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July 7, 2013

Grazing: The Best Maple Creemee?

It's been so sticky these last few days that I've hardly been able to think straight. To stay cool, I've jumped in a lake (twice), showered twice a day and consumed Stracciatella gelato, Salted Caramel Pretzel frozen yogurt, strawberries with crème fraiche, guava sorbet and several glasses of rosé.

Another sure-fire way to cool down is to take a long ride in an air-conditioned car, especially if it's to obtain more frozen dessert. Today, that meant a 30-minute trek to the roadside stop on Route 107 just outside Bethel, Tozier's Restaurant. One side of this 60-year-old gem is a sit-down dining room where you can down Cobb salads, onion rings and Reubens; the other is a takeout window serving up plates of fried clams and ice cream, which people eat at a few picnic tables nearby. Almost any time from April to October, dozens of cars are parked in front and across the street.

Toziers2It was at Tozier's that I had my first creemee epiphany: When I interviewed owner Bill Campbell, a few years ago, he was rolling his own waffle cones. As I left, he filled one with maple creemee for me to take on the road. It was so monstrous that I thought I surely wouldn't finish it all.

I stopped in the parking lot halfway to my car, totally in thrall to the almost smoky ice cream and the salty, buttery, flaky cone. Since I was alone, I looked around to find someone to swoon with — but found no one. It may be a universal law that some of the most rapturous food experiences happen when you're alone and focused on what you're eating.

Today, I decided to creemee-baptize a friend visiting from New York. After the winding drive, we were disappointed when the woman at the counter told us that Tozier's was out of fresh waffle cones. I must've looked sulky and pathetic, because she seemed to soften and offered to roll one herself, if we would wait. About 10 minutes later, she appeared in the window, bearing a swirly, dusky-white maple creemee.

It was as amazing as ever. For my friend, it was full-on foodgasm. "This is so f***ing good!" she insisted, leaning in to break off pieces of the cone. "Seriously, this is so worth the drive. This is so damned delicious." When I asked her to elaborate on flavor, all she could manage was "It's so ... creamy!" She soon ordered another.

Tozier's Maple Creemee. Seriously, it's so worth the drive. 

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