Staying cool is a matter of survival

By Sara Newberry

Ah, summer! We have already had more than a couple of days of temperatures in the triple digits. While I love air conditioning and ice water, sometimes I need a treat to take more of the edge off of the temperatures. Lucky for me, there are numerous options for frozen treats nearby.

If I’m in Deep Ellum, I stop by Chills 360 for Thai-style rolled ice cream. Flavored ice cream base is poured on a frozen plate, where it’s stirred and chopped with various mix-ins before it’s shaved into rolls with a spatula. It’s a little pricey, but it’s fun and definitely worth a visit to see the process. Cookie Monster is my go-to.

East Dallas is home to Ruby’s Sno-Balls, my go-to for New Orleans-style shaved ice. The flavors range from the standards like cherry, blue coconut and bubblegum to orchid, matcha, and Earl Grey. You can add sweetened condensed milk for a true NOLA experience.

Lower Greenville Avenue is loaded with options like Botolino Gelato. It’s owned and operated by Carlo Gattino, who learned the art of making gelato at his grandmother’s shop in Italy before his family relocated to Texas. You’ll find traditional flavors like mascarpone and figs or gianduja as well as more unusual flavors like matcha or Born Purple, milk and cream mixed with baked purple yam. They also have vegan and dairy-free choices. Across the street is California export Creamistry, where you can watch your ice cream get frozen to order with liquid nitrogen. Get a cereal flavor (Fruity Pebbles!) to hearken back to childhood, or order more of the more grown-up options like sea salt caramel.

Heading north and east, Audelia Road in Lake Highlands is home to two excellent options for frozen goodies: Andy’s Custard is based in Ohio and offers traditional frozen custard as well as concretes and sundaes. You will often see a line wrapped around the building, but don’t worry: they know what they’re doing, and you won’t wait more than a few minutes.

If you prefer your ice cream locally based, head across the street to Lake Highlands Creamery. They produce all of their flavors in-house and have options like the Dirty Belgian (salted caramel, Belgian waffle crisps and Belgian chocolate), their best-selling flavor; and S’Moreo, a marshmallow ice cream with fudge swirls and Oreo pieces.

Another local choice is Arepa TX, who offer frozen pops that are either juice-based or custard-based. Mango with chile is both sweet and salty, with a little kick of heat from the chamoy mixed into it.

A flan pop has the best parts of the traditional dessert: creamy custard and a trace of caramel, with the added bonus of cooling you off on a hot day. They have both a brick-and-mortar location and a stand at the White Rock Local Market.

If you’re debating as to whether you “need” one of these cool treats, just remember that staying cool is a matter of survival.

For a complete list of the frozen treats shops mentioned in this article and the business addresses, visit the site

Clockwise from top left: The Mango-Chile paleta at Arepa; rolled ice cream at Chills 360; orchid and tiger’s blood flavors at Ruby’s Sno-balls; ice cream making at Creamistry. Photo by Sara Newberry

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