Taste - Licensed to Chill
A Guide To Good Food (and Drink)
Austin, Nicole and Jennifer sample three of the many flavors of locally made ice cream at The Screamery.
Lemon, strawberry, pina colada, and skinny berry — the standard flavors — each have their loyal fans
Madison, Stefanie and Jennifer cool off at eegee’s Speedway and Pantano location with some of the company’s signature frozen drinks.
Flavors are made daily, ranging from classics such as pistachio and stracciatella to innovative ones including root beer, green tea, and cardamom.
|Cashew Cow owner Jennifer Newman poses next to customers Ester Massingill and Quinn Spitz while Adreanna Nolan looks on.|
By Sarah Burton | Photography by Tom Spitz
Slay the summer heat with a cool treat from one of these popular local spots.
250 E. Congress
50 S. Houghton Rd., Ste. 120
2545 E. Speedway Blvd., Ste. 145
Ice cream made the old-fashioned way, without a list of processed ingredients you can’t pronounce. That’s what owners Linda and Kenny Sarnoski were after when they began making ice cream at home. “When we started making ice cream it marked the culmination
of our personal focus on eating healthy, unprocessed foods,” Linda says. “We decided to make our ice cream exactly the same for the public.”
Three years and four locations later — with plans to expand into Phoenix —there’s a good reason for the success: the Sarnoskis did their research, became certified by the Arizona Department of Agriculture, and bought special certified equipment, all so they could make and pasteurize their own cream. They are the first ice cream shop in Tucson to do so, as well as the only shop in the state to offer ice cream that begins with milk from grass-fed cows, which makes it rich it Omega 3s and enzymes.
“Our most popular flavor is the sweet honeycomb, which uses raw honey sourced locally in Marana,” Linda says. “We make honeycomb, and stir that into our sweet cream so there are crunchy pieces that melt in your mouth.” They have been experimenting of late with a sea salt base, and in the summer months expect to place sorbet on the menu for a lighter, non-dairy option.
As all locals can attest, there is just something quintessentially Tucson about eegee’s. It’s more than likely that when Ed Irving and Bob Greenberg started selling frozen, slush-like lemon drinks from a used vending truck in 1971, there was no way they could fathom the 23-location chain it has become. Over the years, eegee’s (named for the “e” in Ed and the “g” in Greenberg) has added grinders, French fries, cookies and other food items to their menu, but the frozen fruit drinks are what keep the community coming back.
Lemon, strawberry, pina colada, and skinny berry — the standard flavors — each have their loyal fans, but many count on the rotating flavors of the month. That could be root beer, lime, tangerine, or even guava. But summer brings the local favorite: “Our most popular flavor of the month is watermelon,” says Robert Santiago, eegee’s Director of Marketing. “It’s a Tucson phenomenon that the entire town looks forward to every July.”
1101 N. Wilmot Rd., #107
If the family can’t settle on just one kind of treat, this long-standing shop offers a bit of everything in the cold dessert category. When Alfonso Terrazas took ownership of Tucson’s first frozen yogurt shop two years ago, he knew he wanted to honor the tradition of the original while expanding the menu. “Customers come in and talk about how they remember coming to Yogurt Station (the original name) 30 years ago,” says Terrazas. “We even have a few employees who technically have been coming here since before they were born, when their mothers were pregnant.”
The third owner of this Tucson tradition, Terrazas recently changed the name to Frozen Delight to better reflect the array of menu options. Frozen yogurt is the mainstay, with the hands down customer favorite — peanut butter — leading the way. “Rain, cold, hot, no matter what season, the peanut butter is what people come in for,” he explains. They began sourcing an East Coast favorite brand of frozen yogurt, Only 8, after a customer from Back East mentioned she missed it.
The shop creates a daily list of no sugar, healthful yogurt options, in addition to newer offerings such as traditional gelato, 16 flavors of Thrifty ice cream, and boba tea, which is coming soon. For those with a nostalgic pull to Thrifty ice cream, you’re in luck. After several customers waxed fondly about the unique cylindrical scoop of their childhood memories, Terrazas hunted down one of the iconic implements.
What began as a small, Tucson-based gelato shop has grown rapidly to an international hot spot for cool treats with locations in Chicago, San Diego, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Flavors are made daily, ranging from classics such as pistachio and stracciatella to innovative ones including root beer, green tea, and cardamom. They also offer sorbets made with fresh fruit and purified water — tangelo or blackberry anyone? These are non-fat and Frost even sells a handful of no-sugar-added flavors. Glass display cases show off deep pans of the decadent varieties (which you can try before you buy).
Owners Jeffrey Kaiserman and Stephen Ochoa opened the first Frost in 2005, after becoming obsessed with gelato during a trip to Italy. Today, all production is overseen by master gelato chef Nazario Melchionda who hails from Bologna, Italy, and brings more than 22 years of experience to the table. Completing the connection, the gelato ingredients he works with to make his irresistible creations are imported from Italy.
16 S. Eastbourne Ave.
One of the most intriguing things about Cashew Cow’s vegan ice cream is that unless someone tells you it’s non-dairy and made instead with raw cashews, you may never suspect it. Cool and creamy, all the flavors offered within the walls of this historic Broadway Village spot are sweetened with raw cane sugar and only natural ingredients — the majority of them gluten-free.
Owners Jennifer Newman and Jeremy Shockly opened their dessert parlor in 2014, to the delight of vegans and non-vegans alike, with regularly changing, handcrafted flavors such as Kahlúa almond fudge, lemon poppy, maple walnut, cookies and cream, and raspberry swirl. After gazing into the glass display at the daily flavors, patrons can sidle up to the counter on a cone-shaped barstool or younger customers can find a special seat at the cashew-shaped kids’ table. The playful Cashew Cow mascot, a cashew with legs, adorns the walls with colorful globe lights setting a playful mood. TL