Sure, you can go to Milkjam Creamery and get one scoop ($4.25), or two scoops ($7.50), or, heck, a beer float ($9) or a “jam bun” ($5) which is an ice cream sandwich made with Glam Doll Donuts. But if you’re really serious about your ice cream — and we are nothing if not serious about ice cream — get a group together and do what we did: Order the “All of Them” sundae ($56), a sundae with a scoop of each flavor available that day (usually 16).
We recently took a group of 12 people, ages 8-57, to try this ridonculous offering from World Street Kitchen‘s Sameh Wadi. It was hard not to think of it as a stunt dish, something to put on the menu to see if anyone is crazy enough to order it.
But as it turns out, there’s some method to this madness. The sundae itself is a piece of art, with each scoop carefully plated over a bed of crushed ice cream cones, and nearly every scoop bearing some additional garnish: toasted marshmallows, sprinkles, blueberry syrup, chopped nuts or candies. The Milkjam employee explained each flavor to us, noting that the Black Fig and Mezcal contained so little alcohol that it was approved for everyone, but gently pointing out that no one under 21 was allowed to try the Poppin’ Bottles flavor because of its high actual Champagne content. This brought sadness to some of the younger diners, not because they wanted Champagne, but because that was the only scoop on the platter with sprinkles. The obliging employee noticed their crestfallen faces, and without being asked, went back for the sprinkles jar and made sure they got some. It’s the little things, people.
After taking the obligatory selfies with this masterpiece, we had to consider how exactly to go about eating it. Twelve spoons were distributed, and we set out, very gingerly and politely, taking tiny, delicate bites of each flavor, initially pausing to comment on each one. But the further we got into it, the less dainty our behavior became, and there was more jostling and jockeying and random calling out of thoughts:
“Whoa, that Spicy Pineapple [pineapple with Thai chilis] — that fiery aftertaste is really a surprise.”
“Is there more of the Oreo one? Who ate all the Oreo?”
“I mostly taste curry in the Indian Elvis [curry, peanut butter, and banana].” “Yeah, isn’t it amazing?” “I don’t like curry.” “More for me, then.”
“Oh my God, that dark chocolate!! It’s so smooth!”
“The Blueberry Crumble is too sweet.” “No, it isn’t, it tastes like summer.”
“The Fresh Thyme would be so refreshing on a hot day.”
“There’s not enough tea in the Thai Tea.” “What? There’s just the right amount of tea in it!”
“I might be getting tipsy from the Champagne sorbet.” “Yeah, that’s like a Champagne slushie.”
“The Fig and Mezcal is amazing. Not too sweet. Just right.”
Then the Heavy Table photographer asked an innocent question, “What happens if you mix the Spicy Pineapple with the Indian Elvis?”
Magic, that’s what. Curry with pineapple and Thai chilis? Brilliant. That led to a new round of experimentation: Curry with pineapple and coconut! Coconut with Thai tea! Coconut with Black Fig and Mezcal! Champagne with hibiscus! Dark chocolate with the three-milk Milkjam!
And that’s where it became clear that a whole lot of thought had gone into these flavors, not just individually, but how they could potentially play together. There’s plenty of room for experimentation and trial, and ordering this sundae is the best way to experience that. The ice creams are rich and smooth, the sorbets crisp and bright. The novelty flavors succeed by having unexpected depth of flavor. Everything on the platter made someone happy, and pairing different flavors created whole new worlds of taste.
Milkjam’s flavors are also wonderfully family friendly; as one pleased parent noted, it’s great to find a high-quality ice cream purveyor that can please the parents with unusual, “grownup” flavors, but make the kids happy too.
In the end, as the remnants melted and swirled together to form a new piece of art, opinions as to favorites varied widely. In general, those on the younger end of the spectrum greatly approved of Ridin’ Duuurty, the flavor made with Oreos, Oreo milk, and salted peanut butter; or Cereal Killers, made with orange coriander milk and sugary cereal. The adults leaned towards Black, the dark chocolate flavor; Milkjam, the three-milk option; the Champagne sorbet; and the Indian Elvis, particularly when paired with Spicy Pineapple.
Perhaps the best summation of our experience is this: One family came planning to sample ice cream then go next door to World Street Kitchen for lunch. But after trying all the flavors, they opted instead to purchase cups of their favorites and have ice cream for lunch. What could be more delightful?
Ice cream shop in Uptown
2743 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Noon-9 p.m. daily (winter hours)
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / Sometimes
NOISE LEVEL: Festive
DISH RANGE: $3-$56