Strawberry ice cream from Red's Dairy Freeze in South Portland is a good way to cool down in July.
Should you find yourself in the vicinity of South Portland in strawberry season, run, don't walk, to Red's Dairy Freeze (167 Cottage Rd., 207-799-7506). Beloved from March through November for its constantly changing roster of soft-serve concoctions, Red's is downright revered for the few days in late June and early July when its homemade strawberry ice cream draws devotees from across the region. Owner Chris Bolling, whose parents started the business in 1952, makes the creamy, pink-tinted ice cream from berries his employees hand-pick a few miles away at Maxwell's Farm in Cape Elizabeth. While a strawberry cone is swell, you won't want to miss the milkshake, which includes chunks of fresh berries, or a strawberry Nor'easter - Red's version of a Blizzard - with shards of Oreos. But you'd better be on your toes; when the berries run out, as they tend to do very quickly, that's it until 2009.