A wonderful, personalized combo: a brownie, ice cream topped with M&Ms, and a peanut butter cookie.
A bright blue neon sign reading “Cookie Monsters Only” hangs on the back wall of the Baked Bear (6140 Delmar Boulevard)
. It may make you laugh or smile, but only the ice cream sandwiches will make you say "wow."
The shop — located just east of the Loop, across the street from the Pageant — opened about a week ago in the room that previously held Pi Pizzeria's takeout counter. It's the first Missouri franchise for the San Diego-based chain. Owner and founder Shane Stanger previously told the Riverfront Times
that this will be the only location in St. Louis for now, saying, “Each one must be special."
When you walk into the Baked Bear, the menu can at first seem overwhelming despite its small size. Basically, you're getting to customize the ice cream sandwich of your dreams. You get to pick what cookie (they offer several varieties), brownie, or donut you want, and whether you want it on either the top or bottom of your sandwich (they don’t have to be the same). Then you pick a flavor of ice cream, and finally finish it off with the special toppings of your choice, whether that's mini M&Ms or crushed Oreos.
Oh, and after you put your creation together, you can get your sandwich warm-pressed, so your cookies are warm like they just came out of the oven. It's a stroke of genius that melts away in your mouth.
The menu might seem small, but the possibilites are endless.
There are endless possibilities, and it can be difficult deciding what should go where. If sandwiches aren’t your thing, you can also get a bowl with ice cream and a cookie, cones, sundaes or even just a cookie. But don't let the options overwhelm you; the scoopers are always happy to help you walk through your decision and give tips on their favorites.
We eventually landed on a brownie on the bottom, a peanut butter cookie on top, and in between them cookies-and-cream ice cream covered in mini M&Ms. It did not disappoint. The ice cream is thick, which keeps it from melting away and onto your hands as you hold your sandwich. Even near the end when the whole thing falls apart, the brownie, donut, cookie, ice cream combination does just fine off the end of a fork.
The inside of the shop is clean and comfortable to sit and enjoy your sandwich.
The inside is well-lit and quite spacious, with polo bear logos everywhere, posed nicely against the blue walls. There are four tables to relax at inside, and two more out front. A place to sit is more important here than your normal ice cream shop, as the large sandwiches are tough to eat on the go. One whole wall features large photographs of ice cream sandwiches close up with beautiful backgrounds. It makes you think, "I want to try that combination — no, that one, not that one!"
The Loop is already filled with interesting ice cream spots, but not one with as many different combinations and different things to try as this one. After just one bite, it’s clear why this franchise is growing quickly.
The Baked Bear is open from noon to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and noon to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
The outside of the shop has plenty of spaces to sit when the weather is nice.