A couple of months ago, I was excited to try locally made and totally stellar gelato from Hello! Ice Cream.There's another local ice cream I was happy to try out not long ago from the newly opened Blank Slate Creamery in downtown Ann Arbor at the corner of Liberty and Ashley. (I can't recall exactly what was in that location before, but Greg and I think it was a hydroponics store.) There is a small parking lot, a rarity for downtown, making it even more convenient to get to!
There are a lot of flavors at Blank Slate ranging from the totally normal chocolate and vanilla, to the more unusual-but-not-unheard-of strawberry balsamic and creme de menthe and flavors I've never encountered, such as the malted chocolate stout, which is what Greg ordered. (For a complete list of flavors, click here.) I got creme de menthe and it was delicious. The waffle cones are also made fresh and sometimes arrive in your hand still warm. There is enough seating for plenty of people to sit inside, chairs and tables on the sidewalk outside, and, of course, all of downtown to explore.
Possibly the most entertaining part about sticking around inside is that the tables and walls are covered in chalkboard paint, so you can doodle to your heart's content! Just don't get so absorbed in your temporary masterpiece that your ice cream drips all over you (a very real hazard).
Since I work downtown, I am often asked for recommendations on where to eat, drink, or get ice cream. Until now, I've always sent people to Kilwin's (also located on Liberty) because it was the only place I could think of. I love Kilwin's - the fudge, the caramels, the ice cream, the goofy post cards of naked hippies - and I will still mention them when people ask about ice cream. But I will also be sure to tell them about Blank Slate. It offers very different flavors from Kilwin's and seems like it can handle larger crowds. When it comes to ice cream, I am not prohibitive.
So let's all welcome Blank Slate to the downtown community! Banzai!