Tuesday, July 19, 2011

#4. Ice Cream at Ivanhoe's

Few things in life are as enjoyable as ice cream on a hot summer day. The sweet, creamy coolness is the perfect antidote to blazing summer rays. Of all the ice cream purveyors in Indiana, few can top Ivanhoe's, a drive-in located in the tiny town of Upland, IN. 

My family discovered Ivanhoe's two summers ago when dropping off my younger brother for basketball camp at the nearby Taylor University. We were hungry and it was the closest restaurant nearby. From the street, it is an unassuming place that an outsider would only frequent in times of desperate hunger or in an attempt to soak up the local culture that travelers so greatly desire. Luckily, we fell into the former category and since then a visit to Ivanhoe's has become an annual tradition.  

When we first pulled in to Ivanhoe's two summers ago, we thought that we had found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but we soon realized that it was quite the opposite. Every time that I have visited, the place has been packed. Although the food is good, the real draw is the ice cream menu. Ivanhoe's has 100 sundaes and 100 shakes. Nearly any imaginable combination is on the list. The fun of visiting the restaurant is the selection; I usually follow the nutritionist's nightmare mantra: more is better. 

Ivanhoe's was bustling even at the off hour of 4 p.m.

When picking my brother up from Taylor this year, my mom and I decided to make it a full meal since we had yet to eat that day. We split the Big Bird, a grilled chicken sandwich topped with pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and ranch. I usually try to eat pretty healthily, but all nutritious thoughts flee my mind upon entering Ivanhoe's. 

The Big Bird

After the sandwich came the best part: ice cream. I ordered the mini Trojan Two sundae--cookie dough ice cream topped with hot fudge, peanut butter, and chocolate covered graham crackers. It was really rich and altogether sublime. 

The Trojan 2
My mom ordered a peanut butter and chocolate fudge sundae, while my brother ordered the blueberry cheese shake. Although my sundae was phenomenal, I preferred my brother's shake, which he generously allowed me to sample. My sundae was too heavy for me, and I preferred the lighter blueberry taste of the shake. The combination of cream cheese, ice cream, and blueberries sounds weird but it was really good, comparable to blueberry cheesecake. 

Blueberry Cheese Shake
This was my brother's last year for the Taylor camp, so I do not know when I will next visit Ivanhoe's. Whether in the next year or decade, I am sure that I will return. The drive to Upland is picturesquely rural and the expansive menu would surely impress any fellow road trippers. 


If you have yet to visit Ivanhoe's, do it! You will not regret it in the least. 


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  2. Love the ice cream no matter the flavor....Look for the Pink barns at the intersection of 22/26...John Mellencamp would be so proud!