Ooey Gooey Butter Cake: On Not Getting The Salted Crack Caramel At Ample Hills

Sure it’s November, but ice cream is a timeless thing, am I right? Back in October I stopped by Ample Hills, the much talked about ice cream shop in Prospect Heights. It was actually a re-visit for me, and something of a re-match. I had been to Ample Hills before, but I wasn’t impressed with the ice cream I had. Everyone I spoke to told me the same thing: I should have gotten the Salted Crack Caramel flavor! It’s the flavor they’re known for, and the one that people swear by. So I was back to give it a try. As I approached the counter I noted lots of other delicious sounding flavors, but I was focused. I ordered a single scoop of the Salted Crack Caramel… and the man behind the counter gave me a look. “Have you had it before?” he asked. I said I hadn’t. “I’m going to recommend you try it first,” he said, and handed me a tiny spoon of the ice cream. I was prepared for the salt, but not for the deep, almost burned flavor of the caramel. Was it good? Yes. Did I want a whole cup of it? I did not. I thanked the man for his advice — he told me that a lot of people come in for the Salted Crack Caramel, which is by far their biggest seller, and insist on getting it. When he recommends a taste first they refuse, but then they complain they don’t like it. I asked for his recommendation and he gave me a few, including one I had been eying before — Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. Ooey gooey butter cake is a St Louis specialty, of which I had only recently become aware. At Ample Hills they chunks of this rich, crunchy-chewy dessert into creamy vanilla ice cream, and it’s a great combination. I’m happy that I finally got a taste of the Salted Crack Caramel, but I’m even happier that I ended up with the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.

The moral of the story: Always take the advice of the guy who works at the ice cream shop.

Ample Hills — 623 Vanderbilt Ave

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