2312 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204
websiteJeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has long been one of the most proud homegrown delicacies of Columbus, Ohio. Thirteen years on, Jeni Britton Bauer has taken her special brand of ice cream out of its founding spot in Cbus in all directions, now with creameries open in Cleveland, Nashville, and Chicago. Columbus natives always point to this place as one of the first you need to visit to really understand the culture of the city, and it’s fitting that kind of accolade has come to an Ohio State University grad. One taste of the ice creams here and you’ll get the hype.
Ice creams, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. Jeni’s serves all of your favorite frozen treats, and touts that it does so using “grass-graised milk from a family of small Ohio farms.” Indeed, the ice cream has to be some of my favorite to come out of Ohio. It’s the texture that really makes it all work; Jeni’s ice creams are extra thick, and that creamy taste is taken to a whole new level. The result is some pretty excellent basic cream that is mixed into a number of different flavors, most of them very unique. Some of my favorites:
- Coffee with cream and sugar: Coffee ice cream is not unusual, but this one has a very creamy taste, in part for the way it is made, with the coffee beans seeped in the milk. Coffee and cream go well together, but this melding is unusual in its success.
- Yazoo Sue with Rosemary Bar Nuts: This one is actually a perennial flavor for Jeni’s, and an example of its love of local business. Available in Nashville locations, it’s made with a porter brewed by the local Yazoo Brewing Co., with rosemary bar nuts included. It evokes the thought of enjoying a beer and some nuts in a bar. Complicated idea? Yes, but the delivery is perfect.
- Black currant frozen yogurt: The recipe is simple: cream, milk, organic yogurt and black currants. So is the taste. It’s just pleasant.
- Mango Lassi frozen yogurt: Mango is a unique flavor, but the frozen yogurt is good without being overly sweet or letting the natural tart of the mango take over anything. Wonderful!
- Red Raspberry sorbet: For a flavor, it’s delightfully fluffy light. But what makes this sorbet truly amazing is the raspberry is almost so simple it tastes almost perfectly like a summer fruit.
- Root beer: This one is a bit heavier, so it can overwhelm other flavors it’s paired with. But that nice root flavor is great!
- Middle West Whiskey & Pecans: What a lovely ice cream! Middle West Spirits whiskey gives the ice cream its undertone, and it’s mixed in with some sweet butterscotch and salty pecans. Highly recommended with the darkest chocolate flavor, as well.
- Egg Nog: A seasonal option you hate to miss, and to be sure it’s easy to like! That deep and creamy egg nog taste but bright and sweet just so you’ll still enjoy desert.
- Lemon & Blueberries Buttermilk Yogurt: A lighter cheesecake-like frozen yogurt flavor, with the citrus kicking in at the end. Went with chocolate for a different take.
- Gooey Butter Cake: The caramel and cake together is this sweet, thick, batter-like charming flavor. Perfect in a cone.
Columbus exports a lot of things the city can be proud of, but it’s especially moving as an Ohioan to see how much it focuses on keeping its ingredients local. it’s also moving to see people from Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville and other big cities taking notice. This is a must-visit ice cream chain if you’re in Columbus or any of the cities that host its stores. You just might find yourself hooked.
- The website of Jeni’s is actually an immense asset if you’re a rabid ice cream lover. Not only does it tell the story of each flavor and what goes into it, but also suggests pairings with other flavors, and importantly, where you can find them.
- Home delivery of Jenis to all 50 states comes via its website, but the expanding number of shops in the eastern United States each has a lot of unique flavors to try, too.
- Some ice cream flavors rotate in and out seasonally, but there are a lot of base flavors you can find at the shops year-round.