Frozen treats with a twist in metro Atlanta


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. True, this dairy-licious dessert never goes out of style, but sometimes we need a break from two scoops of cookie dough on a cake cone.

Metro Atlanta has a host of spots to change up your frozen sundry game. Here are four places where brain freeze and a sugar high come with a twist.

8 Fahrenheit

Hey, trendsetters! If you hadn’t already heard, scoops are so last season. This summer, rolls are where it’s at.

Thai rolled ice cream tastes similar to “regular” ice cream, but is made in front of you after pouring a flavored cream slurry mixture (choose from green tea, Thai tea, coffee and original) into a chilled pan. Extra ingredients such as fruit or cookies can be added if desired, then the mixture is spread on sheets and formed into rolls, similar in appearance to a Swiss roll. Enjoy your rolls plain or finish them off with toppings, including jelly beans, sprinkles and marshmallows.

Owner Pieqin Lin said rolled ice cream provides a fresher alternative to traditional ice cream that also allows for customization. Lin opened 8 Fahrenheit — so named for the temperature the pans must be kept at for the cream to turn into ice — on Buford Highway in March (a second location opened in Duluth last month).

So, choose your flavor combination, wait 2 minutes, and you’ll have a frosty treat that’s as fun to eat as it is delicious.

5090 Buford Highway, Doraville, and 3675 Satellite Blvd., Duluth. 678-585-3818, 8ficecream.com.

— YVONNE ZUSEL

New Manila Mart

Located on Buford Highway just outside the Perimeter is specialty food store New Manila Mart. The small shop is stocked with Filipino pantry staples, fresh and frozen prepared foods like siopao (steamed buns), lumpia (egg rolls) and leche flan, and an aisle full of sweet and salty snacks. New Manila Mart doesn’t have an ice cream counter, but it does offer a special frozen sundry — just ask for it at the cash register.

Haluhalo (or halo-halo, as it is more often spelled), is a popular Filipino dessert of shaved ice, evaporated milk, a variety of preserved fruits and boiled sweet beans, tubers and a topping of ice cream or leche flan. The version at New Manila Mart includes kaong (the small, sweet fruit of the sugar palm tree), coconut flakes, jackfruit, white beans and mung beans, crispy rice cereal and a couple of scoops of ube ice cream, whose bright color comes from purple yam.

Each of the ingredients is added in layers — fruits, beans and other sweets on the bottom, then shaved ice followed by ice cream and a pour of evaporated milk — so the dessert is traditionally served in a tall, clear glass or bowl that displays the colorful strata. New Manila Mart follows suit, serving its beat-the-heat frozen treat in a large, plastic to-go glass.

The best way to enjoy this not-too-sweet delight, whose name translates to “mix-mix,” is to grab a spoon and stir it all up. Each bite promises chewy, crunchy, icy, creamy goodness.

5938 Buford Highway, Doraville. 678-389-8595, sites.google.com/site/manilamart88/home.

— LIGAYA FIGUERAS

Rita’s

Ditch your ideas of old-school snow cones (hard-as-a-rock blocks of ice with overly sweet drizzle of artificial cherry syrup) and sample the sweet summer treats at Rita’s.

Rita’s Italian ice is as smooth as snow and made with real fruit. The shop offers more than 70 rotating flavors that range from classics like lemon, mango and cherry to margarita, cotton candy and Georgia peach. Flavors of the day are posted online, and ice addicts can sign up to get Cool Alerts with favorite flavors of the day delivered to their inbox.

Rita’s also serves old-fashioned frozen custard, milkshakes and cream ice (an extra-creamy, silky version of ice cream), in addition to several creative concoctions. A gelati layers Italian ice and creamy frozen custard (we like the passion fruit Italian ice with strawberry custard combination), while a misto shake blends that Italian ice and frozen custard into a sippable dessert (try pairing mango ice with vanilla frozen custard for a new-age creamsicle). The ultimate indulgence is a blendini, which combines Italian ice, frozen custard and toppings like candy bar bits for crunchy texture and an extra dose of sweetness.

3530 Ashford Dunwoody Road N.E., Atlanta. 770-986-9335, ritasfranchises.com/perimeter. 340 Town Center Ave., Suwanee. 678-765-2889, ritassuwanee.com.

— JESSIE DOWD

Suno Asian Desserts

We all know there’s a lot of science behind ice cream — custard plus chill plus churning equals silky creaminess that seems like magic. So, where’s the magic in the colorful treats from Suno Asian Desserts? At first glance, they seem to be just flavored ice chunks shaved into paper cups. Simple, right?

Wrong. Suno’s onomatopoeic snow, which comes in intense flavors like Thai tea, mango, honeydew or chocolate, is dazzling in its own right. Start with the spectacle of the shaving. After a hefty ice disc is placed into a snazzy machine, the whole business whirs and spins while a hidden blade shoots out ripples of soft-yet-craggy shavings. They tumble mesmerizingly into a waiting cup.

Your Suno server packs the snow into a tidy mound, yet somehow the stuff remains feather-light. The texture is fluffy and quick-melting, but if you bite down on it, it has the tiniest bit of crunch. It’s got the creaminess of a sorbet, but the icy cleanness of a snow cone. It’s a textural puzzle so delightful that I prefer mine unadorned.

But, for dessert maximalists, there are tremendously fun toppings, especially the Asian jellies and drizzles. They include sticky sweetened condensed milk, chewy mochi bits, lychee syrup, red beans, grass jelly and more. For American palates, there are plenty of Oreos, M&Ms and the like.

Suno also has supersweet slushies, elaborately stuffed crepes and bubble tea, but I say stick with the snow. From shaver to spoon, it’s a little bit of life-changing magic.

2144 N. Decatur Road, Decatur. 404-343-4699. 2570 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 770-710-0084, sunodessert.com.

— ELIZABETH LENHARD


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