Who would have guessed that Pittsburgh has a billion and one more surprises to my demise. I stumbled across Leona’s Ice Cream a few months back and absolutely loved it. So, when the request to write about it came up I leaped at what is probably the BEST assignment ever!
I bought my Leona’s ice cream from Bryant Street Market on Bryant Street in Highland Park. This is just one of the dozens of local shops you can pick up your pints and sammies. I decided that in order to properly report on Leona’s I should get both an ice cream sandwich and a pint. Double the Yummy Factor!! I tried the Key Lime/ Graham sandwich and a pint of Cinnamon Oatmeal Lace. I will not lie I was a little nervous about both flavors. Key lime can be a little to bitter and I am no fan of oatmeal. Plus, what the hell is lace?! But, the two men at the store reassured me I would be satisfied, so I leaped with both legs in.
I decided I should not eat both back to back as to be able to really enjoy their individual flavors. I ate the sandwich first and boy was I blown away. It was nothing even close to what I thought it be. The key lime flavor was so subtle and light. Mixed with the chewy but firm graham cookie made for flavor central on my tastebuds.
Now, like I mentioned I am not a fan of oatmeal which means I normally would avoid it at all cost. However, when I dug my spoon into that pint and placed it on my tongue my taste buds went bananas. The ice cream was so creamy and smooth almost like soft serve but just not that soft and the bits of cookies in each bite were absolutely amazing. It by far exceeded my expectations of what I thought it would taste like.
You may not initially suspect this, but Leona’s ice cream is also LACTOSE-FREE and 100% dairy. Not sure how they pulled off this magic, but myself and 65% of Americans will enjoy the lack of tummy grumblies. One of the owners Katie, is lactose intolerant, but didn’t like any of alternatives. Her business partner and wife Chirsta Puskarich engaged her in starting up Leona’s.
All in all I give Leona’s a 5 star rating. Not just because they make some good ice cream but because the combination and types of flavors they are offering are downright sinful. And they choose hidden gems to store and sell their products which is even better. I have found a new local market that I will patronize and will continue eating this brand along with it.
Support this local queer business by picking up a sammie or one of the pint-sized delights at any of these Pittsburgh shops.