It’s always ice cream o’ clock at Carmen’s.
Carmen’s Italian Ice and Cafe is a popular ice cream and cafe amongst all ages in the area. After school sports games Carmen’s is always crowded with students. The famous Italian ice company is located in Rockville right off of exit 6A, less than 10 minutes from school.
Carmen’s has a variety of items from ices to bagels and breakfast sandwiches. It’s a fun and friendly environment for children and adults to come together and enjoy desserts. Carmen’s is owned by Jason Mandler, who introduced the homemade gourmet ice to the area in 2001.
Throughout the year Carmen’s comes out with a large number of promotions. Every eighth of the month, Carmen’s has Jayden Day, which is in honor of Mandler’s son, Jayden. Jayden Day is a day where ices and gelatis are half off. The “grand daddy” Jayden day of the year takes place on Aug. 8. On this day Carmen’s has live entertainment, games and plenty of other surprises.
Over 60 flavors of homemade gourmet Italian ice come in 4 sizes: large, medium, small and mini. Flavors vary from mango and strawberry lemon which are the most popular, to banana chocolate chip. The prices are fairly cheap starting at $2.35 for the mini to $4.95 for a large. If a large isn’t enough you can also get a quart from the Grab n Go cooler for $8.35. If a quart still isn’t enough for you, you can get a pail of ice which is a gallon, for $27.
Aside from ice, Carmen’s is known for their custards. Carmen’s has over 50 flavors of custard that are all egg based. The flavors range from brownie batter to maple bacon and you also have the option to swirl any two available flavors.
One of Carmen’s’ signature items is their New Jersey attitude gelatis. Gelatis are a combination of ice and custard. You select your flavors and they layer ice on top of a bottom layer of custard and then top it off again with custard. Prices range from $3 for a mini to $6 for a large.
There are other types of gelatis such as the fall gelati and cookie dough gelati. Fall gelatis are a layer of custard, a warm pastry and another layer of custard. The pastry options are brownies, fantasy bars, fruit bars, apple crisps, peanut butter bars and raspberry bars. The prices range from $5.50 for a small to $6.50 for a medium. Cookie dough gelatis are a layer of custard and a layer of edible cookie dough. Cookie dough flavors include chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar cookie and s’mores as well as other specialty flavors.
Carmen’s recently came out with an ice cream panini press, a mix and match to create your own sandwich. First, you select either a donut or brioche as your bun, then you add your choice of custard and finally your selection of toppings. The ice cream panini press is $6.
My personal go-to item at Carmen’s is the ice cream panini press with a sprinkled donut, nutella custard, strawberry sauce and strawberry toppings. I’ve been working at Carmen’s for over six months and enjoy every minute of it. The customer service along with the low pricing for high quality food makes Carmen’s one of my favorite dessert cafes.