Stickland's would be buff indeed. We ate only plain chocolate and vanilla, each of which was well-nigh perfect, but next time we intend to come packing major sweet-tooth appetites and go for a turtle sundae or banana split, and maybe try a flavor of the day. When we visited, that was dulce de leche..."
- Michael Stern

"Smooth and creamy and nearly fudgy – but not cloyingly so – Strickland's chocolate is Fourth-of-July good."
- Michael Stern
"The dense, low-overrun vanilla served by Strickland's reminds us of the very similar custard served at our beloved Ridgefield Ice Cream Shop in Connecticut." 
- Michael Stern

Strickland's Partners with the Akron Racers

Strickland's is a proud partner with the Akron Racers.  We will be serving fresh Strickland's Ice Cream at Firestone Stadium for all home games and major events.

Go Racers!!

Akron has the world's best everything. Really
Akron Beacon Journal article (May 22, 2005)

Found in America - Week 15 - Strickland's

Dudley's Journal

We had more fun watching Dudley eat his frozen treat than we did eating our own.

Dudley ate Strickland's Frozen Custard. There may be no better five words to describe just how spoiled he is. Watching Dudley eat ice cream was in the running for the cutest and funniest thing we've seen him do. The little plastic bowl of custard moved further and further away with every lick and Dudley dutifully chased it.

But when we thought it couldn't get any cuter, he put his paw on the bowl to hold it in place. We shook our heads in disbelief and stopped ourselves from buying another baby bowl of vanilla just to watch him eat it.

Strickland's Frozen Custard, started in the midst of the Great Depression, is still going strong in the 21st century.

Time "Tasted" Comfort

Finally, Rob gets to taste Emily's favorite treat!

Certain foods transport us back to childhood. Mom's recipe for spaghetti and meatballs or Grandma's nut roll cookies become more than just food — they comfort us and remind us of a time when our biggest worry was whether or not we would pass our math test tomorrow. For Emily, Strickland's Frozen Custard is the ultimate childhood comfort food.

When Emily was six years old, her family moved away from Akron, Ohio. Even though they would miss their family and friends there, she and her two brothers protested most loudly, saying, but "no more Strickland's?!?" They tried to figure out ways to ship it to their new home in Indiana. Emily's mother bought an ice cream maker in a vain attempt to reproduce the flavor and consistency of Strickland's. They planned visits back to Akron during the summers, so they'd be sure to stock up on their favorite dessert before heading back home.

Flash forward to 1994, when Emily met Rob. Before long, Rob revealed that his favorite dessert was vanilla ice cream (not "plain," but vanilla) and Emily told plenty of stories about Strickland's. For ten years, however, Rob was denied a taste of the cool treat. Finally, it was time to pull Murray into the Strickland's parking lot, and on a hot Midwestern summer day, (90 degrees, no less), Rob had his first cone of Strickland's Frozen Custard — vanilla, of course. As soon as he tasted it, Rob agreed that Em was right, Strickland's is the best frozen custard around.

The bad news about Strickland's is that you can get it only in Ohio from May to October. The good news is that Ohio is less than a 40-hour drive from almost anywhere in the lower 48 states.

Found in America - Week 15: Strickland's

Essential Advice

We don't have anything bad to say about Strickland's, except that we have to travel to Ohio to get it.

The Ultimate Comfort Food  

  • Strickland's has used the same secret recipe and the same ice cream machines since 1936.
  • Only three flavors of custard are on offer at Strickland's: vanilla, chocolate, and the Flavor of the Day.
  • The Flavor of the Day changes every three days or while supplies last.

The Secrets of Strickland's

  • The first and last Flavor of the Day each summer is Black Raspberry.
  • It take about 23 minutes for the machines to process five gallons of custard.
  • While Strickland's also offers milkshakes and sherbet, they do not use the same recipe as the custard. Fans of Strickland's almost always go for a cone or the occasional banana split.
  • Look inside the shop at the Flavor of the Day signs by the back door. The flavor at the front of the stack will be the next Flavor of the Day.
  • The Flavor of the Day starts with a vanilla custard base, to which fresh ingredients are added, like banana, coconut, raspberries, or almonds.

Keeping Up with the Times 

  • Fans of Strickland's can have the Flavor of the Day e-mailed to them.
  • From time to time, Strickland's introduces new Flavors of the Day. One recent addition is Reese's Pieces.

10 Family Favorites: Our sixth annual list of can’t-miss Orange County destinations

OC Family Magazine article

California gets a taste of Akron

Akron Beacon Journal article

Web sites combine with high-tech consumers

Cleveland Plain Dealer article

I scream, you scream, we all scream for CUSTARD

Akron Beacon Journal article

Old-fashioned treat now served in Montrose

Akron Beacon Journal article

Plain Dealer Review of Stricklands

Cleveland Plain Dealer article

Second Helpings by Jane Snow - "Ice Cream Ethics"
Akron Beacon Journal e-mail newsletter

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