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Day 204: After Movie Treat – Haagen Dazs


Häagen Dazs

I have a good friend who uses the expression, “That was top 5” referring to some place, meal, or other material object.  The phrase means that the particular subject would rank in his personal “top five” of best experiences of his life.  Well the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema is “Top 5” for me with this caveat.  Part of what makes the experience great is the after movie ice-cream cone I used to enjoy at the adjacent Gifford’s Ice Cream shop.  Needless to say I was very disappointed when Gifford’s closed, amid litigation with the owners of Gifford’s and an investor who purchased the previous eight locations.  Stepping into the void left by the closed Gifford’s store is competitor Häagen Dazs in the former Gifford’s location.  They’ve been there a few weeks now.

Special Cones

In the 1960s Häagen Dazs was founded by Reuben and Rose Mattus of Brooklyn, New York.  The name implies an “old-world” origin of the company, like Holland or Denmark, but really it’s just a savvy New Yorker whose mother used to make and sell ice-cream from a horse-drawn wagon on the streets of the Bronx.  In the beginning there were just three flavors –chocolate, vanilla and coffee.  Today one can enjoy over two dozen classic flavors and more than a half-dozen “limited edition” flavors such as Sweet Chai Latte which is purported to be “inspired by the distinctive tastes of India.”  It’s chai tea blended with rich, “velvety” ice cream.  My favorite is Mint Chip.  As Häagen Dazs’ website states it really is “delightfully refreshing and invigorating.” They describe it as natural mint essence infused into a smooth, creamy base, with rich chocolate flavored chips added for the perfect finish to this cool treat.”  With 300 calories in a 1/2 a cup (that’s less than a scoop) and 60% of your daily requirement of saturated fat, this ice-cream could be a real life saver in an emergency.  Let’s say the federal government shuts down and chaos ensues.  Or I bet the 15 people stranded on that uninhabited island near Guam recently could have used a little saturated fat – don’t you think?  Anyway, after a great movie at Landmark, such as academy award nominee Incendies, DEFINITELY A TOP 5 MOVIE, stop in and enjoy a treat at Häagen Dazs.  However, if nothing but the classic Washingtonian Gifford’s will do then stop by the recently re-opened Chevy Chase Gifford’s (under the old management) near the Clyde’s Restaurant in Friendship Heights. ~Brian

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