After a mostly rainy summer, Space City Weather predicts Houston will see an explosion of highs in the mid to late 1990s. This type of heat requires refreshment that only ice and other frozen goodies can provide.
Fortunately, Houston’s culinary community has a few new options designed to provide some relaxation from the heat. From restaurants making their own flavors to two prominent national players who recently hit the market, this list keeps things short and sweet.
Are you looking for more choices? That list from 2019 still holds up.
Pastry chef Alejandra Salas, finalist for Pastry Chef of the Year at the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards 2021, has turned three of her signature desserts into ice cream cones. For example, Rocky Mountain is re-introducing Baked Alaska with chocolate ice cream, smoked marshmallows, chocolate chips, caramelized hazelnuts and meringue, and the Strawberry Shortcake combines strawberry ice cream, confit strawberries, biscuit, chantilly and fresh strawberries. The third consists of corn ice cream, dulce de leche, corn flakes crumble and a corn biscuit.
Bludorn is donating $ 1 for every $ 12 cone to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the local nonprofit that is redesigning a 10-mile stretch of Buffalo Bayou with parks, green spaces, hiking trails, and other amenities.
At this little shop in Montrose, Chef Steve Marques serves small amounts of ice cream using the French pot method using local ingredients. Old-school food obsessives will recognize Marques as the man behind the absolutely fantastic milkshakes at the late, lamenting The Burger Guys, but he also brings experience from restaurants like Eunice and the Las Vegas restaurants of celebrity chef David Chang. Craft Creamery serves 16 flavors, including classics like chocolate, pistachio, and coffee with more unusual options like Cacio e Pepe and Shiro Miso Caramel.
Jeni’s delicious ice cream
The Ohio-based Scoop Shop opened its second location in the Houston area in the CityCentre at the end of May. Known for its creative flavors, the store has about two dozen choices like Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Truffles, and Buttercream Birthday Cakes. Jeni’s “fellowship model” is characterized by partnerships with family-run dairies and farmers who grow the berries for the pints.
This second concept from the team behind Nancy’s Hustle got its pizza, pasta, and creative vegetable dishes down to earth, but diners should definitely save space for dessert. Pastry chef Julia Doran, a partner of the restaurant, has launched creative scoops like Mint Stracciatella and Cookies N Cream Sherry, both of which are available as pints to take away.
Those looking for dairy-free options can find options like coconut and cardamom sorbet and peach sorbet. Toppings such as hot fudge, peach caramel and coconut crunch transform the balls into fancy sundaes.
Van Leeuwen ice cream
The Brooklyn-based ice cream parlor opened two stores in the Houston area in Rice Village and Uptown Park this summer (grand opening on Saturday, August 21). Known for its “French ice cream”, so labeled because it uses too much egg yolk to meet the FDA’s definition of “ice cream”, Van Leeuwen’s flavors have a delicious quality that lingers on the palate. Each shop offers roughly 30 flavors split between dairy and vegan options, along with toppings, ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, and more.
Uptown Park offers a special Horchata flavor that was created in collaboration with Chef Hugo Ortega. It will only be available while stocks last.