Food Wars: The Local Ice Cream Cone Comparison

Carousel’s opening day was Saturday March 16th, meanwhile Moo Thru in Remington has been open all year, offering various seasonal flavors. Since Spring has officially started and it’s getting warmer out, I decided to put the two locally famous walk-up ice creameries to the test. I chose to keep it simple and classic with a strawberry cone and rainbow sprinkles. Although these two frozen treats are made very differently, one will come out with the cherry on top. 

Moo Thru is famously known in this area of Virginia for their fresh ingredients and a wide variety of flavors. Even their slogan is “Real Ice Cream from Real Dairy Farmers.” The ice cream shop clearly emphasizes natural, simple, and local ingredients coming straight from the dairy cows of nearby farms.

I went there on a Friday afternoon around 4, just a few hours after I got out of school. The walk-up window was mildly busy, with a few families getting ice cream on a hot sunny day. However, Moo Thru also has a drive thru which is super convenient when you don’t feel like getting out of the car to grab a sweet treat, plus it’s really quick and easy.

The menu had several options: soft serve, shakes, malts, sundaes, milk, merchandise, as well as over 20 hand dipped flavors. Flavors included everything from sweet cream to blackberry, to holstein, an option of vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips to replicate the black and white dairy cow. Moo Thru also offers seasonal flavors, as previously mentioned, which vary by fruits that are in season or the nearby holiday.

My strawberry ice cream cone with sprinkles tasted exactly how it was advertised; simple and fresh. At first glance, there weren’t many sprinkles on the ice cream to enjoy, but the real strawberry taste overcame the negative thought immediately. To sum it up, it tasted real and wasn’t tainted with the artificially bitter and almost acidic flavor that you usually get on your tongue from strawberry ice cream. 

Carousel has been a Fauquier County favorite since it first opened in the heart of Warrenton. Its fluorescent pink and bright blue neon sign can be recognized by anyone in the area. It was my go-to place after soccer practice at the WARF as a kid, and it still remains to be a family favorite and even a tradition to many locals today.

The walk up ice cream shop has a diverse assortment of soft serve ice cream, alongside milkshakes, Hawaiian ice, sundaes, and famous hot dogs. They even offer fried Twinkies and Oreos incase you’re looking for a different kind of sweet treat. The soft serve is made and served differently than any other ice creamery I have been to before. The locally famous cone features flavoring only on the outer rings of an original vanilla cone. Although this sounds like a rip off, the flavor is so strong that it overcomes the inside of the cone with each lick.

They offer flavors from rootbeer, to banana, to fudge ripple. In addition to a wide assortment of ice cream flavors, Carousel has toppings from crunchy candy bar chunks to chewy gummy worms to add to your favorite dessert.

I decided to stick to an original strawberry ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles. Although it didn’t have a natural strawberry taste, I wasn’t expecting it to and it definitely was not a mistake. The cake cone was loaded with multi colored sprinkles that added an extra boost to my taste buds and the sourness of the strawberry flavoring was enjoyable. 

All in all, Moo Thru ended up victorious and deserves the Food War’s cherry on top. Their clean and friendly service and easy accessibility through a drive thru and walk up window just added to the overall experience. However, in all fairness, I grew up on Carousel ice cream cones during the summer and still love their unique way of adding flavor as well as their sociable and speedy service. 

Both local establishments offer amazing ice cream with different varieties depending on your appetite and location.