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Jeni's Ice Cream, a Columbus, OH Based Ice Cream Chain - 14th and U Street, Open 11AM-11PM Every Day


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On 8/11/2017 at 11:45 AM, Sundae in the Park said:

How do we not have a Jeni's thread yet? My OH friends are NUTS about this stuff and it really does seem to be storming the nation. I can even get it out here in CA at certain stores. If you must have it you can order online and they deliver.

I once attended a Columbus-area wedding that had a Jeni's ice cream bar instead of cake and it was, indeed, splendid. 

Jeni’s Ice Cream Coming to 14th Street just south of U Street.

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Jeni's Thread in the Shopping and Cooking Forum [Pool Boy]

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On 9/25/2017 at 11:36 AM, ElGuapo said:

The new location at 14th Street & U Street is open!

Jeni's 14th Street

It's been open for a couple of weeks, but they are holding the grand opening tonight.  Free scoops from 7-10.

Wonder how the competition will shake out with Jubilee barely a block away.  Both are fantastic products in my opinion.

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One of my coworkers went to the pre-opening where Jeni explained how/why when she made that cookbook. I think she just had or was about to have a kid and took the time to fill the space to try to make the recipes that worked in a commercial kitchen work for the home cook. GOSH I AM SO THANKFUL - go out to your library, dump this book in your amazon cart and go crazy. Do it. Or itf you are lazy go to their location here in DC and just try some.

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 As a former Columbus resident, I am so proud of Jeni and everything she has accomplished. I happened to be in the Columbus North Market one day when she stopped in to visit her outpost there.  Her employees were so excited to see her, and the entire time she was there she was bestowing praise to her employees and saying positive things about the business.  It's one thing to make a good product, but it's another thing to be a great leader!

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33 minutes ago, Marty L. said:

It was fine, very good in fact, but not earth-shattering.  2 Amys remains the standard-bearer 'round here.

But now we're entering the world of house-made ice creams at the hands of a pastry chef - don't you think this is different? If not, what about places such as Kinship and Mirabelle? Hell, even Joe H's house. :)

I think a more apt comparison would be Dolcezza, no?

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7 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

But now we're entering the world of house-made ice creams at the hands of a pastry chef - don't you think this is different? If not, what about places such as Kinship and Mirabelle? Hell, even Joe H's house. :)

I think a more apt comparison would be Dolcezza, no?

It's better than Dolcezza.  (I liked the pistachio and the almond brittle better than the goat cheese/cherries.)  Not sure about the comparison to Jubilee, which I haven't had in a while.  I'd probably choose whichever has a shorter line.

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On 10/14/2017 at 10:05 PM, Marty L. said:

It was fine, very good in fact, but not earth-shattering.  2 Amys remains the standard-bearer 'round here.

My trip back to the District included 2 stops.  One, Jeni’s, and second, Chiko. My first taste of Jeni’s was a pint that I purchased at Wegmans. It was the Whiskey Pecan. I became hooked immediately. Naturally my second move was to learn everything I could about the company, and where I could purchase it locally.  To my delight, I learned of a brick & mortar to open in the District. Without hesitation, I planned a trip. 

I studdied the flavor offerrings even before my arrival. I knew exactly what I wanted. My eyes lit up like a Christmas tree as soon as I saw the marquee. As I approached the shop, I took notice of a young man attempting to walk by the storefront with out stopping inside. Epic fail. He made a sharp turn back to the shop, and  that made me even more excited. 

I walked away with a double scoop of Pumpkin 5-spice toppled over Salty Peanut butter chocolate flecks. The way the flavors melted together was in fact a symphony. The pumpkin 5-spice made me ponder why the traditional pie isn't prepared in the same manor. Salty peanut butter chocolate flecks oh my my, oh hell yes. 

I haven’t had 2 Amy’s, but I’m certain there is plenty of room in DC for great artisanal ice creams. I often forget how both proud, as well as loyal the locals are of the DMV purveyors. They won’t be easily impressed by the hype of critically claim attributed to outsiders. Trust me when I say this, Jeni Bauer is the real deal. Her passion is authentic. You can taste the love she has for ice cream. That is why I will be visiting several times over. 

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You get ice cream, you get ice cream!!

kat

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Gooey Butter Cake

Black raspberry buttermilk

Matterhorn

Milkiest Chocolate

Sweet potato and something

Pistachio something

My favorites were the Black raspberry buttermilk and milkiest chocolate, but the gooey butter cake was amazing too (hell they are all good!).

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I have to say, this thread is remarkable. Usually out-of town chefs get skewered, no matter the pedigree (see Lee, Sursur and especially Ripert, Eric). Yet ice cream from an absentee chef is nearly universally praised. Wow. Guess these other chefs should get busy making ice cream in the flyovers.

I've had the ice cream in Columbus and thought it was very good, and The Whole Ox in Marshall carries it. That said, its no 2 Amy's, or Moo-Thru. Or maybe it is, with better marketing

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2 Amys (DonRocks)

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10 hours ago, DonRocks said:

DIShGo can answer this later today - we were there this past weekend, but I waited in the car. This place is wow, just, wow.

I honestly can't answer this! I was too busy trying to pick the flavors for our carry-out scoops to notice the price for a pint.

As for the flavors I chose, I knew immediately what I wanted--dark cherry with goat cheese. It was all I hoped for and more! For Don I picked the Matterhorn (honey ice cream with white chocolate and almonds) and Salty Caramel. The Matterhorn was understated and the caramel was robust, so they made a good combination. We also had waffle wedges with our scoops. Delicious!

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13 hours ago, DonRocks said:

... I'm also not convinced it's made in each store; it makes more sense to have it shipped in from a central location for consistency. Assuming that's true, it's the individual stores' primary responsibility to serve it at the correct freshness and temperature, and of course with friendly service.

I asked a couple of weeks ago, and they do not make it in DC.  It is shipped in.  And as much as I hate to disagree with Marty about anything, I believe it is worth $12/pint. When Ben and Jerry go for $4 to $5, and taste like nothing, this is worth splurging on.  Also, in my experience (after many visits) the people working at the local store are kind and helpful and funny.

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1 hour ago, sheldman said:

I asked a couple of weeks ago, and they do not make it in DC.  It is shipped in.  And as much as I hate to disagree with Marty about anything, I believe it is worth $12/pint. When Ben and Jerry go for $4 to $5, and taste like nothing, this is worth splurging on.  Also, in my experience (after many visits) the people working at the local store are kind and helpful and funny.

Much as I hate to disagree with Sam about anything (he's right about the "kind, helpful and funny" servers!), I think Jubilee, just around the corner, is just as good if not better (and neither is better than 2 Amys), and I believe its pints are $9 compared to $12.

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On 11/28/2017 at 8:12 AM, Keithstg said:

I have to say, this thread is remarkable. Usually out-of town chefs get skewered, no matter the pedigree (see Lee, Sursur and especially Ripert, Eric). Yet ice cream from an absentee chef is nearly universally praised. Wow. Guess these other chefs should get busy making ice cream in the flyovers.

I've had the ice cream in Columbus and thought it was very good, and The Whole Ox in Marshall carries it. That said, its no 2 Amy's, or Moo-Thru. Or maybe it is, with better marketing

It's better when you make Jeni's recipes at home IMHO. But it is awfully convenient.

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Jeni's is delicious, no doubt about it. Friendly service who let me try a few too many samples before deciding. I really like that you can get as many half scoops as you want to try as many flavors as you're up for. Brown butter almond brittle and Pistachio & honey were the standouts for us. We've tried Jubilee but think Jeni's is a step above. I admit we haven't tried 2Amy's (didn't know people thought so highly of the ice cream until recently), but at the moment Jeni's is definitely at the top of our DC list. 

For several years now we've lamented the lack of an ice cream place in DC to rival our favorite of all time, Toscanini's in Cambridge, MA. Glad to find out that we've finally got one.

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We stopped by the other day, and in re-reading this thread, I didn't realize that it was possible to order a double full scoop.  The menu on the wall only gave the option of a full scoop, two half-scoops, a flight of minis, or kid-size.  Is it simply twice the price of a single full scoop?

That said, our one scoop of wildberry lavender was superb.  Five year-old didn't like it, almost two year-old loved it.

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Finally made it to Jeni's.  It is excellent ice cream, and that is all you really need to know.  Dolcezza, 2 Amy's, Trickling Springs, Pitango -- very different styles. 

Getting a scoop at the 14th Street location really beats my experience of buying a $8 pint at Whole Foods, which had some freezer burn and had a totally different texture.  Ditto for Dolcezza and Trickling Springs, at times. 

But for ice cream in DC, instead of trying to rank them on quality, it's more style.  I would create the traditional-experimental spectrum as Trickling Springs, Pitango, Jeni's, 2 Amy's, Dolcezza

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On 5/28/2018 at 3:36 PM, DaRiv18 said:

Finally made it to Jeni's.  It is excellent ice cream, and that is all you really need to know.  Dolcezza, 2 Amy's, Trickling Springs, Pitango -- very different styles. 

Getting a scoop at the 14th Street location really beats my experience of buying a $8 pint at Whole Foods, which had some freezer burn and had a totally different texture.  Ditto for Dolcezza and Trickling Springs, at times. 

But for ice cream in DC, instead of trying to rank them on quality, it's more style.  I would create the traditional-experimental spectrum as Trickling Springs, Pitango, Jeni's, 2 Amy's, Dolcezza

I actually prefer making Jeni's ice creams at home from her ice cream cookbook from several years ago. I like getting it 'fresh' from a Jeni's location of course, and I certainly buy it at the grocery store when I need a fix and am unable to make it myself or get in to DC to get it fresh, but I really do prefer to make it at home when I have the time to indulge in said making.

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On 6/17/2019 at 12:29 PM, meatwad said:

This is a marketing company. They don’t make their (delicious) ice cream.

2 hours ago, sheldman said:

Can you please cite a source for this assertion?  Thanks.

After some research, I haven't found any facts to back up this statement - meatwad, can you explain? I know they got a new CEO, and they now sell a *lot* of ice cream, but do they not have a production facility (and a distribution network)?

Still, having witnessed the absolute decline of Ben & Jerry's and Häagen Dazs, it almost seems inevitable that growth-oriented companies - like Jeni's - will eventually succumb to catastrophic declines in quality; I just don't see where this has happened yet.

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I do believe all the ice cream bases are made in Jeni’s facility in Columbus.  The final product is made in Wisconsin (? Maybe).  I used to live very close to one of the production facilities in Columbus, and walked by it almost every day… It was definitely a hive of activity.

The CEO is not new, he has been on the job for about 10 years.

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Aug 31, 2015 - "Change, Listeria, and the Reopening of our Kitchen" by Jeni Britton Bauer on jenis.com

Their response and success after 2015 is is worthy of a case study. I presumed this was something the type of folks who read wonky local food sites knew. Zoinks. Anecdotally, the CEO of a similar sized Columbus area food business said that this is the strategy, from discussions with company leadership.

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7 hours ago, meatwad said:

Aug 31, 2015 - "Change, Listeria, and the Reopening of our Kitchen" by Jeni Britton Bauer on jenis.com

Their response and success after 2015 is is worthy of a case study. I presumed this was something the type of folks who read wonky local food sites knew. Zoinks. Anecdotally, the CEO of a similar sized Columbus area food business said that this is the strategy, from discussions with company leadership.

Maintaining quality while trying to grow is the devil's task (ask Don Rockwell - he grew to the point where he could grow no more without funding (and without the quality completely going down the tubes), and he hasn't gotten any funding, so, here he sits, on the border between greatness and chaos - sigh, where's the MacArthur Grant). :(

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We returned to the U St location after a long absence. Our general impression was that the flavors were not as good as before. Still tasty, but not as overwhelmingly impressive. The salted caramel just didn't pack as much flavor as I remember. Also didn't like that they changed the ordering options. You used to be able to order as many small scoops as you want and pay by the scoop. Now the scoops are bigger, and you have to order one, two or three from the set price list no matter what. Not as convenient if, like us, you want to try as many flavors as possible.

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On 6/24/2019 at 3:20 PM, meatwad said:

Aug 31, 2015 - "Change, Listeria, and the Reopening of our Kitchen" by Jeni Britton Bauer on jenis.com

Their response and success after 2015 is is worthy of a case study. I presumed this was something the type of folks who read wonky local food sites knew. Zoinks. Anecdotally, the CEO of a similar sized Columbus area food business said that this is the strategy, from discussions with company leadership.

This is a good read, but I think there's another piece of the response that isn't discussed. When the scoop shops reopened there was a noticeable shift in the menu a little closer to the middle of the road. Jeni's has always had some out there flavors, but now there were one or two less on the menu to make way for a cookies & cream or rocky road. The shop near me has a perpetual line that's mostly kids and I doubt they're going for the goat cheese and cherries. I'd guess there were some capitulations made in the name of business that helped them stumble on an insanely successful menu formula that has served them very well.

...and the more out there stuff still absolutely bumps. A relative brought a pint of the seasonal cognac gingerbread to a get together the night before Thanksgiving and damn that's some really good stuff. 

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On 12/6/2019 at 10:58 PM, mnnchas said:

FWIW, I've noticed Harris Teeter is carrying pints.  Just 4 or 5 varieties.  I liked the brown butter almond, maybe a *bit* too sweet for me, but maybe I should have exercised some better portion control.

Teeter's ice cream/gelato game is strong. Graeter's from Cincy and Gelato Fiasco from Maine are well represented. I'll surprise my kid with a pint of Jeni's.

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1 hour ago, dpamlin said:

So is this place worth the hype?

I think certain flavors are, at least for now - the Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks is great. I know this ice cream is made in a commissary, so *theoretically* expansion might not harm the quality, but I've yet to see any instance where a product entering into the mass market hasn't eventually taken a hit in quality.

I agree with mnnchas that the Brown Butter Almond Brickle was too sweet - not excessively, but enough.

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