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DODARO: Easy access to Thomas Sweet makes it convenient albeit imperfect ice cream option for students

Column: Sip it Up

Thomas Sweet remains a solid choice for students seeking dessert options, despite offering some pricey treats. – Photo by Thomas Sweet Cafe / Twitter

Throughout my time at Rutgers, I have stopped and grabbed many frozen treats from Thomas Sweet, but never have I decided to write about them until now. From changing homemade ice cream flavors every day to late-night hours and much more, Thomas Sweet is definitely the spot to satisfy a sweet craving.

After passing through the doorway, I was instantly greeted by a warm environment with sweet notes floating in the air. I perused the menu and noticed the plethora of ice cream flavors as well as countless dry and wet toppings. Not only was I impressed with the flavor options, but you can also make any ice cream flavor into a shake or a chipwich.

With the help of the server, I decided to try the vegan black raspberry, chocolate chip cookie dough and dulce de leche ice cream flavors, a chocolate chipwich with Oreo cookies and cream, a chocolate marshmallow and peanut butter shake and a cup of vanilla soft serve. Since I wanted to try as many different ice cream flavors and menu options as possible, I tried to spread out my choices across the menu.

The service was quick, and I paid after a short wait. After trekking back to my apartment, I instantly opened the bag and dove for the vegan black raspberry ice cream. Normally, I would expect vegan ice cream to have a weird texture and taste, but after the first bite, I was pleasantly surprised. The texture was creamy like ice cream, and the berry flavor tasted like subtle raspberry candy.

Moving on to the next flavor, I went for the chocolate chip cookie dough, and I enjoyed the toffee-like flavor. I also noticed that there was a good ratio of chocolate chips to ice cream. In the same cup was the dulce de leche flavor, which happened to be my favorite.

The dulce de leche was recommended to me by the server, so I knew I had to order it and I’m definitely glad that I did. The vanilla-caramel combination was lovely, and while it was extremely sweet, I found myself craving more with each bite.

Next up was a classic and also happened to turn out as one of my favorites, the chocolate marshmallow peanut butter shake. I will say I am normally super impressed, but this time around, the peanut butter was so overwhelming that I could barely taste the chocolate and the marshmallow was practically non-existent.

My least favorite had to be the chocolate chipwich with Oreo cookies and cream since the cookies were dry and stale. Overall, the chipwich didn’t really taste like chocolate chip cookies to begin with. The ice cream also left much to be desired since it just tasted like vanilla with no trace of Oreo anywhere to be found.

Lastly, I ended with the classic vanilla soft serve. I will say, in comparison to many other vanilla soft serves I have tried in the past, I once again was disappointed. The ice cream itself was icier than it was creamy, and it tasted like vanilla flavoring rather than actual vanilla.

As far as pricing goes, I would say Thomas Sweet is overpriced based on the quality. Prices for ice cream range from approximately $3.50 to $10. Normally, I would expect homemade ice cream to be within this range or a bit more expensive, but I was disappointed with my few choices so I would not say it was worth it.

One of my favorite aspects of Thomas Sweet, though, is the hours. The ice cream shop is open from noon to 11 p.m. every day of the week which is super convenient since I always crave sweet treats late in the evening. Its location is another bonus since it is right on Easton Avenue.

Overall, the service was amazing and quick, but many of the ice cream flavors I tried left a lot to be desired. I will say that the hours and location will definitely have me coming back, but the pricing and quality are difficult tradeoffs. I do appreciate the ever-changing, homemade flavors, but as far as the actual ice cream goes, I have definitely had better. There are not many ice cream shops at Rutgers, though, so it seems like Thomas Sweet is here to stay.

Francesca Dodaro is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in English. Her column, "Sip it Up," runs on alternate Wednesdays.

*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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