First Bite: Bruster's Ice Cream Now Open at Concord and Nolensville

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I've come to realize one of my favorite smells — right up there with gardenias, garlic, fresh basil and frying bacon — is waffle cones cooking. It's like inhaling an atmosphere of melted butter, a warm, caramelly scent that improbably always makes me think of Christmas. That smell enveloped us like a blanket fresh from the dryer the second we opened the door to Bruster's Ice Cream, which just opened last month at the intersection of Nolensville and Concord roads just past Lenox Village.

My family has come to love Bruster's from trips to Florida and Kentucky, where my kids squeal with delight as soon as they see the name with its cherry logo. The first time we ever visited one, in Kentucky, we pulled up to find a crowd of adults standing around in pajamas — a typically fanciful Bruster's promotion. Others include email alerts when your favorite flavor comes up in rotation — the stores cycle through some 145 flavors, from almond divinity to Winter Wonder white chocolate with peppermint flakes — to Banana Thursdays, where you get half off a banana split if you BYOB.

That's not all. The menu includes plump ice cream sandwiches, cakes, pies, smoothies and freezes, shakes and sundaes, all dispensed by a friendly staff that didn't betray any impatience as my 6-year-old dithered over the selections. We didn't need to be told the store makes its own waffle cones — the smell took care of that — but cakes, pies and ice creams are all made in-store as well.

Before now, the closest Bruster's was in Columbia, some 40 miles away. As the summer wanes, I can see the new Bruster's looming well into winter as a weekend destination, maybe after a family calzone and some wings down the road at Amico's New York Pizza. Bruster's is open weekdays 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at 10646 Concord Road.

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