AB Road Eats: Cold Treats Edition


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).

56 Comments

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  1. 1
    MoHub

    Too bad you didn’t check out Tropical Ice Cream in the Maryland ‘burbs when you were in the DC area. In addition to doing amazing things with traditional flavors, it has a whole range of Jamaican flavors using Caribbean fruits as well as a rum raisin that will preclude you from driving.

  2. 3
    Lon

    Eegee’s in Tucson IS wonderful! The 3 standard flavors, Strawberry, Lemon, and Piña Colada, are available everyday, and each month, there’s a different flavor special! This month, August, it’s Cherry Limeade! The one everyone waits for all year is July’s flavor, Watermelon! I love the Peach-n-Berry, and the Banana Blush! If I ever leave Tucson, I’ll miss Eegee’s the most!

  3. 4
    Jean

    Anchorage, Alaska has a little place called Wild Scoops that makes delicious ice cream sandwiches with French macarons. Their flavors are unique and local (my favorite is the salmonberry)!
    Also, Tucson has amazing raspados! Check out a place called Oasis. It’s shaved ice in a cup, topped with fresh fruit and vanilla ice cream.

  4. 5
    Suzi!

    For delicious Dole Whip ala Disneyland minus the $100 for admission, Hula Girlz on Bolsa Chica and Heil in Huntington Beach, California is a must. Pop next door to Dough Dough’s for malasadas, a.k.a. Hawaiian doughnuts. :),

  5. 7
    Justin Stodola

    You ever get up there, Donnelly’s outside Saranac Lake, NY deserves a mention. Best, creamiest soft serve I’ve ever had. Just be prepared: only one flavor each day.

  6. 8
    Megan Hawkes

    Love eegees!!! You should definitely try the Screamery in Tucson, AZ. They have amazing ice cream that they make on site daily.

  7. 9
    Ann

    I love the Franklin Fountain! The Berley Brothers are very particular in keeping their recipes for delights true to the time period. I also think that Anderson’s Frozen Custard in Buffalo, N.Y. needs to be on the list!!!!!

  8. 10
    Jennifer Smith

    I feel like Leopold’s Ice Cream in Savannah, GA should be on this list. If you haven’t had it, go get you a tutti-frutti!

  9. 11
    Leslie

    King of Pops, Richmond Va. Cold but not too cold pops from sidewalk carts and selected vendors around town. Handmade pops in a constantly changing variety of flavored and textures- such as Key Lime with a graham cracker in the pop!

  10. 13
    Henley

    Just came back from a cross-country road trip and I ran across an interesting ice cream joint while in San Antonio called “The House: Boozy Ice Cream and Brews.” It looks like your average old fashioned ice cream parlor but they serve alcoholic ice cream. It’s something different and definitely worth a try.

  11. 14
    Ash

    You did a post on cold treats and didn’t put a New Orleans style snoball on the list?! For shame! Hansen’s Sno-Bliz is an icon, James Beard recognized and all. The bananas foster snoball – not just a flavor, a snoball topped with actual caramelized bananas – is to die for. The creole cream cheese Ice cream at Creole Creamery is not to be missed either.

  12. 15
    PsychoKitty

    Niederfrank’s Ice Cream in National City, CA! Yes, it’s a less-than-lovely part of San Diego, but the old-school ice cream turned out at this place has been a delight for the last 67 years or so! All of the flavors are made with natural ingredients, using vintage equipment (the original machines bought in 1948), and it’s like nothing else! My personal favorite is still the Kahlua Crunch, but the mango sorbet is a close second. (Although, the butter rum pecan….drool!) Any of them are tasty, and the fruit ripples are loaded with fresh, seasonal fruit! Totally worth the drive from North County!

  13. 17
    Michael Hutson

    Diva Pops (Tallahassee FL). I love their pineapple habanero Popsicle. Just opened their storefront and there they offer all kinds of options to add to your Popsicle. Check out their Facebook page.

  14. 18
    Veronica Lorenzen

    Hi Alton! If you ever find yourself in central Indiana (Upland to be specific), you have to check out Ivanhoes! They have 100 sundaes on the menu…something for everyone. I’ve made the hour trek down from Fort Wayne many times. It’s that good!

  15. 19
    Melanie

    Melt Ice Creams, Fort Worth, Texas. Fresh and inspiring flavors. Be adventurous, went one time and they had Lavender and Honey ice cream.

  16. 20
    James Haynes

    Jerry’s Sno Cones Memphis, local legend. Softest snow and huge selection of flavors. Pick a regular flavor or one of their recipes or create your own combination. Order a supreme with soft-serve ice cream in the middle. Personal favorite–Sno Cream. The Dreamscicle is an orange with ice cream. I have been there with over a hundred in line. IT IS WORTH THE WAIT!!!

  17. 22
    Bob

    Alton, you missed Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis. Their custard is smooth and creamy and the concretes are divine. My wife’s favorite is the tiramisu.

  18. 23
    Paul Cheramie

    There isn’t enough New Orleans in this post! Come back and try Hansen’s Sno Bliz snowballs; in business since the 1930s. Besides Hansens, there’s a snowball stand in many neighborhoods throughout the metro area, many with unusual flavors. Hansen’s features the Hot Rod – a snowball with a scoop of ice cream hidden inside, topped with sundae toppings such as chocolate, crushed pineapple, etc.

  19. 24
    Barbara Felthouse

    I live in a small town st johns az we have a snow cone shack that’s simple but good my favorite is Malibu barbie

  20. 26
    Tracy Scheid

    Woodside Creamery in Newark, DE. They make the ice cream from the milk of the cows on their farm [after it is pateurized, of course]. Absolutely fabulous! They usually have about 20 flavors from which to choose.

  21. 27
    Michelle

    I live in Tucson, Az and when it comes to eegees I always get all the flavors and it has to be a large mix…….and when it starts melting all the flavors mix together and then you get an icee fruit punch drink with little pieces of fruit yummy…..(caution don’t mix root beer flavor with this one)

  22. 34
    Lisa

    Reed’s dairy in Idaho Falls, ID. Wonderfully smooth ice cream and the best chocolate milk I’ve ever had. I was told it is thickened with potato flakes.

  23. 35
    katfrogg

    Next time you are in Atlanta, you need to check out Jake’s Icecream at the Irwin Street Market (there are other yummy treats in the market as well!). And be sure to hit up a King of Pops stand as well. Both would be excellent additions to this list!

  24. 36
    Misty

    We live in Birmingham, AL, and whenever we have a friend visit us from out of town, one of the places we *always* take them to show off the city is Steel City Pops. We even recommend the Buttermilk (oh, it sounds all sorts of sick and wrong, but when you are there and at least one person in three orders it, it makes you wonder…so we braved the Buttermilk one day…tastes like cheesecake!) I love their tea pops (sweet tea, green tea). Their coffee pop is the perfect color (brown paper bag). Strawberry Balsamic is wonderful. Pineapple Jalapeno is as sassy as it sounds. They’ve even added some now with brownies in the middle…and the brownies are amazing. If you’re in the Magic City, Steel City Pops are an absolute must.

  25. 37
    Heather

    Steel City Pops is a great one! A newer Birmingham treasure is Big Spoon Creamery. They don’t have a storefront but you’ll find their cart popping up around town. The buttermilk peach may be the best ice cream I’ve ever had!

  26. 38
    Katharine Johnson

    Little Baby’s in Philly! Unique ice cream with half of their menu being vegan, and you’d never know. The flavors are not for the timid. Ice cream is a feeling!

  27. 39
    KC

    “BINGS!” We had those in Taiwan: shaved ice w/papaya, pineapple, bubble tea sized tapioca balls in simple syrup (usually bright pink), sweetened condensed milk, or chocolate syrup, red beans… & more. What better treat on a hot day? They even served them on chilled metal plates so the ice wouldn’t melt so quickly. One of my friends liked them so much she bought a giant heavy metal shaved ice machine (mechanical not electric) from one vendor & brought it home as carry on luggage so as not to exceed the weight limit for checked luggage. 🙂

  28. 40
    Coreen

    Jimmy Cone in Damascus, MD (and Mt. Airy, MD) because strawberry soft serve dispensed into a cone (or otherwise) is tragically difficult to find, at least where I’ve looked. And it is good. You do, however, have to call first, to make sure the strawberry slot isn’t being occupied by orange or black cherry (which are good, but not what I’m looking for).

  29. 41
    Colleen

    It’s simple, but really good… Rita’s Water Ice in Delaware (and other eastern US states). Italian ice like I’ve never had before. I’d buy it in vats if I could have it shipped!

  30. 43
    R Dean

    Information Update for Three f(x) Ice Cream & Waffles. Not very long after AB’s visit they opened a second location in Orlando and changed the name to Five f(x) Ice Cream & Taiyaki.

  31. 44
    Amanda

    In Tulsa, or more technically speaking Broken Arrow, there is a year round sno cone place called Ink’s. It is flat out amazing. Smoothest sno cones ever. EVER. Also if you aren’t sure what you want they will ask what things you like and just make something that hits all those notes. With a guarantee of course that if you don’t like it they will make you one that you do like. Also Portland, OR has Salt and Straw. I really need some sea salt with caramel ribbon right now.

  32. 45
    Eric

    In Omaha, it’s all about eCreamery. Best vanilla in the city, all sorts of combinations and flavors, plus gelato and sorbet. And it’s the favorite of Warren Buffet – he took Paul McCartney there last year (remember that kid’s selfie that went viral?)

  33. 46
    Julie K

    ALTON! If you’re ever in Orange County, CA you need to go to 4th Street Market in Santa Ana to try out my shop’s popsicles! We’re called Front Porch Pops, and we make all our popsicles from scratch. Always all-natural! We have unique flavors too, like Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake, and Vietnamese Coffee 😀

    • 47
      Katharine Johnson

      That sounds utterly necessary and amazing! Why isn’t that a more popular thing across the country? Genius! Best of luck in your business venture.

  34. 48
    Mom Gee

    Next time you’re in Milwaukee you have to try Leons Frozen Custard. It is so much better than Kopps. We use to drive all the way from IL just to go there. My favorite is Buttered Pecan but they are all wonderful.

    • 49
      Jill

      Living in Milwaukee all my 55 years, the two staples when it came to ice cream was Koops and Leons. I happen to be the dark chocolate lover so dark, smooth and creamy….oh my!

  35. 52
    Michelle Frae Cummings

    Hi Alton, if you are ever in Mission Viejo CA, you “have” to visit Sno2Go! It’s a quaint stand alone shack, family owned. They have the finest shaved ice I’ve ever had. They stuff their creations with fresh fruit, some syrups and your choice of fluffy vanilla ice cream or sweet condensed milk. Monthly specials are created along with the everyday favorites. If you go, try Dragonberry Delight- Strawberries & Lychee, Thai Surprise- Coconut & Mango or a monthly special. Pumpkin Pie is my absolute favorite! I’ve also heard upside down pineapple cake and strawberry shortcake are to die for!

    • 55
      Eric

      An egg cream is a chocolate soda made by mixing a chocolate syrup and a small amount of cream with soda. A classic fountain drink.

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