Have you been to Cream in Palo Alto? We waited a few weeks, watching the photos and status updates on Facebook from friends, waiting for the lines to calm down before we tried. We’ve since gone twice – once with a line and once without – and it was worth it both times.
The quick gist: it’s a huge, fresh ice cream sandwich for $2.50 cash. You pick the type of cookie (all warm from the oven), the flavor of ice cream, any optional toppings, and it is handed over in a small paper sleeve. The cost is $2.50 cash or $3 credit/debit (toppings extra). I haven’t tried it, but you can order a half sandwich, too, for $1.75, and I saw staff cutting sandwiches in half for customers to share, free of charge, which is great for after dinner when a whole sandwich is too much to fit in. Tip for eating with kids: grab a spoon at check out. Both of my kids struggled to get the sandwich into their mouths and preferred to eat the ice cream with a spoon, then eat the cookies after.
Our first visit was on a whim over a month ago, sometime just after dark, where we found the end of the line several stores away. We got in the line, which moved swiftly enough, and the time passed by faster when a Cream employee brought out bite-sized cookie samples for people to try, while educating newcomers on flavor options. While waiting, about 75% of people walking by made negative comments about how they wouldn’t wait in line for anything. Get over yourselves, haters. It was a 15 minute wait for an ice cream sandwich, not an overnight wait for a new phone. As one friend said, she thought it was a plus to make her kids wait a little for food, almost as though they were earning their dessert. Waiting in line isn’t for everyone, nor is being a vulture; I noticed when the free samples came out, it was the passers-by who circled the Cream worker.
Last week, our second visit was made during the day. There was a steady stream of customers, but we didn’t have to wait at all, and the upstairs seating was wide open, allowing us a balcony view of University Ave.
Cream is a fun stop and perfect for a college town. While I didn’t mind waiting in line to try it, I don’t know if I care enough to do it again. Any future visits will likely be at lower traffic times.
Other Cream locations are in Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and Davis.