Review No. 47: Marble Slab Creamery-Dave Ward
605 Salem Road
26.3 percent finished reviewing Conway restaurants
She Said: I was in a Fri-Yay! kind of mood, so I felt like decadence, and nothing feels more decadent than going out for dessert. After lunch, we were free for the afternoon, so I suggested Marble Slab, an international ice cream franchise chain that has two branches in Conway. We had never tried their wares, and I felt it was time.
He Said: Yeah, I had some questions about a placed named “Marble Slab.” Somehow “slab” isn’t a very appetizing word for me. But I was ready and willing to check it out. Of course, its being an ice cream place doesn’t bode well for my low-fat diet. But let’s see what happens…
She Said: Sadly, even though this is an ice cream parlor, this is not a pleasant place to hang, so after about 2 minutes, I could see why we were the only ones there. First, the freezers make so much noise, that it feels quite industrial, but on top of that, we were seated under a loud TV that happened to be broadcasting the side-effects of some big-pharma product, and let’s just say those side-effects were decidedly unappetizing. The programming moved back eventually to a food program, but I could have done without that blaring TV all together. The place itself is cute in white and bright pink, and all the dessert options make the best décor.
He Said: Yeah, if I ever go here again, I’ll get food to go. I don’t know what the atmosphere of the other “slab” branch in Conway is like, but this one isn’t real pleasant to hang in.
She Said: One doesn’t really go here for drinks, although they do have them. But, even though they specialize in sweets—not just ice cream, but also cookies—they don’t sell coffee. This made me sad after the sugar rush of the ice cream, I was desperate for some tasty, rich-bitter coffee.
He Said: They do have sodas of various kinds, and other soft drinks. But no coffee, or tea, for that matter, that I could see. Anyway, we didn’t get anything to drink.
She Said: This is an ice-cream parlor first and foremost, but they do sell cookies, as well. I was glad I didn’t notice all the special sundaes and desserts on the menu before I ordered, because I can never resist a fudge brownie ice cream extravaganza, which is something Marble Slab offers. After perusing the flavors of the day, I chose a small ice cream serving, which is two scoops, so I picked coffee and peanut butter. The clerk asked me if I wanted them mixed together, which did not sound good, so I declined the combined serving. I don’t think she asked me about toppings, but that’s just as well, calorically.
I love coffee ice cream, but I must admit the peanut butter ice cream was stellar, very peanuty in taste, and creamy in flavor and texture. The coffee was good, but not as rich. Both were VERY sweet. I had a little sugar buzz before we left the restaurant, and I was desperate for coffee to cut the sweetness, as Truvy would advise.
He Said: Why would you not mix coffee and peanut butter, Jones? Sounds delicious to me. But I was pretty disappointed. There are dozens of flavors of ice cream here, but they had only one low-fat frozen yogurt: vanilla. The corporate Website actually lists five different kinds of frozen yogurt, so it seems to be this particular franchise’s choice to stock only the vanilla. For that matter, they had only two flavors of sorbet, while there are seven listed on the corporate Website. So this particular franchise seems determined not to cater to anybody on a low-fat diet. I had a small (two scoop) serving of vanilla frozen yogurt. I did have the good sense to ask for chocolate chips las an add-in, and that’s where we actually saw the purpose of the famous marble slab: The ice-creamy-mixologist put the vanilla yogurt on this frozen slab of marble and mixed in a bunch of chocolate ships. I l suppose I could have stirred them into the yogurt with a spoon and had pretty much the same effect, but hey, it was her Hibachi moment, so I let her have it.
They have other stuff here, too—cupcakes, giant pizza size cookie cakes, and other stuff. I bought a cookie as we were leaving, just to get a little more information for the review (I’m always sacrificing for you, dear readers). The variety of cookies did look pretty decent, and I went with one that was labeled “chocolate chip,” though it was clear looking at it that it was a cookie with miniature M&Ms inside. I got the cookie to go, and ate it in the car on the way home, which was a more pleasant atmosphere than the store. The cookie turned out to have a ginger flavor, which was something of a surprise. The combination of the ginger and chocolate was interesting. But not in an especially happy way. I wouldn’t recommend that particular cookie.
She Said: Ruud, that cookie sounds pretty disappointing! Overall, the service was fine. What we often find as reviewers is that we are new to places where many people know the routine. Our clerk was attentive but not particularly friendly or informative. She asked He Said what toppings he wanted, but not me, so I didn’t know about them. There was nothing unprofessional about her work, but she was not particularly friendly or energetically helpful to newbies.
He Said: She did her job. ’Nuff said.
What We Got and What We Paid: One small ice cream, one small low-fat yogurt, one cookie for $10.44.
She Said: Tasty, very sugary, peanut butter ice cream, promising toppings, but served in a generally unenjoyable environment. If this is your go-to, get it to-go.
He Said: I won’t be back, unless I hear that they’ve got some variety in the low-fat, frozen yogurt department.
So…He Said and She Said: Good enough ice cream but not a pleasant place to hang out, and very low on healthy choices.