Summer of Ice Cream: Honey Hut in Old Brooklyn

Yesterday, July 16th, was National Ice Cream Day. So of course, that means we went to the place that in my mind is synonymous with ice cream:

For the first six years of my life my family lived in Old Brooklyn, and we went to Honey Hut all the time. After school every day my brother and I would go over to my grandma’s house, who lived just a few blocks away from the original Honey Hut in Old Brooklyn (which is the one we went to yesterday, too). If she didn’t take us to Honey Hut, she almost constantly had a freezer in her basement full of pints of the stuff. What I’m trying to say is, I ate a lot of Honey Hut as a kid.

To me, Honey Hut is the gold standard of ice cream. It’s what I compare all other ice creams to. Honey Hut = ice cream. So when National Ice Cream Day was rolling around, it was the only place I wanted to go.

Honey Hut has never had the wildest flavors. My mom always ordered Butter Pecan when I was a kid, and that, to me, seemed like the weirdest thing ever. They keep everything classic, and that’s okay by me. Growing up, I always got the chocolate. I don’t really love chocolate ice cream anymore as an adult, so this time I went with their Cookies and Cream — my current favorite flavor. Kerry got Coconut. Of course we both went with a waffle cone. The ice cream was as good as I remember from my childhood. The secret to their deliciously simple flavors: honey. The name Honey Hut comes from the fact that they use honey as part of their sugar. This helps the ice cream have a great texture, and not get overbearingly sweet.

Honey Hut has been expanding all over Cleveland. I remember when I was in high school a few more opened closer to where my friends lived. They finally tried it and quickly became fans. Now you can get it at Huntington Beach and Edgewater, which Kerry used to do back in her beach bum days. She’d go to the beach, hang out and read in her bathing suit for a bit, and then go get a scoop of ice cream. If that’s not living the dream, I don’t know what is.

One of the earliest memories I have is going to Honey Hut with my class in kindergarten or first grade. We moved in second grade, so I know this was really early in my life. We went to Honey Hut, and my teacher was buying single scoops for everyone. I asked for an even smaller scoop. I remember it was like 2 or 3 tablespoons at the most, but that’s all I wanted. When my teacher told me that I could have a bigger scoop, I said, “No thank you, I’m going to have ice cream at my grandma’s house.” And I’m sure I did.

Since then, I don’t think Honey Hut has altered a thing. It’s still that classic ice cream that I remember. They’ve expanded, which is great, but that flavor hasn’t changed a bit. They’re not trying to keep up with the times: you’ll probably never find a flavor there you’ve never heard of. I guess when you’ve perfected the craft, why mess around with it?

Rating: 10 fond childhood memories out of 10.

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