Okay, so it might has been a teeny bit teeth-chattering when I went out today. And the weather network is forecasting the coldest weekend of the winter thus far for tomorrow and the day after. The kind of cold that would most likely cause my eyelashes to stick together causing rapid blinking and weird stares from other people. So I yes, I am a little loopy in the head for posting pictures of ice cream. But really, tell me that you don’t love eating ice cream any time. That if someone were to wave a bowl of it in your face you’d decline. Well, I sure wouldn’t! So Marble Slab ice cream it is for today!
To me, Marble Slab may not be your go-to place for ice cream on a frequent basis simply because of the larger portions and the higher-end price range (Marble Slab’s branding strategy offers gourmet ice cream, so you’re looking at around $5-$7), but it screams FUN! The colours, the variety of mix-ins, the waffles cones and bowls; it’s just pure fun to be able to choose your ice cream and go to town with fun add-ons for whatever sweet tooth mood you might be in.
There are pre-selected, “put together” menu items that you can order off their menu, as well as the choice of creating your own unique ice cream creation using cones, waffle bowls, different combinations of ice cream, and of course, all the toppings your heart desires. Tasty Creations (the menu items that are already predetermined in composition) include white chocolate raspberry, s’mores, cookies and cake, rocky road, and a slew of others. In addition to the classic Marble Slab ice cream creations, they also serve items such as sundaes and banana splits among others.
If you would prefer creating your own ice cream masterpiece, you can choose a waffle cone, one type of ice cream, and one mixin for a flat price ($4.99 for a regular and $5.99 for a large), with additional mixins coming in at an extra $0.79 each. It’s a splurge, an indulgence, and a total treat. I have a huuuge weakness for rainbow sprinkles, (who doesn’t get squealy over sprinkles?!) so I chose the Rainbow-nanza icecream off the Tasty Creations menu ($5.78): sweet cream ice cream mixed with rainbow sprinkles and M&Ms!
Cue the scooping of ice cream, the plop plopping of sweets, and the metal clang-clang of ice cream being made right in front of your very hungry eyes! Yup, how the ice cream concoction is created is what sets them apart from other ice cream parlours (other than Cold Stone Creamery who use a similar technique and concept): the ice cream and mix-ins are mixed and folded on a frozen marble slab, resulting in a generously creamy ice cream 😀 The frozen surface keeps the ice cream from getting mushed and melty, and the folding allows the candies and sweets to be fully incorporated. It’s quite fun to watch! Believe me when I say it’s a technique that really needs to be done with care and patience because it’s not just swirling ice cream around till it’s mushy!
The sweet cream ice cream was fabulous (think vanilla but richer and creamier and with more of a cake batter taste to it) and rainbow sprinkles are always up my alley, but in hindsight, I would have chosen something without the M&Ms. I love M&Ms to death (they’re my favourite chocolate candies!), but to me, they felt misplaced in the ice cream. It’s almost as if they interrupted my ice cream eating, if you understand what I mean. I think if mini M&Ms had been used it would have worked out a little better because the regular-sized ones just didn’t provide the fluidity and cohesiveness that you would want in an ice cream dish. Textures and flavours are tough things to balance out and sometimes combinations work and sometimes they don’t. The ice cream was good and it was fun, but I’m looking forward to trying other mixins and ice creams to really get a wider breadth of flavours and textures.
Marble Slab has been around town for awhile now with new locations opening up periodically – I think the newest one is on Yonge St. right by the Eaton Centre – but my first time going was actually just this past summer! The first location I knew of was the one by Promenade Mall (which is the location I went to for this ice cream trip) and several years later one opened up in Markham on Major Mackenzie Dr. E and Markland St., just east of the 404 Highway exit. My family might not be as heavily into dessert stuffs as I am, but I blabbed on and on about the creamy ice cream and fun mix-ins enough for them to be intrigued. So we went and all got ice cream just for fun. Deb -1, family – 0. Win win! 😉
Marble Slab offers ice cream and cakes, and has 2 locations in Toronto as well as one in Markham and one in Thornhill:
330 Yonge St. (near the intersection of Yonge & Dundas, just north of Dundas)
2032 Queen St. E (in the Beaches neighbourhood, across the street from the KEW Gardens)
11 Disera Drive (near the intersection of Bathurst and Centre St., just west of Bathurst)
735 Markland Street (on Major Mackenzie Dr. E, at the plaza by Canadian Tire, Swiss Chalet, and Montana’s)