Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Aglamesis Ice Cream

I'm really excited for the start of another A-Z in April Challenge! For this year's challenge, I am expanding on my Travels With Clancy project and writing an A-Z of my hometown of Cincinnati. I'm starting off with some of the best ice cream I've ever tasted. 

Aglamesis Brothers ice cream and candy store has been in business since 1908, and can still be found in the same building it was in when the store opened. The store prides itself on an old-fashioned atmosphere, and its decor recalls the early 1900s. In fact, the Aglamesis family has worked hard to keep the store looking the same now as it did back then.

The Aglamesis slogan is "Ice cream and candy made the sincere way since 1908" and, after hearing about the place for most of my life, I decided to finally check it out for myself. My mom went to Aglamesis with relatives when she was a kid in the 1930s, but had not returned since. So the two of us set out on a Sunday afternoon in early March to visit Aglamesis and treat ourselves to some ice cream.

My mom was amazed that the inside of the shop really did look just as it had when she was there as a child. While it may seem cliche, walking in to Aglamesis actually does feel like a trip back in time. The place looks exactly how I imagine an old-fashioned ice cream parlor must have looked. 

The tables are marble with pink and black chairs, and the staff members work behind a marble-topped soda fountain counter. Mirrors line one wall, while rows of homemade candy line the other.

More important than the atmosphere though is the taste of the ice cream and other products. According to the Aglamesis website, their "sincere way" refers to the fact that they make their products in small batches with nothing but natural ingredients. The ice cream is considered French because of its high egg yolk content, which adds to the richness of its flavor. 

I decided to order a chocolate soda, as I loved getting sodas at an ice cream parlor in downtown Cincinnati when I used to go there with my mom as a child. Since our visit was all about nostalgia, I thought the soda was an appropriate choice.

I wasn't disappointed, as my soda could not have been better. I don't know anything about French ice cream or egg yolk content, but I do know that this ice cream was some of the creamiest and best I've ever had. And the atmosphere of the small parlor made it taste even better.

The mirrored wall across from our table included a painting of the Aglamesis store, with a dog sitting on the sidewalk outside looking in the window at all the treats inside. 

When my mom and I left the store, we were greeted by a friendly golden retriever on the sidewalk outside who looked remarkably like the dog in the picture! Somehow, it made our visit even more charming.

According to Bon Appetit magazine, Aglamesis is one of the last authentic ice cream parlors left in the United States. It's fun (and tasty!) to have something so filled with nostalgia and history in my own hometown.

My mom and I enjoyed our time tripping back to the past and, even more than that, we enjoyed our fantastic ice cream. Now that I've finally visited Aglamesis, I can't wait to make a return trip sometime soon.

Happy April to everyone, and I'll see you all tomorrow for the letter B!


  1. What a mouth watering first post for the challenge? Loved the photo's also. I love ice cream.


  2. This looks wonderful. I'm definitely a fan of ice cream. Travels with Clancy sounds like a cool project.

  3. All of those frosty creations look so tasty! And you know I can't resist the fellow on the sidewalk in your last photo. :)

  4. There's nothing better than ice cream. What a great first post for the challenge!

  5. This makes me want to come right over there.

  6. Ice cream is my most favourite desert of all time. Even when Mr A goes for the puddings and tarts I order ice cream and I'm never disappointed.
    I’m doing the A to Z Challenge too at A to Z of Nostalgia

  7. What a wonderful idea for a theme! Can't wait to follow your travels in your hometown. This first one? YUM!

  8. Awww, now I'm craving ice cream! Yum!

  9. Heya, popping in from the A to Z Challenge. Looking forward to reading more. I love a good ice cream and it looks soooo good. Yum!

  10. Great post. I've never been there. We went to Graeters in Mariemont when I was a kid. Great memories.

  11. Does this mean you'll be writing about Graeters too? What's with Cincy and all the great ice cream?

  12. I WANT that icecream! Having been on a diet since Jan 2nd, it really is appealing! Great A post!

  13. That place looks so cute! I now want to find someplace similar. Most of my ice cream just comes from the local grocery store or ice cream stand. Nothing were you can sit and eat though.

  14. Good grief, that place is in Cincy? I know where I'm going next time in the southwest corner...

  15. This is such a heartwarming post! It's so nice that you took your mom back to this heavenly ice cream parlour! Beautiful photos added to your delicious journey back in time! Oh, and I love sodas and milk shakes too! Julie

  16. Great start! I want ice cream now. :)

  17. Any mom and pop business with 'sincere' and 'since' in the slogan is worth at least one try.

  18. What a cool little shop! And over a hundred years old. That is incredible.

  19. Mmmm...

    My first job was in an ice cream shop that was going for that old fashioned theme. Fun.

  20. @Yvonne, thanks, I love it too.

    @Carrie, it is so far, thanks!

    @Janel, I know, he was such a doll! Of course I wanted to steal him and bring him home with me. :D

    @ladydragonfly, thank you!

    @Karen, I wish you could, I think you'd love it. :)

    @Rosalind, I totally agree! Oh, that's a great theme, I am looking forward to checking out your posts.

    @Laura, thanks! It was definitely yummy. :)

    @cherie, LOL, I was craving it again while writing the post.

    @Crazeebee, oh, thanks for coming by, great to meet you! I will be over to check out your posts too.

    @Tonja, Graeters is awesome too, I love it.

    @Tim, oh, you've had Graeters? I think I will have to include it. We don't have much to brag about around here LOL.

    @Glynis, oh no, I hope I didn't spoil your diet by tempting you. Kudos for sticking with it since January, I'm impressed!

    @Gwen, yeah, I love ice cream from the store too but this was just a special place. It made it taste better I think LOL.

    @Amalie, you have to try it, it's so delicious!

    @Julie, thanks! It really was a fun little trip, I loved the place.

    @Christine, thank you!

    @Suze, good point!

  21. @Alex, it really was such a cool little place. Thanks!

    @LG, oh, that sounds like a fun job. Although I probably would have gained 100 lbs working there LOL.

  22. Julie, what a great post! It would make a wonderful personal essay. The only problem I want ice cream. :)

    Happy A-Z!

  23. That ice cream looks lovely. Feeling a bit peckish now!

  24. What a wonderful step back in time. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Now I want some ice cream!
    : )


  25. LOL what have you done? We all want ice cream …. NOW! Great post :)

    We don’t have too many ice cream parlors (or parlours!) in the UK, but in my mother’s home town of St Ives in Cornwall there was one called Harts. It was the best ice cream bar none. Sadly it is no longer there in the same form, but it was a huge part of my childhood. Thanks for the memory!

  26. This is the type of place that I would never have believed existed outside of a movie if I hadn't seen pictures :-)

  27. Julie, I have been to that place; oh my is fantastic. We had gone down to Cincy when we lived in Columbus to go to a Reds game and ended up there. How fun!
    I'm glad you were able to share it with your mom!

  28. What a great idea! Wish I had thought of doing that for Charleston! The Aglamesis Brothers store is adorable! I love that they've tried to preserve the look and feel--and taste--of it!

  29. If I ever go to Cincinnati, or even go through, I am stopping here! *Mouth is watering*

  30. Now you're making me want some ice cream. It must have been interesting to step back in time inside that parlour.

  31. Oh yum! And the atmosphere! Wow.

  32. Hi, Julie! Can you believe I'm from Cincinnati and I don't think I've ever been to Aglamesis? Is it downtown? I'm from the east side so if it's on the west side...well, you know Cincinnati. They are like two different cities! Nice to see you on the challenge and thanks for stopping by my blog.

  33. Julie, this is a gorgeous step into the Challenge. And you have such a lovely writing voice, I was with you every step of the way. You're indeed lucky to have such an authentic parlor so close. Looking forward to B.

  34. Julie,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Aglamesis. The photos look oh-so tasty, and the story is simply wonderful.

  35. this place is amazing and makes me long to go back to my childhood and visit the soda shop in my Dad's hometown. I used to love going to that place as a kid. It was demolished in 1989 after the owners closed shop. We'd go there every summer when we went to visit my grandpa. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

  36. @Madeline, I know, I wanted ice cream again while I was writing it. Thanks!

    @Annalisa, LOL, sorry to make you feel peckish!

    @Susanne, thank you, I'm so glad you liked it.

    @Carolyn, oh, I bet Harts was a great place. I've always wanted to visit Cornwall, it seems so lovely to me. Maybe someday!

    @Sarah, it really does feel like a movie set inside!

    @Tracy, oh, how cool you have been to Aglamesis! It is amazing, isn't it?

    @EmptyNester, thanks! LOL, the taste is definitely the most important part. :D

    @Karen, I hope you make it someday!

    @JL, it really was. I am now wanting ice cream again just from reading these comments LOL.

    @Tanya, it was totally yummy. :)

    @Jennifer, LOL, so true about the east and west side. But this is on the east side, in Oakley Square. It's such a cute place!

    @Kittie, oh, thanks, that's so nice of you to say, I appreciate it!

    @Susan, thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    @Melissa, oh, that's a shame the soda shop was demolished, but not a surprise. I think that's why I was so amazed this place has managed to stick around. Sounds like you have some really great memories with your grandpa!

  37. Mmm, yummy. I love these local candy and ice cream shops. We have several in my little town & they're always such a treat.

  38. What a neat place! I love that there was a golden retriever out there when you got out, just like in the picture!

    We had an old parlor like this in our downtown called Claire's. Oh, they had the best ice cream, and you could get those giant group ice creams (never did it, because...yuck). Their candies were divine, as well. Sadly, when the economy tanked, so did they. People couldn't rally enough to save them. :(

    P.S. That chocolate soda looks divine.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  39. Aww! That looks like the cutest ice cream shop and very yummy too. :)

  40. @Mary, it's funny how the ice cream just tastes better in places like this. :)

    @Shannon, oh, that's too bad about Claire's. The group ice cream does sound pretty disgusting though LOL. Yeah, this was probably the best chocolate soda I ever had, just fabulous.

    @Cherie, thanks, it really was such a cute place. Now I'm dying to go back and I'll probably end up gaining 50 pounds LOL.

  41. Hi Julie - had to comment on your nostalgic trip - was your mother's ice-cram as she remembered it?

    What a lovely story about a store and memories remaining as is ..

    Loved it - thanks - Hilary

  42. @Hilary, it was, my mom loved her ice cream. She really enjoyed seeing the place again, it was great. Thanks!


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