Regardless of whether we grew up in Texas or Maine, most of us have vivid memories of long, hot summer days spent beneath the blazing sun – not to mention those delicious frozen treats that we’d enjoy late in the afternoon, and which would instantly refresh us spirits and satisfy our sweet tooths.
After all, summer just wouldn’t be summer without ice-cream, slushes, shaved ice and the like.
Lucky for those of us in Fort Worth, the frozen treat is enjoying a gourmet renaissance – courtesy of a handful of food trucks and mobile outposts in the city that put an artisanal twist on these old classics. Indeed, forget everything you know about freezer-burnt Good Humor bars or mushy soft-soft vanilla cones from a truck – and consider these wonders.
Gypsy Scoops describes itself as a "classic ice-cream parlor on wheels." I discovered the truck a couple of weeks ago at the Clearfork Food Park, when I needed a reboot following a brutally hot bike ride. The flavors change regularly, though on any given day you’ll have upwards of sixteen or so choose from. I opted for a two-scoop cup featuring coffee and banana pudding. The former had an almost espresso-like richness, perfect for a coffee ice-cream junkie like me; the latter was banana ice-cream flecked with chunks of cookie. So what if I just gained back all the calories I burned off on the bike ride? These scoops were worth it.
For those looking for a slightly healthier alternative to ice-cream, the Lewisville-based SlushWorks serves up what is quite possibly the best slush I’ve ever tasted. Made with cane sugar and fresh fruit juice, and available in only a limited number of flavors, this is nothing like those sugar-packed, stomach-ache inducing Slurpies you’ll find at 7-11. We tried the raspberry-lemon and the coconut slushes, both delicious – though the latter manages to be at once creamy and impossibly light. (They also offer a range of homemade sodas and other beverages.)The only drawback: SlushWorks isn’t always in Fort Worth. I found them at the Clearfork Park in late June, but you should monitor their Twitter feed to see where they will turn up next.
Finally, if you’re looking for an update on the Sno-Cones of your youth, check out Snow Place Like Home, which you can usually find in the parking lot of ‘Ol South Pancake House, or at Clearfork Park. An old-fashioned Styrofoam cup of crushed ice is doused with your choices of flavors, including such modish choices as Tiger’s Blood (a mixture of strawberry and vanilla), Tequila Sunrise (alas, without actual tequila), and Silver Fox (vanilla bean). The blast of cold ice, coupled with the sugary rush of the syrup, makes for a potent combination -- you'll instant shake off your heat-induced slumber.
So whether you're six or sixty, take advantage of these frozen gems in Fort Worth. Those freeze-burned Good Humor bars have their place in the world, but these treats are in a category all their own -- so sophisticated and subtle that you briefly forget the fact that it's 102 degrees in the shade out there.