you call it “Carl’s Ice Cream”, “Carl’s Frozen Custard”,
“Carl’s Electro-Freeze” or just plain ol’ “Carl’s”,
you're sure to call it delicious. Located at 2200 Princess Anne Street
just off Jefferson Davis Highway (Route 1) in Fredericksburg, Carl’s is
open 7 days a week from mid February to Mid November.
Don't let the long lines
fool you, since the longest of lines seldom yields a wait longer than 10
minutes. Until a few years ago, the line would be formed around the building,
but after 50 years, the line was moved to the front of the building for
safety reasons. Carl’s also added white concrete barriers to act a seats
for the guests.
So, what makes Carl’s so
popular? How popular is Carl’s? Carl’s popularity can be traced back some
50 years to 1947, when Carl’s first started serving the public. Carl’s
has become so popular, that some travelers passing through Fredericksburg
on the Interstate will stop by just for some Ice Cream. Regulars to Carl's
include residents from Stafford, Spotsylvania, Orange and Caroline counties.
Could it be the Ice Cream that makes Carl’s so popular? Could it be the
speedy service? Carl’s serves 3 tasty flavors of frozen custard, (yes, custard -
custard contains more eggs than ice cream), chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
The custard is made in 120 gallon batches from a rare 1940 era Electo-Freeze
Ice Cream machines. You can see the actual brightly polished chrome machines
churning out ice custard when you visit.
Another unique feature for Carl’s
Ice Cream is that the Ice Cream does not come out of the machines swirled,
twirled or twisted. The frozen custard slowly exits the Electro-Freeze
machines down a chute in a flat rectangular shape (about four inches wide
and one inch thick), into the freezer where your ice cream is scooped from.
The service at Carl’s is
always fast, friendly and good (oh, did I mention fast). When you
arrive at Carl’s, parking is available around the back and sides of the
art deco style building and along the streets. (Be careful crossing Princess
Anne Street). If you're not sure where you can park, ask someone in line,
or a police officer (there is usually one fairly close to Carl’s enjoying
the Ice Cream). Again, don't let the length of the line fool you, just
grab your place and strike up a conversation with the others in line. Within
a few minutes you will be near the window and you will be able to see the
menu. (Make sure you're ready when it's your turn)! When you get to the window, give your order to the cashier, who will take your order and
pass it on to the people scooping the ice cream. The cashier will then
take your money and place it under the paperweight at the window all the while handing the previous persons' order to them.
walk away from the window stunned by the fast service and enjoying your
ice cream, the cashier repeats the same process with the next customer
in line. Generally, you will not be in front of the window for longer than
30 seconds. As for your money that the cashier placed under the paperweight,
well, during that 30 second transaction, the cashier also managed to count
it and place it in the drawer and get you your change, all without you noticing.
Make sure that you quickly exit the window area, or you will no doubt bump
into the next couple of customers that just received their ice cream.
2200 Princess Anne St.
7 Days a week
Sun-Thurs 11 am - 11
Fri. & Sat 11 am
- 11:30 pm
Tips: Bring a few pennies
to use on the cup dispenser for a cup of water. Carl's serves a limited
menu of Cones, Cups, Shakes, Malts and Sundaes
Take Jefferson Davis Hwy. to Princess Anne Street (towards Olde Towne). Carl's is about 1/3 mile on the right.