When I was house hunting a few years ago and finally decided to move to Watertown, the couple that owned my place said the best thing about living in this neighborhood is the proximity to Rancatore's. I had no idea what that was and sheepishly admitted it. In unison they shrieked, "What? How is it possible you've never been there?" Apparently it's an amazing ice cream place.
The shop's nickname glows brightly from the front window.
Inside, every sign and display is scribbled in marker by the bevy of high school students behind the counter. My eyes were immediately drawn to this parade of cones.
Ranc's showcases their toppings the way my childhood favorite did, Steve's Ice Cream, also in Newtonville.
Every display has cartoonish scribbles, even the spoon and straw buckets.
Once you've ordered, you can enjoy your frozen treat at the counter along Ranc's exposed brick wall.
The night I went, I had two friends with me. We had just feasted at Cook down the street. The three high school kids behind the counter were very generous and allowed us to taste several flavors.
I went with two scoops - one coffee and one called Cocoa Joel, which is a mix of milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate ice creams, swirled with Oreos. Both flavors were extra creamy and mixed together created a cappuccino crunch-like super flavor.
One of my friends went with peanut butter Oreo ice cream in a chocolate cone. How good does that look?
After a few licks she said, "I love Oreo mixed with anything, but I'd never had it mixed with peanut butter and that was a delightful combination. The chocolate cookie cone with totally unnecessary, but a delicious addition."
Our third musketeer ordered a Brown Cow, which is a root beer float blended into a frappe. Who knew such a thing even existed?
After one sip, she explained, "It's fizzy, refreshing and has just the right ratio of vanilla bean ice cream to root beer. One of the things I love about Ranc's is that they offer frappe sizes! I can get a small or a large, and after just finishing that dinner, I really could only handle the small."
One of the coolest things about Ranc's is that their website updates the current flavors at each of their three locations in real-time. So if you know you want a specific flavor, you can check before you head that way. Genius!
Are you a Ranc's devotee? What your go-to flavor?