One of the great things about the suggestions we got for ice cream shops is that they represent all parts of Berks County.
It forces me to visit corners of the county that I don’t get to very much, but ice cream is a great reason to go anywhere.
Especially to Barto, where the highly acclaimed Longacre’s Modern Dairy and Old Fashioned Dairy Bar has been crafting and serving homemade ice cream since 1940.
When we made the turn off Route 100, the parking lot was nearly full. I pulled into the last of the three rows, next to a car with a New York license plate.
On our way in, we walked past the soft-serve shack, where one lonely employee sat, waiting for customers that just kept walking by.
The setup inside Longacre’s is very different from anywhere else. Walking inside, the ice cream counter is straight ahead. There is a small dining area off to the left with tables and booths, and to the right are the refrigerators and freezers where you can get not only ice cream, but milk, eggs and more dairy products to go.
Four or five girls work behind the counter, taking turns assisting customers (very similar to the Jigger Shop, which we visited recently). But the counter is only for ordering. After you get your ice cream, you have to turn around and stand in line again, this time for the cash register on the opposite wall.
Once we paid, we went outside and grabbed a bench to enjoy our ice cream in the cool night air.
My choice was the bear paw: chocolate ice cream with brownie bits, walnuts and caramel swirl. It was a hefty scoop. Longacre’s doesn’t skimp on portions.
The first thing that you notice is the creaminess. It was heavier than any other ice cream that I have tried so far.
The chocolate flavor was strong. I loved the brownie bits (very reminiscent of the Death by Chocolate at Lori’s Candy Station), and I do love walnuts with my brownies. The caramel was a welcome addition as well.
All in all, it was some of the best ice cream that I have tried in Berks County and beyond.
Julie went with a more familiar flavor with her moose tracks (vanilla ice cream with hard-shell chocolate and mini peanut butter cups).
Like mine, the ice cream was very creamy. According to the Longacre’s website, the mini peanut butter cups are from Gertrude Hawk so the add-ins were definitely quality.
It made a difference, too. When you hear moose tracks — in our region at least — you think of Hershey’s. Hershey’s can’t compare. And it’s not even that close.
Best of all, our two cones were less than $8. We did go back in for a $1 bottle of water (do yourself a favor, get the water when you get your ice cream).
Longacre’s is certainly unique, and after visiting there, I can say it is some of the best ice cream that you will find. And with their prices, it’s a great places for families.
If you do go, be prepared to wait, especially during peak hours, because everyone else seems to agree.
But don’t let that stop you. It’s worth the wait (and the drive).