My co-workers have been raving about it to me ever since I started my new job out here. I’ve been wanting to try it since, but just hadn’t gotten to this Dayton establishment yet. But here I am this afternoon, with the perfect opportunity.
The atmosphere: This purple and off-white walk-up counter you can spot from down the road. It makes me think of candy, and the Willy Wonka chocolate factory from glancing at it. The Dixie Dairy Dreem has been around for 50, yes, 50 years, in Moraine, a suburb of Dayton. There’s parking on both sides of the building, and two counters to order ice cream (or food) from the outside. When I left, I also realized there’s a side entrance where you can eat inside (I didn’t go inside, so I cannot give my opinion on the inside, but the outside is awesome!). On a summer day like this, why not eat outside?
What I ate: A twist soft-serve ice cream cone in a waffle cone.
My thoughts: It’s no wonder people love this place. The soft serve ice cream was light and airy, but had the perfect amount of thickness at the same time. The vanilla and chocolate tasted authentic and not overly sweet, it did NOT taste artificial. The waffle cone was delicious too, a nice crunch. With the ice cream in it, it didn’t get soggy. The only thing I would note is you’ll have to peel that paper wrapper off the waffle cone, and be careful of pieces of paper sticking to the cone (I didn’t eat all of my cone because of that, but I enjoyed it nonetheless).
What else is on the menu: I’ll start with the frozen first. Besides chocolate, vanilla and twist soft serves (the “traditional” flavors, there are 24 additional flavors of soft serve and frozen yogurt to pick and choose from, including Amaretto, Butter Pecan, Peanut Butter, Kahlua, Key Lime, Cheesecake, and more. If you don’t want a cone, there are slushies, milkshakes, malts, freezes, ice cream sodas, sundaes and Arctic Swirls (like Dairy Queen’s Blizzards). If you want to eat some savory, regular food, there’s an assortment of hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, appetizers (such as broccoli cheese bites, chicken fingers, fried mushrooms), and sides of french fries, onion rings, potato chips and cole slaw.
Why you should go: The first reason and foremost, the ice cream. On a summer day, you want some of that creamy goodness, and at those prices, you’ll be back again. Second, you have the choice of dining in or eating outside (although I didn’t eat in, on a summer day you’d want to eat outside). Third, the place itself is full of nostalgia where you can drive up and get your food. It’s a locally owned store, not a chain.
I remember watching the video of how they made their ice cream and thinking, “Wow, this place looks really great, I HAVE to try it!” Another friend of mine had told me about it too and how great it was.
This past Thursday was the perfect opportunity to try it.
I picked up Avantika and headed to one of their two locations: Onondaga Hill’s location. I had driven there before exploring the area a few weeks back and I discovered the Gannon’s Isle location happened to be there. I turned on my “Sacred TomTom” (as my mom and I call it) and Simon (the British male voice) led us there.
The drive to Onondaga Hill is very peaceful: once you leave the city vicinity of Syracuse, you enter a world of luscious trees and lots of hills. Because it was so dark outside as well (we went around 9 p.m. that night), we were wondering if we would actually find the place.
Lo and behold, we pulled up to Shadybrook Plaza on McDonald Road. The parking lot was PACKED.
This location of Gannon’s Isle is a very cute sized location: not too small, not too big. A white picket fence surrounds the building, as the line to get into Gannon’s took up the entire picked fence when we got there. It was an exciting experience.
There were lots of families and groups of friends there, getting their ice cream and eating outside. There are a few benches and picnic tables outside and there are also a few tables outside the deli in the plaza, where we ate. We also found people eating their ice cream in their cars, which is another great place to eat ice cream.
Avantika and I waited on line for a little while. The line was moving fast, but it was just a long enough wait for us to figure out what we wanted. We both knew we wanted a sundae.
The atmosphere inside Gannon’s is great; you are directed to walk in one side of the building and leave through the other, for good traffic flow.
The decorations made me smile very wide. The animated characters on the wall of different ice creams (in the picture above as well) on an island are so adorable. This is a very family-friendly atmosphere.
Avantika got a single scooped sundae with chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, nuts and whipped cream. She absolutely loved hers, and it looked fantastic.
I decided to try one of their named ice cream sundaes versus the make-your-own. I tried the “Oreo Explosion”: crushed oreos with hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream and the ice cream of your choice. Going along with the Oreo theme, I got their Oreo Cheesecake ice cream.
WHAT A SUNDAE.
My sundae cost around $6, which was well worth the money spent. It came in a huge bowl, with my ice cream filled to the top and their thick hot fudge spread all over the sundae. Every bite I took tasted of oreos and fudge. Mmm. I cleared my bowl on this ice cream very quickly, and I didn’t feel overly full either: many times if you get a large ice cream like that you may end up feeling really full afterwards. I felt very comfortably content.
Gannon’s Isle, has two locations for you to check out, one in Onondaga Hill, where I went, and another in the Valley. According to their website, they have over 200 rotating homemade ice cream flavors for you to try. Their website also tells the story of how the Gannon’s Isle locations came to be: siblings Eileen and John Gannon have been making ice cream at their business since 1982.
If you’re in the mood for some ice cream today, definitely check out Gannon’s Isle at one of their locations. It’s well worth the trip.