Remember all those rock songs you liked so much you just wanted to eat them up? Well, now's your chance. Emack & Bolio's is like eating rock & roll at its finest.
The company story: Amid the blazing rock & roll scene of the late '70s, Bobby Rook, an entertainment attorney cum ice cream enthusiast in Boston, creates a place to entertain rock stars after hours. They're hanging out, get the munchies, Bobby Rook makes some far-out flavors, and next thing you know he's known as Boston's ice cream man. The demand for his ice cream reaches record proportions, so he decides to open a store, but doesn't know what to call it.
"Name it after us," say Mr. Emack and Mr. Bolio, homeless men that he's done some pro bono work for. They live in the alleyway behind his store.
And thus, the first premium ice cream shop named after homeless men is born: Emack & Bolio's.
The Hard Rock Hotel location has very little grassroots flavor left in it. It is a big, flashy store with characteristic Hard Rock paraphernalia lining the walls and colorful, kitschy signs announcing the flavors. There are no homeless men anywhere to be seen. But the ice cream is still the same premium, homemade concoction, and it's really good. Not only that, but it's made from hormone-free milk.
"I'll take the Twisted Dee-Light," I said, remembering the time I asked my mom to take me to the Glendale Galleria to buy the new Twisted Sister album. I was handed an enormous scoop of chocolate ice cream laced with fudge chunks and brownies ($3.25 for one scoop); the creation of which was the brainchild of Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, the same man who brought us "I Wanna Rock!"
Deep Purple Cow is black raspberry ice cream with blueberries and black and white chocolate chips. Delicious. The signature Strawberry Fields Forever is like popping ripe berries and cream in your mouth. The lemon sorbet, We Call It Mellow Yellow, was perfectly balanced, sweet and tart.
Pistachio Ga Ga, neither cloying nor green, had real nuts. Crunch Control to Major Tom (my winner for the best flavor name ever) was good though its description was convoluted: vanilla ice cream, caramel swirl, chocolate crumbs, chocolate chips, nuts and cookies.
Emack & Bolio's also serves sundaes with homemade hot fudge, a banana split called Bolio's Banana Submarine ($6.25), ice cream floats and smoothies.
Two pieces of advice: Don't be turned off by the parking situation; they validate. And do share. The portions are huge.