By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
(EDITOR;s NOTE: This feature was published earlier in January when GLOB Staffers were invited to SweetBerries for their first taste testing.)
Gainesville Lunch Out Blog work came to a screeching halt Wednesday afternoon when the GLOB Master received a note from Sweetberries Eatery & Frozen Custard owner Jane Osmond with an invitation for GLOB staff to join her at Sweetberries for a
taste of the inaugural batch of frozen custard from Sweetberries's newly arrived frozen custard machine.
It didn't take a lot of convincing to persuade GLOB Day Tripper Tonya Upton and GLOB Horse Driven Columnist Kendall Crews to meet for an important staff meeting at the new Sweetberries location at the old Book Lovers Café building on the corner of NW 13th St., and NW 5th Ave where preparations are churning up for a February 1 opening.
Jane's father, who owns two other Sweetberries -- one in Bradenton and one in Sarasota, was in Gainesville overseeing the installation of the heart and soul of the ice cream shop, an impressive two-headed, industrial size frozen custard machine.
SweetBerries will make frozen custard fresh at least twice a day. Their special private frozen custard recipe uses a slow churn process to create dense, thick ice cream that is not full of air like other frozen desserts. "Our frozen custard tastes like premium ice cream without as much fat," said SweetBerries owner Jane Osmond.
"We will always have three flavors on our menu: vanilla, chocolate, and a flavor of the day. There is a monthly flavor calendar available on the SweetBerries website where you can check for your favorite flavor and what flavor is being served on any given day.
Kendall, sporting a brand new set of, just inserted, upper braces was thinking creamy, chocolate custard was exactly what her psyche needed.
The GLOB Master made sure the GLOB Taste Testing Team provided objective taste assessments.
The flavor of the chocolate custard was pronounced and very yummy. Jane's father added a good dose of crushed cocoa chips to the custard to add a sweet crunchy complement to the creamy custard.
How good was the desert? Upon finishing her chocolate custard sample, Kendall quickly remembered the line from Charles Dickens's story, Oliver, and asked, "Please, may I have some more?"
SweetBerries will also have shakes, cones, malts, floats, smoothies, sundaes, and quarts of frozen custard available seven days a week.
SweetBerries will present a full lunch menu of sandwiches, side salads, and fresh fruit prepared daily, including their own made fresh chicken salad and tuna salad.
A nice surprise for lovers of both beer and custard is that bottled beer will also be available. Ms. Osmond is excited about creating her first Guinness frozen custard shake for some adventurous customer. Yes, believe it or not, the malt in Guiness is apparently just what a creamy vanilla concoction can use.
To quote from the web link above, "Some of you are probably agog at the idea, thinking it's a good way to screw up a nice stout (or some great ice cream). But trust us on this one. The malt in Guinness adds a nuttiness, while the sweetness of the ice cream complements the bitterness of the beer. You can make a beer milkshake with any kind of beer, but the thickness and maltiness of Guinness make it the best choice."
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