This heat has really gotten to me. Productivity is down, AC is up, and my cat is just not enjoying sitting on the windowsill anymore. While everyone else is enjoying the much needed sun, I have been craving something to cool me off. Luckily, the C-U area has a wide variety of great places to go to, but if we just hop southeast, we can find the well established Sidney Dairy Barn.
Sidney Dairy Barn is just a 15 minute drive from Downtown Urbana, and features old-fashioned, churned ice cream that will just make you drop five degrees by looking at it. Their rotating menu, with staples of vanilla and chocolate, include anything from cherry to lemon to Snickers to blue moon (the cotton candy version, not the beverage; which makes me just a little sad). With their menu, you can come multiple times and always end up getting something different, especially with the insane amount of ways to eat your ice cream. From cones to a "tornado" (mixture of ice cream and toppings), to shakes and malts and even full floats, this place can you serve ice cream just about any way you like it. There are also frozen quarts and half-gallons for you to take home.
Sidney Dairy Barn happens to have multiple picnic tables, lawn chairs, and even its own creek and hill available for any custome. If you have kids and want to be left alone, it is the perfect place to let them roam free, while you enjoy your banana split. When I went on Saturday morning, just after they opened, there were almost twenty people lined up to get their favorite soft-serve. It seems like the prime place to be for dessert.
I ordered three things: a cherry cone ($2 for a kiddie); a strawberry truffle tornado ($4.75); and a quart of cookie dough ice cream ($6.50). The cherry was bright, red in color and tasted like fresh, red cherries with the combination of bitter and sweet clashing on my tongue. Not only was the ice cream perfectly swirled, but the kiddie cone was the crunchy ending to the melting ice cream. I was quite surprised by the strawberry truffle tornado because I didn't really know what "truffle" would be. They start with a strawberry base, add fudge and chocolate chips, and swirl it until the ice cream is just slammed against the side of the cup. It looks exactly like a whirlwind of red, white, and chocolatey brown are swirled all together and tastes just as it looks. The cool fudge is provides a gooey texture, while the chocolate gives you something to crunch on, and the chunks of strawberry pieces make you want to just spread this on a pound cake and call it a day.
The cookie dough is a delightful mixture of cookie dough pieces with vanilla ice cream. I wish that the ice cream was cookie dough flavor with some cookie pieces, but this ice cream is still tasty. It has a rich, vanilla flavor and the cookie dough was delicious.
While I know that there are amazing places to visit in Champaign, Sidney Dairy Barn is a must for your local sweet treat. Not only is it a great place to meet family and friends, or just let the kids roam free, it also touts awesome, rotating flavors. If you haven't been to this fun, local spot, then you need to make like a banana and split to Sidney Dairy Barn ASAP.
Sidney Dairy Barn
311 W Main St
Photos by AJ Taylor