As if the mountainous Big Thurman Burger at Thurman’s wasn’t enough of my daily intake of saturated fat, I saved room for a little ice cream nightcap. Now I grant you that standing out in 28 degree temperatures all afternoon doesn’t exactly inspire an appetite for ice cream, but I was told that Jeni’s was place not to be missed. Nervously checking my watch, I had just enough time to fit in a few scoops and race to the hotel before the Irish took the field against USC.

While a relative newcomer to the ice cream game, Jeni’s has garnered quite the fanfare since opening their doors in 2002 and has already staked out seven locations across the greater Columbus area. Made exclusively from locally sourced cream from the Snowville Creamery in nearby Pomeroy, Jeni’s features dozens of interesting and eclectic artisan flavors. They have everything ranging from traditional favorites like Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Bean, to off the wall seasonal flavors like Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows, and Olive Oil with Sea Salted Pepitas. Luckily, they are no stranger to gawking patrons peering through the enticing glass cases, and I sampled my way through about two dozen of their finest. Some personal favorites were the Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Bourbon Buttered Pecan, and of course the ubiquitous “Buckeye State” (a blend of peanut butter and dark chocolate ice cream).

After extensive tastings, and some deliberation with the friendly counter staff, I settled on one of their signature sundaes aptly called “The Buckeye State”. For the body of the bowl I chose a scoop of the Buckeye State ice cream paired with a scoop of the Brown Butter Almond Brittle. The sundae was topped off with hot fudge, Spanish peanuts and a dollop of home made whipped cream. Consistent with Jeni’s unwavering dedication to their craft, the whipped cream is actual whipped cream. I broke a sweat merely observing the counter girl tenaciously hand whisking a stainless steel bowl full of fresh cream. It’s small details like this that separate the homemade fare at Jenny’s from the rest of the pack.

The sundae proved to be the indulgently decadent affair that the description alluded to. There is richness to the ice cream at Jeni’s that you won’t find in your typical grocery store freezer, and a palpable intensity to their flavors that left me licking the bowl at the end. My sweet tooth satisfied for the night, I retreated to the hotel to watch the Irish and contemplated ordering up a few of Jeni’s pints in the mail for delivery back in Dallas…


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