Food & Drink

Ice Cream Truck Treats, Reviewed by Actual Children

ice cream sandwich
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Remember ice cream trucks in the summertime? Those glorious motorized freezers that rolled through the streets delighting every kid and driving every adult bonkers with instrumental versions of "Do Your Ears Hang Low" on repeat? Yeah, those were the best.

And now, as the days grow shorter and the school year looms larger, us grown-ups often find ourselves struck with waves of smack-you-in-the-face nostalgia for the sticky, chocolate-dipped nights of our lost youth. So we thought it might be fun (not to mention straight-up hilarious) to round up a discerning handful of experts (i.e., nine very interested children between the ages of 3 and 10) to check in on old Mister Softee and see if his classic frozen novelties are still worth the sprint.

ice cream bars
Meredith Heil/Thrillist

Loaded Butterfinger bar

Simone (age 6): Hmmm, good. It tastes like butter with chocolate. 
Henryk (age 9): I don't think she's ever had a regular Butterfinger. 
Simone: This is better.
Henryk: I don't like Butterfingers. I don't know, I just don't like the taste. 
Simone: Butterfinger is my favorite. 

Snow cone

Mia (age 8): Oh my God, that is so fruity.
Jake (age 5): The blue one is probably blueberry! Is it blueberry?
Mia: Blueberry is definitely blue. The orange one is kind of mango-y. I don't think this wouldn't give me a stomachache because it's mostly just ice.

Orange Push-Up pop

Anika (age 8): It has a sour taste, a sweet taste, it's creamy, and it has a good flavor… It tastes like orange.
Jonah (age 10): You can taste a color? That's a first.
Anika: The only problem is, it's not sturdy. It rips all down the sides when you push it up and all this ooze comes out. See? The straw, it only pushes up one side so, um, I'm eating plastic now.

Chocolate Eclair bar

Jeremiah (age 9): It tastes like chocolate with maybe, maybe a little bit of strawberry in there? I like the chocolate at the end. [shrugs shoulders] It's good. Would I have it again? Maybe.

Birthday Cake bar

Jake: My favorite part of it is the white part. It's soft and really, really freezing. These outside things are kind of hard, but you can chew them. It makes your teeth feel chewy. I think I'm fine with this. I think I'm going to take like two more bites. Actually, I think four more bites.

reeses peanut butter
Meredith Heil/Thrillist

Reese's Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cup

Jude (age 8): [gasps] Oh my God! This is my favorite!
Fiona (age 3): Oh no, I got some on my shirt. Oh no, oh no, mommy... Mmmm, I like it.
Jude: It's better than a regular Reese's. Because it's ice cream.

Nestle Crunch ice cream bar

Henryk: It tastes like a normal Crunch thing, but better because it has vanilla ice cream, which is my favorite flavor of ice cream.
Simone: I like the Crunch more because it tastes a little different than the butter. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich

Anika: It's like, the cookie's soft and the ice cream is kind of hard and kind of creamy and then the chocolate chips are crunchy.
Jonah: I like how they have the chocolate chips on the outside. They don't add much flavor but they add the crunch. I love that crunch.
Anika: But, like, the aftertaste -- you can taste the chocolate a little more.  
[They demolished the entire thing in less than two minutes.]

Strawberry Shortcake bar

Henryk: The only thing I don't like is Strawberry Shortcake. I don't eat those.
Jeremiah: Yeah, those are gross.
Henryk: So gross.
Simone: Gross.

rainbow pop
Meredith Heil/Thrillist

Rainbow pop

Simone: Good. There's grape, and cherry, orange, and lime, and, um, lemon. I like grape. 
Jeremiah: Oh, oh, look -- there are more flavors inside! The orange is really bright. 
Simone: Good. I like ice cream sandwiches better. No, I like both. 

Vanilla King Cone

Anika: It's a messy thing, but it's super delicious. And it has so much going on -- it has peanuts, it has vanilla, it has cone, it has chocolate...
Jonah: I think it has too much going on.
Anika: But that's what makes it so good!
Jonah: Well I think it's the death of it. Too much going on. And now my finger's numb. Never get this thing in winter, it's going to freeze all your fingers off… I don't know if this is worth it, because it's impossible to lick the ice cream before you get all the chocolate and the nuts off. This is for chocolate lovers. Am I a chocolate lover? Eh.

Hello Kitty bar

Henryk: I don't, I mean, I can't really explain it, like, I don't know. Bubblegum? And strawberry and cherry.
Jeremiah: Tastes like strawberries. Oh yeah, the ribbon does taste like cherry, kind of. It's more like a popsicle, not like ice cream. 

Choco Taco

Jude: It's better than a regular taco but not as good as a Reese's. I don't like tacos, though. Too spicy. This isn't spicy.
Fiona: This is a taco? A taco? [looks up with a very confused expression, then takes a bite] Mhmm. Yes. Good.

Klondike bar

Jake: Mia, can I have a bite? Can I have a little taste? I just want a bite. Can I have a bite? If you don't let me have a bite then I'll buy my own one!
Mia: [completely ignores her brother] It's pretty chunky. It, like, has two flavors at once so it feels kind of busy and also really soft. It's really messy and sticky and, um, and slippery, but I think the best ones are usually messy. Can I have some water?

drumstick
Meredith Heil/Thrillist

Drumstick

Jeremiah: I've had it before, one time. It's OK. My favorite part is the peanuts. I like peanuts. The chocolate's good. It's kinda hard to eat the top but I like the ice cream. Vanilla is maybe my favorite flavor, but maybe strawberry. Strawberry's good.
Henryk: This is, um, [stops for a lick, takes a bite of the cone] my favorite out of all of them. [devours the rest] My face is sticky.
Simone: [raises one orange-stained hand] This hand is sticky.

Mango FrozFruit

Mia: This one's hard to bite. I think I like it a little bit less than the snow cone but it's not terrible. It tastes kind of like frozen mangos but mushed together. I think it needs, like, something more exciting.
Jake: I feel, I feel like something's missing. I feel like the sweet part of it, it's not sweet enough.

Giant vanilla ice cream sandwich

Anika: This is REALLY GOOD. It's creamy all over it and it's chocolaty, plus it has vanilla. [licks cookie bits off fingers] Ice cream sandwich, number one, yep.

Twix ice cream bar

Jonah: It has a real hard outside and soft inside with the, um, I think caramel in it, which also adds more softness and creaminess, but then there are these little wafers -- well, wafters-slash-nuts, I'm not sure what they are exactly -- but they add a good, nutty taste and crunch. I like regular Twix, but not as much as ice cream Twix. It's too hard, regular Twix, for me.

spongebob pop
Meredith Heil/Thrillist

Snickers ice cream bar

Anika: Oh yeah, we decided to save the best for last. It's melted, so it's hard to tell, but it has a lot of different things in there -- like, it has peanuts, chocolate, caramel, ice cream… a lot of different things, but it's all mixed in. I haven't had a regular Snickers in a long time so I forget what it tastes like, but this is better.

Giant Neapolitan ice cream sandwich

Jake: [unwraps his ice cream sandwich and begins to eat it sideways, like corn on the cob] This tastes cold… What's so weird is that when you press on it with your fingers, it sticks on to you. I like that it has all three. If I wanted strawberry, I could have strawberry. When I want chocolate, I got chocolate. When I want vanilla, I can have vanilla. [five minutes later] OK, I need a napkin. I need a napkin! I don't need ANYTHING except napkins!!!

SpongeBob SquarePants bar

Jude: Lemme try! Lemme try it! [looks longingly at the SpongeBob pop]
Fiona: [chewing] Hmm hmm, good.
Jude: Um, I think she likes it. Fi, what does it taste like?
Fiona: SpongeBob.
Jude: Anything else?
Fiona: No. OK, we're ready to play now.

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Meredith Heil is a staff writer for Thrillist. Feeling good like you should, liquor in her cup. Understood, she’s in the 'hood like an ice cream truck. Flag her down @mereditto.