When Sweet Ride Ice Cream announced it was opening its first permanent location in West Reading earlier this year, it was a big deal.
Sweet Ride built a reputation as an ice cream company on the go, first as a bicycle-powered cart, then as a full mobile ice cream parlor.
A brick-and-mortar location was a huge step, but I knew they were doing it right when I saw a Facebook post about its 1946 soda fountain.
The public has responded in a big way, too. The little shop along Penn Avenue seems to always have a crowd, and Berks County Eats readers recommended it more than any other ice cream parlor in the county.
So of course, I had to give it a try.
On our visit, the menu listed 26 flavors including Coconut Almond Joy, Espresso Explosion and Bullwinkle (vanilla with thick fudge and mini peanut butter cups). The flavors come from Nelson’s Ice Cream in Royersford, who have been in the ice cream business since 1935.
Can’t decide what you want? Sweet Ride offers a four-flavor flight.
The ice cream parlor offers more than just cones and cups. Visitors can enjoy an old-fashioned malt, ice cream soda or float.
For me, there was only one option: the ice cream cookie sandwich.
I chose the French vanilla ice cream to be the “meat” between the two fresh chocolate chip cookies. It was heavenly.
The cookies were soft, too soft to pick up and eat like a sandwich, but perfect for shoveling spoonfuls of cookie and ice cream. The French vanilla was delicious and the perfect, simple compliment to the chocolatey cookies. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Julie opted to build her own sundae with banana peanut butter chip ice cream as the base and pretzels and peanut butter sauce on top.
It’s a combination of three of her favorite things so she couldn’t help but love it. I was surprised by how much the banana was able to come through, and despite the fact that I am not a big peanut butter fan, I even enjoyed the taste that I was allowed to have.
The only negative was that they forgot the whipped cream and cherry on top, though Julie was too busy enjoying the sundae to notice until she saw someone else’s fully constructed sundae.
Our total came to $10 for the two of us. The service was good and relatively fast. As everything is built one at a time, I got mine just a minute or so before Julie’s arrived at our table.
Sweet Ride has done a great job of building on their success and making the new store a true extension of what they were already doing. The store is modern, but with a definite call back to the heyday of the neighborhood ice cream parlor.
That’s why so many people are already listing it among their favorites.
Ice Cream: Excellent
Ambiance: Very Good
Sweet Rice Ice Cream
542 Penn Ave
West Reading, PA 19611