The current culture of restaurant cults, food-dedicated social network accounts and blogs has resulted in nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to restaurant concepts—and with new obsessions come perfectly acceptable, lengthy lines. Now there’s CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me), serving gourmet ice cream flavors sandwiched between freshly baked cookies on University Avenue in Palo Alto.

The concept comes from the Shamieh family, whose Berkeley location has enjoyed strong popularity since opening in 2010. The two Shamieh brothers, Jimmy and Gus, wanted to share the experience of their family’s popular treat of ice cream sandwiches with freshly baked cookies. CREAM offers the choice of 16 different ice cream flavors—including chocolate chip cookie dough, salted caramel and soy mint chip—to be combined with 10 different, freshly baked cookies including snickerdoodle, peanut butter and oatmeal raisin.

Walking by CREAM, one can certainly smell the sweet aroma of freshly baked cookies. However, along University Ave. it may be a case of smelling the cookies or seeing the line first. Since opening earlier this spring, CREAM has been a largely popular summer activity. The ice cream sandwich shop is open until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and until 2am Thursday through Saturday, making CREAM popular for a late-night treat after dinner or the bars.

Despite the extensive hours, there has been a lengthy line of eager customers on each of my visits. Visitors should be prepared for a wait upwards of 30 minutes—with the continual tantalizing smell of cookies baking. Friendly employees make rounds down the lines, offering cookie samples (read: broken cookies that can’t be made into sandwiches).

With a wide range of cookie and ice cream flavors, combinations can get pretty unusual: salted caramel ice cream sandwiched between two still-warm peanut butter cookies, oatmeal raisin with very berry strawberry—or the ultimate cookie combination, chocolate chip cookie with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. There’s also the option of adding extras to a sandwich such as sprinkles, Graham cracker crumbs and chocolate sauce.

For just a couple bucks ($2.50 in cash, $2.99 for card) the warm, gooey, delicious mess is a perfect treat for a summer evening. While some may scoff at waiting in line for an ice cream sandwich, that just means there are more for everyone else to enjoy.

CREAM, 440 University Ave., Palo Alto.

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