On the First Annual Ice Cream Olympics in Steveston.

Question:  What international sporting event begins in t-minus 18 days?

Answer:  The London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Question:  Will I be acknowledging them here on 365 Days of Dining?

Answer:  You bet.

Question:  How?

Answer:  With THE ICE CREAM OLYMPICS.

Growing up, I wasn’t much of an athlete – my siblings did sports, and I danced.  Sure, I dabbled in soccer and basketball as a child, but once I hit twelve years old I chose pointe shoes over cleats and never looked back.  Sixteen years of ballet did wonders for my posture, and absolutely ruined my chances of becoming a competent kicker, thrower, catcher, or scorer.  My sister still makes fun of me when I play volleyball; apparently it’s hilarious.

I’m happy to announce that after 27 years of searching, I’ve finally found my sport:  The Ice Cream Olympics.  The events within this highly competitive realm are endless, and I was able to recruit my friend Megan (also a former dancer) to be my teammate for the games.  Our lack of athleticism doesn’t matter here, because what’s important in this sport is an appetite, and WE’RE BOTH HUNGRY FOR GOLD.

Why ice cream?  Because the weather is gorgeous, and who doesn’t want to sample all kinds of cool, sweet ice creams and gelati on a hot day?  And secondly, because after having wandered around Steveston over the last few weeks I’ve noticed an abundance of ice cream shops to try, and have always been curious as to what’s best.  A tour of Steveston’s shops would be fun, and a tour + intense Olympic competition would be even better.

We began with a relay.  The baton?  An ice cream cone.  The race route?  Around Garry Point Park.  The sweat?  Pouring.

After this intense, gold medal-winning relay, Megan and I ran (not walked, because we’re athletes now) into Steveston to visit four ice cream shops: Timothy’s, Mary’s, Sara’s, and Screamers.  With their names all in a list, it sounds like a family with one very problematic child.

We started at Timothy’s, where they offer a wide variety of gelati made by Mario’s in Vancouver.  Our server got us a scoop each of the four flavours we wanted to try: chocolate peanut butter, pistachio, white chocolate raspberry, and espresso flake.  Rule number one of a good gelato shop:  their pistachio flavour is an unpleasant green.  This is exactly what you want, as it means it’s natural.  If the pistachio flavour is lime green – steer clear!  Fortunately at Timothy’s, it was just right.

The gelato was rich and creamy, though I would have liked it to be just a little less sweet.  Strangely, the peanut butter chocolate was the least sweet of them all, with dark chocolate cream and chunky ripples of natural peanut butter.  They also do frozen yogurt and smoothies with fruit and berries.

Next, we wandered across the road to Mary’s, where they sell ice cream, gelato, and bubble tea.  We tried 4 gelati: mango, coconut, green tea, and hedge-hog.  The green tea was my absolute favourite; barely sweet and tasting strongly of matcha, it was fresh and restoring.  I’d love to get my hands on a whole pint.

Third stop on the tour was the Screamers stand near the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.  While many people have never heard of a screamer before (soft serve mixed with slushie), Megan and I are oh-so-familiar with them, as are any of the tree planters I’ve ever cooked for.

It would appear that in this province, screamers are only really known in Richmond and northern BC, though in Tumbler Ridge (where tree planters consume them as if their lives depend on them), they’re called Icebergs.  Why?  Who knows!  But they’re refreshing.

I went with the vanilla and pineapple soft serve + Orange Crush, while Meg tried the vanilla + Cream Soda.  We both ordered minis, and it was more than enough.  Delicious.

Our final stop was Sara’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, winner of the Most Creative Pie category in the pie contest I helped judge back at the Steveston Visitor Centre.  It’s owned by Kate, a former aviation professional who, after retiring from her first career, decided she’d like to pursue the freezing of fresh cream.  You’d think this lady has been in the biz her entire life, her homemade ice cream is that good.  Her flavours are seasonal and often local, ie. Garry Point Blackberry, and she makes several semi-savoury varieties like Olive Oil and Thyme.  Take note celiacs – they also carry gluten-free cones!

So what did we try?  That brings us to Ice Cream Olympic Event Number Two:  The Blind Ice Cream Taste Test.

A big thanks to Kate and her staff for helping us with this, and to all of the other shops for cooling us off with such tasty scoops.

Question:  Did we have stomach aches by the end of this day?

Answer:  You bet.

Question:  Was it worth it?

Answer:  Forever and always YES.

 

Timothy’s – 3800 Bayview Street

Mary’s – 12240 2nd Ave

Screamers – 12211 3rd Ave

Sara’s – 3500 Moncton Street

33 Comments

  1. Tang

    Just my observations after reading through your 33 blog posts:

    1.) You like sweets.
    2.) You’re not a big fan of meat dishes.
    3.) You like going to Steveston.
    4.) You mostly do lunches.
    5.) Establishments covered are mostly within walking distance of a Canada Line train station. The exception is Steveston.

    Reply
  2. cwid

    “… Timothy’s, Mary’s, Sara’s, and Screamers. With their names all in a list, it sounds like a family with one very problematic child.”

    I had a chuckle on that one, Lindsay. Screamers look very interesting and I will head off to Steveston to give that a try.

    Reply
    • Izy

      Danny’s Market on Garden City & Francis are also famous for their Screamers!

      Reply
      • Janice

        And I would argue, “the original”!!

        Reply
        • Eric

          Definitely Danny’s for Screamers.

          Reply
          • LHSL

            Danny’s – Screamers and Samosas – diversity is what Richmond is all about

          • Julia

            Yessssss! Just what I was going to say … Danny’s (at the corner of Garden City and Francis) has the original screamers. And their samosas are really good too. And some people swear by their pizza.

  3. Dana

    the videos on this post are very fun. well done, lindsay. i fully support the ice cream olympics.

    Reply
  4. Aidan

    Surprised you did not try Timothy’s frozen yoghurt with your choice of frozen fruit with their house made waffle cone. Much more tasty than ice cream, especially an ice cream that is found in many shops all over the lower mainland :) I hope you give their waffle come & frozen yoghurt a try next time.

    I read on twitter this morning that Sarah’s Ice cream was broken into over the weekend and one of the things that was stolen was the fundraiser money for Lord Byng Elementary

    Reply
    • Margot

      Oh my gosh that is awful to hear about Sarah’s!

      Great post Lindsay

      Reply
  5. groovygirl

    Just my observation after reading through your 33 posts:

    1.) they are really fun to read
    2.) I love the photos
    3.) I can’t wait to read the rest
    4.) I like that you cover lunch (lunch is my fav)
    5.) Who doesn’t love Steveston?

    Reply
  6. karen

    I grew up in the Okanagan and used to love screamers! They’re not easy to find anymore.

    Reply
  7. 52 Scoops

    Hoo wee! As an ice cream maker, this is definitely my kinda post!

    Reply
  8. Laurette

    love your videos & the effort you make doing these instead of just pictures & comments. I look forward to your daily adventures. I am gathering from other’s comments that they would like you to broaden your horizon away from c-line & STeveston. Ideas?? Perogies/cabbage rolls locally made on Francis Saturday’s only?? Church bazars during the fall months??

    Reply
  9. Joan

    As a newbie to Steveston and Richmond, I’m really enjoying your postings, getting ideas for future forays and for my visitors. Keep up the great posts. Glad its your waistline and not mine.

    Reply
  10. GS

    The other day my 11 year old wanted to try the frozen yoghurt at Timothy’s. I gave hiim 5 bucks to go in and get some. He came out with a smallish plastic cup. And he handed me back one (1) dollar. Suspecting, that he was keeping some of the change for himself, I asked him to give me back the whole change, upon which he replied annoyingly:” It was 4 dollars”.
    How come Sarah’s is run by a lady named Kate?
    Sorry to hear about the break-in, Had my house broken into a few months ago. I guess Steveston is not as safe anymore a it used to be.

    Reply
  11. Robyn

    I can see why Tumbler Ridge calls them icebergs: the soft serve that sits atop the slurpee resembles an iceberg! The better question is: where did the name “Screamer” come from?

    Reply
  12. Donna

    Prince George is also home of the “Screamer”! My kids love them! I do also like the “Iceberg” name. :)

    I love all of your photos, video clips, and personal touches in your posts. It is fun, fresh, and informative. Keep it up!

    Just my observation after reading 33 posts:
    1. I look forward to reading it every day.
    2. You try things that are different and (sometimes)intimidating — I really admire you for that. (It takes a very brave person to try those eggs!)
    3. You really showcase everything about the Richmond area — with more to come! It’s very interesting to someone who used to live there and likes to go back to visit … so much changes so fast!
    4. I’m loving all the lunch, snack, and dinner adventures … and the dessert adventures, too!
    5. Everyone LOVES Steveston!

    Reply
  13. Gail

    Last summer I found that gelato could be elevated to a near religious experience by having it in an Italian specialty called ‘affrogato’ where they put a scoop of gelato into a bowl and pour a shot of hot espresso over top and then you eat it with a spoon. My favourite combination was with salted caramel gelato and espresso. Can such a treat be found in Richmond?

    Reply
  14. Tang

    Another observation. The most ardent supporters of this blog appear to be people from Prince George which may or may not be friends and relatives of Lyndsay. Nothing wrong with that. It’s good to see those folks support their hometown girl.

    Reply
  15. GS

    Good point, Tang
    With this blog they are all like a big Family.

    Reply
  16. Jen

    I love Timothy’s waffle cones! The last few times I got them they made them fresh to order, not sure if that is a new thing or they only do that when it’s slow? If you are in south Richmond before/after one of your meals, I would highly recommend stopping off at Urban Edibles (on the south side of Steveston Hwy, about a block east of Gilbert). I’m sure they would love to show you what they grow/sell there (it’s organic too!)

    Reply
    • Robyn

      My sister used to work at Timothy’s for years. They make waffle cones to order any time; not just when it’s slow. The waffle cone is almost always warm when you get it (and its vanilla fragrance is divine!) And I agree with others – the frozen yogurt is a must.

      Reply
    • Julia

      I agree about stopping off at Urban Edibles sometime this summer or early autumn. This farm/market opened up last year. The owner is so very friendly and accomodating.

      Reply
  17. A

    I love screamers! I know of a couple of stores that offer screamers outside of Richmond, but they aren’t nearly as common on the coast as I think they should be, but I also think there should be a store selling them on every corner during the summer… so…

    Reply
  18. PL

    Well you look like you are having such fun with the 365 plan! I noticed you like sweet things and going to Steveston…I have yet to see a post about The Sweet Spot Bakery…OMG – out of this world – to die for goodies…you must go…now…really, you will not be disappointed! Just go ;)

    Reply
  19. Mary

    Great blog, Lindsay and I LOVE, love the videos, especially the first one – very funny!

    Reply
  20. Daylene Marshall

    I love Sara’s and my dog is their biggest fan! If you order ice cream for yourself and your pup is with you, they will give you a scoop of K-9 ice cream for your furry friend! It comes complete with chunks of dog treats. My dog is super picky and this is his favourite treat.

    Reply
  21. Amanda Staats

    I had the pineapple ice cream at Screamers in May for the first time and I loved it! So refreshing!

    Reply
  22. Tom

    Yup, I talked to Kate and their shop did get busted into. Their cash was stolen from the till as well as about $200 of fundraising money from lord Byng elementary from t shirt sales. Feel bad! I was tempted to buy a t shirt myself just to try making up for it but sadly spent my last dime on ice cream! Next time for sure. I was shocked about the break in, doesn’t sound like MY Steveston! Also love the screamers but have to agree my first choice is Danny’s.

    Reply
  23. tiffany

    i was at timothy’s last week and the young guy behind the counter told me i can only have one sample when i asked to try one of the flavours.. they weren’t even that busy. i dont think that’s a very good customer service! not a fan

    Reply
  24. Julia

    I remember going to Sarah’s one evening after a fairly substantial supper. We were offered mango ice cream because mango apparently helps with digestion. The fella who served us told us that in India after a big meal, he would sit under a mango tree and breathe deeply! With no mango trees in Richmond, mango ice cream from Sarah’s is next best!

    Reply

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