Palo Alto, CA: Lots of Variety at Rick's Ice Cream
Saturday, July 26, 2014

Rick's Ice Cream Logo

Rick's is a classic local ice cream shop. Founded over fifty years ago, in 1956, Rick's prides itself in its plethora of flavors. From eight types of chocolate ice cream to exotic fruit like Ube, Rick's has quite the selection.

Rick's also has a history as rich as its selection. It is currently on its third owner, Gary Schoen. Gary purchased the business in 2002 with a dream to open up his own shop, making creations like his mentor, Luciano Ferrari, a noted gelato consultant.

Rick's Ice Cream Flavors

The ice cream itself, while creative, is in desperate need of an update. Although the flavors Rick's serves may have been cutting edge as of 2002, the flavor and quality doesn't stack up against modern competitors like Tin Pot. With an advertised 48 flavors available on any given day, Rick's focus is more on quantity, whereas the market is focused on quality!

While the density and texture of Rick's ice cream is respectable, all the flavors we tried seemed off. They were either imbalanced, too strong, or in many cases, they didn't match the description. One great example is the Ube flavor, which tasted strangely like pineapple, rather than this very distinctly flavored treat.

Rick's is a fun piece of South Bay nostalgia, and many folks enjoy taking their kids here on a sunny Sunday. But to compete with the new shops, Rick's will need to put much more care into their flavors.

Flavor Tasting Notes

Rick's Ice Cream Scoops

Salted Caramel

Slight coffee, nutty flavor. Not very salty. Decent density/mouthfeel. Doesn't really taste like actual salted caramel.

Industrial Chocolate

This is Rick's most popular chocolate flavor, a cookie dough chocolate chip fudge. This was very rich and sweet. Not nuanced at all. Chips didn't integrate well and were hard.

Saffron Pistachio

Great, authentic saffron flavor. Large chunks of pistachio, with an overly strong pistachio flavor. Good density and texture, but the pistachio seems to overpower the nuanced saffron.

Honey lavender

Perfectly smooth, but not particularly dense. Seems to have relatively high butterfat. Light, but authentic lavender flavor, and a tad too sweet. Hard to detect any honey notes. Enjoyable, but not memorable.

Ube

Hard to detect real Ube flavor. Seems to have some sort of fruit extract added in. Almost tastes like peach or maybe even pineapple? Texture is ok. Like many Ube ice creams, has tiny bits of crumbly Ube evenly distributed throughout, which seriously interferes with the creaminess of the ice cream.

5.5
Final Score: 5.5/10

Rick's Ice Cream

3946 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303