Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams opened its fifth Georgia location at Buckhead Market Place on West Ferry Road on Oct. 10. The new spot, located near Whole Foods Market and Velvet Taco, brings to the plaza a much needed twist of sweet indulgence.
I was pleasantly surprised by the abundant 24 flavors Jeni’s had to offer. The impressive spread, which includes several dairy-free sorbets, is sure to please even the pickiest of ice cream lovers. The shop is also currently selling holiday flavors such as dark chocolate peppermint, sweet potato with torched marshmallows, boozy eggnog and the Matterhorn.
In addition to ice cream, the shop also sells homemade sauces, sprinkles, T-shirts, baseball caps, art prints, and even offers free stickers for children. Some of the homemade goodies proved overpriced, such as the 10.5-ounce jar of hot fudge sauce for $12. Although pricy, it took most of my willpower to just order ice cream.
I settled for the standard (two half-scoops) of wildberry lavender and honey vanilla bean. The crisp tarte flavor contrasted with the gentle lavender, while the honey vanilla deepened the traditional vanilla with undertones of honey in each lick.
My friend opted for the trio and ordered the chocolate truffle, rainbow frozen yogurt and brambleberry crisp flavors. She enjoyed them all and said that the chocolate truffle had a classic, familiar taste that reminded her of home. The lime and passionfruit flavors in the rainbow frozen yogurt made for a harmonious bitterness as the lime offset the passionfruit’s sweetness. The brambleberry crisp tasted sweet and tart and had a pleasing crunchy texture from the oat streusel that contrasted well with the ice cream’s fruitier flavors.
Another friend tried the milkiest chocolate and white chocolate macadamia nut flavors. She noted that the creaminess in the milkiest chocolate seemed to pay homage to the classic chocolate flavor. However, the white chocolate macadamia nut wasn’t that great due to its muted flavor.
Another in our group also tried one of Jeni’s dairy-free options, cold brew with coconut cream, and gooey butter cake. Some of the shop’s other dairy-free flavors include Texas sheet cake and roasted peanut butter and strawberry jam. The cold brew sorbet was rich with bittersweet notes of coffee sweetened by the coconut cream.
One of my other friends ordered the darkest chocolate flavor, which was richly bittersweet and creamy. The green mint chip, which derives its color from vegetables and fruits and scent from a peppermint essential oil, was a refreshingly cool treat. Finally, the dairy-free dark chocolate truffle with a cocoa aroma and subtle hints of coconut, was slightly denser and less creamy than the darkest chocolate flavor.
The last in our group tried the coffee with cream and sugar, as well as the butter cake. She said the coffee tasted just strong enough to accommodate those not too keen of coffee and that it blended well with the aroma of the cream. Before coming to Jeni’s, my friend had never heard of butter cake, and she expressed satisfaction with how subtle and delicate it tasted despite the flavor’s deceivingly heavy combination of a cream cheese ice cream base with swirled vanilla cake and homemade caramel-butterscotch sauce.
The ice cream was not the only thing to impress us, though. The shop’s exterior features a bold red Jeni’s Ice Creams sign embedded with lights that contrast the classic white brick background. The interior boasts a modern, minimalist theme, with string lights hanging from the ceiling and wooden benches and artistic prints lining the walls.
A single full scoop and the standard (two half-scoops) both run for $5 at Jeni’s, while the trio (three half-scoops) runs for $6. Kids can order a half-scoop with sprinkles in a cake cone for $4.25, and groups may opt for a flight of 10 signature flavors for $19. Lastly, customers can buy pints for $12. Jeni’s also makes buttercrisp waffle cones and bowls in-house for an extra $1.25 per order.
The staff was also a delight, and they let us take our time as we sampled perhaps too many flavors. The pricing was a little difficult to decipher, though, considering the fact that three half-scoops cost just a dollar more than one full scoop. After having spent about $34 between the six of us, we agreed that a trio offers the best deal for your buck.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and want to sneak in a few more bites of ice cream before the winter chill sets over Atlanta, consider visiting Buckhead’s — or any location of — Jeni’s Ice Creams for classic, signature and seasonal flavors.