Thomas Sweet brings warm atmosphere, cold treats to Rutgers
The cold might be hitting hard, but the craving for ice cream is still going strong. Easton Avenue is full of convenience stores selling Ben & Jerry’s by the pint and frozen yogurt shops promising a healthy alternative to the classic treat, but one authentic ice cream shop holds its own.
Thomas Sweet, right next to the intersection of Easton and Hamilton, is a cozy hole-in-the-wall location consisting of two neighboring stores. The left shop is stocked full with selections of gourmet chocolates, truffles, fudge and an assortment of candies that rival Willy Wonka’s factory. The shop on the right serves an extensive menu of fresh homemade ice cream.
The ice cream shop itself is welcoming with colorful tiles and paintings on the walls, twinkling lights hanging from the windows and an old-fashioned vibe. Upon walking in, the first thing that catches the eye is the collection of fancy cakes.
The menu, up on whiteboards on the wall, begins with basic items: a list of the day’s flavors and a description of toppings and extras such as waffle cones or sprinkles. They offer regular ice cream, frozen yogurt and blend-ins.
On the wall toward the right, the menu contains an assortment of different sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream sodas, floats, smoothies and homemade ice cream cakes, as well as coffee, tea and hot chocolate. The menu is topped off by specialty items like “Fat Thomas” and “wiTcheS.” The “Fat Thomas” is a huge sundae containing ten ice cream scoops, ten toppings, whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry and the “wiTcheS” is any choice of ice cream sandwiched between two fluffy Belgian waffles or big cookies.
I looked over the menu and decided to try the “wiTcheS” item with cake batter ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies for $4.25. The ice cream was light, but pleasantly creamy at the same time. The cookie was perfect — it was starting to harden next to the ice cream, but still maintained a soft and chewy texture. After a while, the cake batter ice cream became overwhelming and a little too sweet for my taste, but the cookie stayed satisfying — a good complement.
After asking the staff what item was the most popular with customers, I decided to try a small blend-in, which is where a flavor of ice cream is expertly blended with the customer’s topping of choice — for $4.67. This item was by far my favorite. I chose cookies n’ cream with a topping of Thin Mints. This combination was successful. The topping and ice cream were so blended together that it almost began to taste like its own unique flavor. The blend-in was incredibly smooth and refreshing, with the texture of soft serve ice cream, but richer and of better quality. I would definitely try this item again, but next time with a different flavor and topping.
Overall, I would recommend Thomas Sweet to anyone who has a sweet tooth or loves luxurious desserts. It takes the cake for one of the warmest, most comfortable places to enjoy homemade ice cream. If your feeling intimidated by all of the options, don’t be afraid to ask for samples!