Earlier this fall, while in the midst of one of our rehearsals for the Palace Theater show Christmas in New York, there was a commotion amongst several of my young ‘divas’. Thinking I was going to have to break up yet another ‘artistic dispute’, I was instead informed that they were all leaving the rehearsal whether I liked it or not.
“Oh yeah?” I said.
“Oh, yeah,” I was once again informed.
“It’s your funeral,” I said. “You’re the ones who are going to look stupid on stage when you don’t know your lines.”
“We don’t care. Today is the last day for Brown Dog, and if we don’t hurry, they will be closed before we get there!”
“Well, that’s different,” I said. “Get your stuff and get out of here. You better hurry, they close for the season at 3:00!”
As obnoxious as this scene was, it serves to highlight the passion, joy and loyalty that our kids have for Brown Dog Ice Cream. And they are not alone. This year, Brown Dog was winner of the Virginia Living Made in Virginia award for best food, beating out favorites in Surry, Edinburg and Virginia Beach. For many of us living on the shore, Brown Dog represents so much more than delicious and artistic ice cream, but it is also an example of a sustainable, local farm to table operation. Brown dog is defining just how businesses should operate here the shore – creating a product that is woven into the fabric of the region where it lives. Brown Dog’s appeal is that it is unique, yet it is unique to this place, making it the perfect ambassador for not just Cape Charles, but the entire Lower Shore.
Congratulations Foster! You did it again.
Read the excerpt from Virginia Living magazine below:
About five years ago, Miriam Elton set out to solve a problem: Her small Eastern Shore beach town was in need of a premium ice cream store. The result? Ice cream done right. At Brown Dog Ice Cream in Cape Charles, Elton treats her creamy creations with care—no artificial flavors, just fresh ingredients that are prepared and cooked for you to see and feel and taste.
The varieties on offer at Brown Dog Ice Cream, like beet and goat cheese with pistachio, or avocado with strawberry, lime and jalapeno, sound more farm-to-table restaurant than seaside ice cream store, and that’s no accident. “We try to be creative and we try to use local fruit and vegetables,” says Elton, 53, originally from Loudoun County. “So whatever becomes available from local farmers, I try to create a recipe.”
Elton does the prep work in the kitchen, roasting and cooking ingredients like local apricots, peaches, wineberries, plums, corn, figs, strawberries and blackberries. She then incorporates them into the ice cream during the freezing process. In the end, the formula is pretty simple: “The best ingredients equal the best ice cream,” says Elton. Kids, she adds, particularly enjoy chilling out in her shop with the real brown dog, Foster.