Living in the deep South, where summer temperatures often perch in the high 90s with humidity in the high, wet army blankets, I’ve become something of an aficionado of cold treats. Here now a smattering of my favorites from the Hawaiian archipelago to the classic city of Athens … Georgia that is.
In no particular order … and I’m always looking to expand this list. Feel free to comment with your favorites below.
Snow Factory Truck (Haleiwa, Hawaii): There is a lot of shaved ice on the island of Oahu, but this is the only operation I’ve found that actually combines ice and ice cream for a shaved product that actually hits the bowl looking like little torn rags which are smooth, flavorful and melt more slowly than their ice only brethren.
Eegee’s (Tucson, AZ): If there was one place I had to visit, according to my fans, it was Eegee’s for a iced-thing. I tried half strawberry and half piña colada. It was really refreshing. Next time, I’ll probably just order the piña colada by itself.
Kopp’s Custard (Milwaukee): I’m usually not a fan of the chocolate-cherry combo. But the chocolate cherry kiss custard (which is served on Valentine’s Day) was well-balanced in both flavors and the texture of the custard was spot on.
Three f(x) Ice Cream and Waffles (Jacksonville, FL): Sometimes you walk into an establishment and you spend the first 10 minutes confused. And then you spend the next 24 hours wishing you were back there. Welcome to Three f(x), a Korean ice cream parlor providing some of the most-innovative desserts in the country. This includes waffles called Taiyaki (I filled mine with a walnut and red bean mixture), ice cream made-to-order on an anti-griddle (watch video below) and Patbingsu (a Korean shaved ice concoction the size of my head filled with fruits, red bean paste and everything else possible.
Love Boat Homemade Ice Cream (Fort Myers, FL): I love ice cream. And I loved the Salty Crunch flavor … it was freaking good.
Ice Cream Jubilee (Washington D.C.): Thanks to the owner Victoria and her son, I was able to try Ice Cream Jubilee via delivery. They’re making incredibly unique flavors like Banana Bourbon Caramel, Gin and Tonic, Dark and Stormy and Salty Apple Cinnamon. I can also admit that I love their packaging.
The Franklin Fountain (Philadelphia, PA): I stumbled upon this old-time soda fountain serving homemade sodas, ice creams, sundaes, phosphates and more. I decided to order the Hemingway’s Dream, a phosphate that consisted of lemon juice, mint, anise syrups, seltzer, citric acid and an Absinthe-soaked sugar cube. It was just what I imagined it to be and I enjoyed it.
Mason’s Creamery (Cleveland, OH): I said it first on Instagram and I stand behind it, their apple cider sorbet was better than 90-percent of the apple pies I’ve ever had. These guys are doing ice cream proud. Try a couple flavors if you can including the salted caramel and the Earl Grey.
Aglamesis Bros. (Cincinnati, OH): There’s nothing like a soda shop. Except … an old-fashioned soda shop that also houses homemade chocolate. As you enter in Aglamesis’, on the right you can get shakes, malts and egg creams galore (I got an egg cream). On the left, piece-after-piece of really, really good chocolate.
Steel City Pops (Birmingham, AL): Getting my hands on these pops was a surprise and I couldn’t be more grateful. These guys are coming up with flavors way beyond chocolate, cherry and orange. Thick bigger: Arnold Palmer, Sweet Potato Pecan, Buttermilk, Pineapple Jalapeno and Cherry Sour Cream.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Athens, GA): Wash your burger down with an adult milkshake, specifically the Monkey Wrench (peanut butter chocolate malt, banana liqueur and chocolate vodka).