Restaurant: Marble Slab Creamery
Cuisine: Desserts/Ice Cream
Last visited: August 20, 2010 (**Updated August 27, 2011)
Location: Multiple locations – Surrey, BC (Strawberry Hill)
Address: #142 – 12101 72nd Avenue
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Since 1983
- North American ice cream franchise
- 1st to introduce “frozen slab”
- Fresh home made ice cream
- Select toppings to mix in
- Busy/line-ups at peak hours
- Sweet cream flavour created by 2 French chefs
- Freshly baked, hand rolled waffle cones
- Variety of toppings and cones
- Seasonal special flavours
- Whole ice cream cakes available
- Low-fat frozen yogurt available
- Open late
**Recommendations: Whatever floats your boat, but Sweet Cream is the only flavour I can handle without feeling really weighed down afterward.
Marble Slab Ice Creamery is an ice cream franchise that originally started in 1983 in Houston, Texas and since then it has expanded all across North America. I swear Texas is the home of ice cream producers, and from there also came Blue Bell Ice Cream and Amy Ice Creams (a couple of my favourite and beloved ice cream shops in Texas).
Marble Slab specializes in fresh home made ice cream that is made individually in small batches. They say the ice cream is “hand-crafted daily”, and the flavours do rotate often, but I question how fresh some of the batches are even though it’s guaranteed. Besides the ice cream, the waffle cones are sometimes made upon order (if you’re lucky) and there are a variety to choose from.
Another reason why it’s popular is because you can customize your own sundae. You select your ice cream flavours and then your toppings or “mixins”, which include a wide selection of candies, fruits, nuts, chocolate bars, cookies and pound cake. From there, it’s all hand mixed on a frozen slab and served just the way you like it. Each portion of ice cream is weighed out, so they’re very precise with how much you get.
I came to Marble Slab Creamery after having a delicious South Indian dosa dinner at Desi Dosa Madras. I love ice cream in general and can have it any time of the day, but I find it extremely satisfying after Indian food because of all the spices used.
The first time I tried Marble Slab was in the States when I was about 9. I remember only liking their sweet cream flavour because it was the only one that wasn’t overly sweet or rich. Not much has changed and it’s still my favourite flavour. The first few bites of their ice cream are pretty good, but it’s heavier than most ice cream brands and it can make you feel sick afterward. It’s almost overly rich, sweet and creamy.
However when it expanded to Canada I just lost my hype for it, just like I did for Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Now if In-N-Out Burger were to come to Canada, I don’t think I’d lose my hype for that. That being said, I do think Marble Slab Creamery is good, if you like super rich ice cream, but I also think it’s more for the concept and it’s overpriced.
There are lots of places with a similar philosophy that are way better like Amy’s Ice Creams in Texas, but in Vancouver I think the closest other option is Dairy Queen (and now Cold Stone Creamery, which is the same as Marble Slab in concept). Vancouver is not an ice cream culture, and there isn’t much selection, so by default this is it for a store front ice cream place serving customized ice cream.
Marble Slab Creamery is a solid concept, but some of the flavours are really artificial tasting, overly rich, heavy, too sweet and ultra creamy (although creamy isn’t always a bad thing). The fruit mixins are soaking in syrups, except for the banana. The ice cream is freshly made and “gourmet” and “all natural”, but I don’t feel like they carry this philosophy throughout their recipes. Their definition of “high-quality” ends up coming across as a good imitation Prada purse at a premium price… if that makes sense at all… ?
On the table:
- Original: $4.95 Big Dipper (Large): $5.95 (Includes 1 mixin and waffle cone)
- Additional mixins: $.75 Waffle bow: $.75
- My sweet cream ice cream with pistachios, pecans and pound cake in a waffle bowl ended up costing about $7 – it’s pricey!
- The pound cake tastes just like Sara Lee pound cake and they give you half a slice (for a small) so it’s not much at all.
- The nuts are a mini scoop each and they’re totally worth it and you end up getting a lot because their small pieces and fill the entire spoon they use to scoop it with.
- Sweet Cream: Our cream is delivered fresh from the dairy, then churned one batch at a time to give our Sweet Cream the dreamiest taste around.
- The sweet cream ice cream is by far my favourite flavour.
- The sweet cream is the original flavour that was first created by 2 French chefs, and it’s the same recipe they use today.
- It’s one of their lighter flavours that isn’t as rich or sweet. It just tastes the most fresh and least artificial to me.
- It’s super creamy and thick and very pliable in texture, but not as stringy as their other flavours. However if you have it in their gourmet cakes, it’s rock hard.
- Sweet Cream is the only flavour that doesn’t make me feel as sick after because these ice creams are heavy duty.
- Premium ice cream is richer and heavier, but they are almost overly so here.
- My favourite part was the waffle bowl which was very crispy, fresh and lightly sweetened. It reminds me of the home made waffle cones at Timothy’s Frozen Yogurt in Richmond, BC.
- I loved the frozen cake bits in my ice cream and there was a balance of cakey texture with some crunchy pecans and buttery tasting pistachios.
- Swiss Chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham crackers about $7
- This is one of their tasty creations on their menu and I wasn’t feeling it.
- Mind you it’s still pretty expensive and I feel like I could make a better S’more sundae if I were to make it myself at home.
- The Swiss Chocolate ice cream tastes like very basic chocolate ice cream to me.
- The texture was ultra creamy and pliable again, and almost stringy, but the flavour wasn’t there.
- The ice cream is okay if you have a few bites, but any more you can start to feel really sick afterward, especially with their richer flavours. I love ice cream to!
- It’s just really fattening and heavier than most grocery store brands, but almost overly so. It’s heavier than Ben & Jerry’s.
- Premium ice cream is richer and heavier, but this didn’t taste richer and heavier with quality ingredients.
- This S’more creation really didn’t work well because it’s too rich, too sweet and you get sick of it quickly.
- The marshmallows hardened like pebbles and the chocolate chips were also very hard and waxy.
- They didn’t give much graham crackers and overall I would rather have a regular S’mores.
- Actually overall I would rather go to McDonald’s for my own S’more Pie Sundae. It’s my own version of Marble Slab!