Frozen treats around the valley
By Polly Keary, Editor
Photos by Polly Keary
As temperatures go up in what has been an unusually mild spring that promises to be a sunny summer, sweet cold treats will provide welcome relief from the heat.
From thick homemade shakes to hand-scooped, locally-made ice cream, as well as a new make-your-own sundae frozen yogurt place in Monroe, here are some of the best places to grab a cold treat on a hot day.
Snoqualmie Ice Cream
In a red barn in Maltby, surrounded by gardens in which the ingredients of some of the ice cream flavors are grown, a glass case holds tubs of ice cream made just yards away in the large building in the back.
Thursday, one entire glass case is off limits to those under 21-it’s happy hour at the Snoqualmie Ice Cream Cafe, and the tubs are full of flavors including bourbon, crème de menthe and other adult favorites.
The other case contains old standards such as cookie dough and strawberry, only the cookie dough is actually made on the premises, and the strawberries are grown within miles of where the ice cream is sold.
Nearly everything is handmade, including the waffle cones, as well as the caramel and hot fudge sauces.
A sundae with two flavors of ice cream in it is $6.50, and comes topped with sauce, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry, and is big enough for sharing.
Can’t pick? Try a three-scooper for $3.95, and then take a short walk around the grounds to look at the lavender and other flavorings growing in surrounding gardens.
Zeke’s Drive In
A trip up-valley for a hike or a river expedition wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Zeke’s, the bright red drive-up burger and ice cream place just east of Gold Bar that’s been luring travelers since 1968.
“You’ve never had a milkshake at Zeke’s before?” asked one customer incredulously. “Oh, you’re in for a treat.”
Zeke’s uses real fruit rather than fruit-flavored syrups in its shakes, and a blueberry shake, made with the sort of blueberries one might find atop a cheesecake, is nearly as thick and rich as a cheesecake when it is served.
Shakes come in one size, 16 oz. for $3.75, and include such eclectic offerings as gingerbread and pumpkin, as well as the traditional favorites and real fruit flavors. Also find floats, malts and cones.
Yoforeya Frozen Yogurt
On U.S. 2 in Monroe, YoForeya has been working toward an opening in mid-June. Self-serve yogurt places are a recent craze, and Yoforeya will be Monroe’s.
Like most of the other self-serve places, it will have machines built into the walls that dispense soft-serve frozen yogurt. There will be four machines to start, each dispensing two flavors. There is always a dairy-free sorbet on tap, and a no-sugar-added option.
There will be more than 50 toppings to add to your creation, including nuts, cereals, fresh fruits, candy, and more.
Choose a paper cup or a waffle bowl, fill it with the yogurt flavors you like, add as many toppings as you like, finish it off with syrups and whipped cream, and then weigh it and pay by the ounce.
There will be air-conditioned seating indoors and outdoor seating for nice sunny weather.
The Alpen Drive-In
The picturesque drive-in along U.S. 2 in Startup has been there so long it’s a landmark; it began as Shipleys in the 1950s and has been serving up fish and chips, burgers, and ice cream ever since.
The ice cream menu has a staggering number of choices, including 42 flavors of shake, not counting seasonal flavors, as well as ice cream sodas, floats, sundaes and cones.
Last week, the seasonal shake flavor was strawberry-rhubarb, with ingredients grown on the owners’ property.
Shakes come in three sizes, small, medium and colossal, with a medium running $3.95, and the fruit flavors include real fruit.
The strawberry-rhubarb flavor tastes like pie ala mode, and is thick enough to make your ears pop trying to drink it with a straw.
Grab a seat at a picnic table, sit under a tree and check out the quaint landscaping, and enjoy summer the way generations of Sky Valley people have before you.