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Baby-on-Board Review: Bobtail Ice Cream

By Elizabeth Shapiro in Food on Jun 27, 2007 3:00PM

Q: Where in Chicago can Daley’s Addiction share the table with a Lakeview Barhopper?
A: Bobtail Ice Cream on Southport!

Bobtail Ice Cream offers a handful of ice cream flavors as well as creative coffee drinks at this packed location on the Southport corridor. They don’t have the richest ice cream we’ve ever tasted, but we love their inventive flavors and the atmosphere is perfect for families. Daley’s Addiction is vanilla with just the right amount of buttery fudge; Lakeview Barhopper give you chocolate with a hint of Jack Daniels. As you know, the actual barhopper doesn’t taste nearly as good.

2007_06_Bobtail.jpgBobtail has two new rotating flavors; we loved our hefty single scoop of chocolate oreo for $2.69, which tasted just like dunking Double Stuffs in chocolate milk. Most kids’ items are a reasonable $1.99, including single scoops or milkshakes and hot chocolates or steamers for those inevitably colder days. We’ll be back when those come around to check out their coffee concoctions, some of which ingeniously combine ice cream with caffeine.

There’s plenty of space with their indoor and outdoor seating to bring your stroller, and they have a handful of highchairs. Games and books are stacked on a bookshelf; you can enjoy your sundae with your child over your favorite chapter of Harry Potter or a game of Chutes and Ladders. Peruse their bulletin board for its share of kid-related postings: tutors and babysitters are among those who place ads here. There’s even a changing table in the bathroom, a rarity and a godsend.

Bobtail prides itself on its commitment to local schools. Their “Building Blocks” program attempts to encourage students through tempting incentives (free ice cream for each teacher-approved book report!) and even gives donations directly to the schools themselves. Maybe it’s because we used to teach that we’re suckers for local businesses giving back in this way; it will keep us patronizing Bobtail over similar ice cream shops. That, and their delicious, funky flavors.

Check their website: in addition to the one we visited, there are four other locations including Buckingham Fountain. The chalkboard outside told us that there was even a Bobtail Ice Cream truck at Roscoe and the lake. Now there’s no excuse to indulge your barhopper craving on a hot summer day.

We visited the Bobtail on 3425 North Southport. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day except Saturday and Sunday, when they’re open until midnight. Pregnant and craving moms, take notice.