If Andrew Warren ended up on Chopped in the dessert round and the four secret ingredients were James Earl Jones, a turd, a nickel, and a Nerf football he’d probably win by making the second best ice cream ever created. But that’s only because he’s already created the best ice cream flavor man has ever seen.
In a world where we’re surrounded by mere mortals, a small shop in the middle of Westbrook houses a wizard and his magical ice cream lair. That wizard is Andrew Warren who, along with his wife Corey Digirolamo, opened the well-hidden Catbird Creamery. Andrew, a former pastry chef at 555 on Congress St., now works as ice cream and sweets creator extraordinaire at the shop.
Last spring, upon the recommendation of my wife, who noticed a new ice cream shop on Main St. across from Bank of America, I visited Catbird Creamery for the first time. I figured, as I always do, that I’d check the place out quite simply because it was new. Little did I know, I would quickly become a regular and its biggest fan – though from what I can tell, I might have to fight some people for that title.
The first thing that struck me about the shop was the selection of ice cream itself. Not only are Catbird’s flavors highly original, but even the more standard flavors always have an unusual twist. For example, variations of the standard vanilla and chocolate include the much more delicious brown sugar vanilla and salted chocolate, among others. What was great about all these new flavors is that they offer samples and you can try as many flavors as you like. And being that I consider myself a connoisseur (those who’ve seen me eat might call me a conno-sewer), I tried a lot. After trying several of the flavors, I knew I had found something special.
Among the flavors I got to experience that day were Strawberry Balsamic and Furious George.
Furious George is like a Lamborghini with a jet engine. Or maybe, more appropriately, like a monkey strapped to a missile. Put simply, it’s the most amazing ice cream flavor I have ever experienced.
What is this curious (see what I did there?) creation, you ask? Furious George is hot pepper ice cream with caramelized bananas and dark chocolate chunks. All I could think about the first time I tried the furious one were the words “intense fwavor expwosion” spoken slowly in a Barbara Walters voice. And then, just a split second later, a symphony in my mouth calmed the voices in my head. It was glorious, and I knew right then and there I had to tell everyone I could about the ice cream flavor that melted my heart.
After falling in love with an ice cream named George, my first trip there yielded me an ice cream cookie sandwich – a heaping serving of ice cream sandwiched between two homemade – like everything else there – cookies. There are usually a variety of cookie flavors available and you can have more than one flavor of ice cream if you just can’t settle on one. I chose the Strawberry Balsamic and the Furious George between two sugar cookies.
Subsequent visits landed me with sundaes or cookie sandwiches more often than not. The ice cream sundaes are ridiculous. Pick one, two, or three ice creams, choose anywhere from one to all of the toppings, and get fresh homemade whipped cream with a cherry or other delicious ornament on the top. Oh, and it comes in a crumb cake dish. There are two sizes and I’ve never ordered a large. In fact, the small is so large, most normal people can’t finish it. While I am not normal, it does make me very full. And it will only set you back a measly five dollars.
Catbird Creamery also offers a number of other excellent options including homemade cones, warm cookie sundaes, just a standard dish of ice cream, and a variety of other combinations of the above. They also sell various types of delicious truffles to suit your chocolate cravings.
To get the real experience of Catbird Creamery, I strongly recommend eating your treat at one of the two tables in the shop. You will be provided with ice cold water, which unbelievably, goes incredibly well with ice cream. You’ll get to hear whatever cool music is in the shop too, and it’s always different.
Catbird’s ice cream is quite frankly the best I’ve ever had. And I don’t say that lightly. Nor am I an “ice cream guy” – or at least I didn’t used to be. If bacon is porn for your mouth, Catbird Creamery’s products are porn for your soul. You start smiling on the way into the shop and keep smiling when you leave.
While the shop is not easy to find if you don’t know it’s there, I think everyone who’s been there becomes a repeat customer. Catbird also sells wholesale to local restaurants and is available in specialty stores locally. Hopefully word about this place spreads faster than a bogus warning about Facebook privacy settings. It is definitely deserved.
I recommend experiencing Catbird Creamery right now. You won’t be disappointed.
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