When it comes to Rum Raisin ice cream, I unabashedly proclaim myself a connoisseur. It is my favorite dairy confection, and I have yet to meet an ice cream flavor I haven't liked, but "like" is totally inadequate to describe my passion for that relatively rare dairy delight, Rum Raisin. I say relatively rare, because I have sought it out, with only occasional success, from Maine to Hawaii. The only palatable mass-produced Rum Raisin I am aware of is distributed by Publix supermarkets. It's very good. And so are occasional products of small-batch purveyors in up-scale creamery "salons," but nowhere have I found the equal of Joe's Rum Raisin ice cream.
It is smooth and creamy with just the right blend of rum flavoring, neither incipient nor overpowering. Plump raisins are the essential ingredients that set Joe's ice cream apart, making it truly delicious. That's all you need to know if you are a Rum Raisin junky!
Now, let me address some of the negative comments posted about Joe's Ice Cream. Is the ice cream expensive? Yes, but is it over-priced? No. Two large scoops of ice cream in a waffle cone for $7.00 is not out of line with prices in quality shops with big names, or even your local movie theater.
The facility is well-used, even shabby and perhaps a little dingy, but I do not find it "dirty," or unsanitary. Yes, customers do have to climb a flight of stairs to get to the shop, but anyone who considers that enough of an annoyance to not patronize second-floor eating establishments is missing some mighty good restaurant food. And paint: Joe's is colorfully painted to attract first-time patrons, but the stairs and railings really could use a fresh coat of paint, as could the sign, which needs it most. Remember, Joe, you have only one chance to make a good first impression!
All that said, I can't visit Longboat Key without getting at least one Rum Raisin fix at Joe's Ice Cream parlor.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.