By: Lynne O’Meara, Southern Maryland Resturants
Someplace very special has opened in LaPlata and you need to go! Landon’s Ices & Creams has the most amazing homemade ice cream and ices! Owned and operated by the Hinson family, the ice cream is wonderfully smooth and creamy!
Lamar and Shannon, along with their three children (Drew, Landon, and LJ) are keeping very busy these days! Lamar and Shannon grew up in families who loved ice cream. Shannon told me, “Mom made strawberry ice cream when we were growing up”. It was her mother’s grandmother’s recipe; there is nothing better than a grandmother’s recipe! Lamar has early ice cream memories too! When he was a boy, his mother always brought home big tubs of ice cream from the local Makro warehouse store (no longer in existence) and he would make root beer floats for all his friends. He remembers going to the Greenbelt Mall and getting the most delicious rainbow sherbet. He said if the shop was out of the sherbet, they would go looking for places that had served it.
I asked Lamar how they came up with their recipes and he told me, “A lot of experimentation”. I’m sure they were favorites with family and friends because they were always sharing their latest creations!
A big reason to create their own ice creams was nut allergies. Their son Landon and their daughter Drew have peanut and walnut (respectively) allergies. It was difficult to find ice cream made without some form of contact with peanuts. They knew if they mixed their own ice creams, their children would be safe from reactions. Lamar said, “I want my children to be safe and I want other people’s children not be in danger”.
To do this, they are very careful about their ingredients and equipment. They clean between batches and they use separate scoops for serving the ice creams. They are very proud to make homemade ice creams and ices using the finest ingredients!
For those looking for non-dairy options, in addition to the Italian Ices, they have a Non-Dairy Gelato. The gelato flavors are chocolate chocolate chip, honey vanilla, cookies and cream, and roasted pecan.
The shop is located in a former hair salon at 505 Charles Street in LaPlata. They live about ten minutes away, which is good because spend a lot of time at their shop. Everyone helps out! When I was there, Drew and Landon were busy helping their parents.
So…on to the ice cream…it is the creamiest, smoothest, tastiest ice cream! They sell the ice cream by the cup, cone, or pint. They have delicious waffle cones that you can smell when you walk in the door. They make the cones fresh every day. They have traditional flavors and some special concoctions. Some of their best-sellers are Charles Street Crunch (toffee, caramel, and fudge), Honey Vanilla (using local honey), Drew Bear (vanilla, honey, graham crackers and Teddy Grahams), and the seasonal James Peppermint (named after LaPlata Mayor Jeannine James – vanilla with candy cane pieces). This flavor will also be back next year.
They have a couple of special blends that are not advertised for children…“Naughty” Eggnog and Rum Raisin (both made with Meyers Jamaican Rum). They also have a “Nice” Eggnog made without the rum. I tasted both of the rum ice creams and they were fabulous! So much flavor!
They have Italian Ices, milkshakes, coffee floats, root beer floats, and hot chocolate floats. The only topping they have for ice cream sprinkles. I asked Lamar why they don’t have other toppings and he told me, “We think our ice cream is so good, it doesn’t need a lot of toppings”. And he is correct! The ice cream flavors don’t need any enhancements!!
In addition to the rum ice creams, I tried several others…the Salted Caramel (just the right blend of salt and caramel), Charles Street Crunch (so good), Snicker’s Cream Cheese (with cream cheese and Snickers), Mint Chocolate Chip (with big chocolate chips), Honey Vanilla (with a hint of honey), and my favorite…Red Velvet Cookies and Cream (cookies and cream in red velvet ice cream – it tasted like Red Velvet Cake; it was outstanding)!
Open since October 5th, Landon’s Ices & Creams has developed a following of loyal, regular customers. In addition to returning customers, they have had visits by Mayor James, Steny Hoyer, and Rock Newman (producer and boxing promoter…born in Brandywine, MD).
The inside is bright and comfortable. They have a few tables so you can sit and enjoy your ices and creams. They plan to open a Party Room in the back early next year. It will be a great place to have birthday parties!!
The bottom line…Landon’s Ices & Creams uses fresh, high-quality ingredients for their homemade ice creams and ices. The ice creams are absolutely amazing!! They are a wonderful local family; I really enjoyed talking with them. I’m writing this on Monday and can’t wait for them to open tomorrow. The most difficult part of going there is deciding what flavor to get. Which really is not a bad thing!
As Lamar says, “I just love ice cream”!
Landon’s Ices & Creams is located at 505 Charles Street in LaPlata. The hours are Tuesday through Sunday 11 am-9 pm (closed on Monday).
Rating (out of 5):
- Food – 4.9
- Service – 4.8
- Ambiance – 4.6
Total – 4.8