The Austin Chronicle

Restaurant Review

Reviewed by Claudia Alarcón, March 23, 2012, Food


2032 S. Lamar 363-5622
Sunday–Thursday, 12:30–10pm; Friday–Saturday, 12:30–11:30pm

When it comes to sweets, ice cream is my downfall, so I was more than thrilled to taste every single flavor at this newish shop specializing in what owners Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier describe as "honest" ice creams, made with fresh ingredients and no additives, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup. The duo goes above and beyond, sourcing most ingredients locally and organically and pushing the envelope with amazing, offbeat flavors like roasted carrot with tarragon, cilantro-lime, and beet with fresh mint.

Sobotik, who grew up in Halletsville in the heart of rural "Czechxas," became interested in food and cooking at an early age; Palmatier, his partner in business and life, is originally from Pennsylvania's Amish country and understands the importance of using farm-fresh products. "If we can get it fresh, in-season from Texas, we will put it in our ice creams," says Palmatier, an interior designer by trade who designed the look and feel of the cozy storefront. "Austin and Texas have amazing offerings. There is just no reason not to use everything local!"

Sobotik uses milk and light cream from Texas Daily Harvest in Yantis, which give the ice creams a delightful texture without being overwhelmingly rich. He sources produce from Johnson's Backyard Garden, Boggy Creek Farm, and Rain Lily Farm, among others, and favors local spirits like Garrison Brothers bourbon and Pecan Street Rum in his outstanding creations. Sobotik also makes three coconut-milk-based vegan flavors, including a ridiculously excellent coconut with avocado curd. Obviously some ingredients like coconut milk, vanilla, and ginger are not local, but he makes up for it by using Round Rock Honey and Pure Luck goat cheese in the goat cheese, thyme, and honey ice cream; bacon from Salt & Time in the breakfast-bacon flavor; and Rio grapefruit in the grapefruit-ginger flavor. Others, like fresh mint and chocolate chunk and chocolate-orange, benefit from subtle, natural flavors rather than pungent artificial ones. "We rotate our flavors with the seasons," says Palmatier, "and offer special selections for holidays or whenever Anthony has a new brainstorm." I can't wait to taste what he dreams up as warm weather arrives.

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