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Looking for a unique frozen treat this summer and want to see exactly what goes into ice cream? Cool down with a cup of Thai-style rolled ice cream, and see why it’s quite literally one of the freshest desserts.
Thai-style ice cream first rolled its way into the hearts of Austinites in 2015, but demand for the tasty (and photogenic) concoctions hasn’t died down. A large part of the appeal is that the ice cream is made right on the spot, thanks to an anti-griddle that is cooled to negative temperatures. A liquid (dairy or coconut milk for vegan-friendly versions) is poured onto the anti-griddle and mixed with flavors and extra ingredients like strawberries or cookies, before being allowed to harden and scraped into rolls. Finally, toppings like condensed milk or sprinkles are added to complete the the dish. The entire process takes about two minutes per order, so lines are to be expected during peak hours.
The Thai-style rolled ice cream is available at two different trailers in Austin: Holla Mode and Ice Scrapers.
Owner Zach Stanke spent a few months traveling in Thailand for part of his MBA program and decided to bring the rolled ice cream he fell in love with back to his native Texas with Holla Mode. He dedicated himself to learning the techniques and recipes before developing his own style. His first trailer opened in 2015 on Barton Springs Road by Zilker Park, and a second location just started serving outside of Rosedale Market.
Holla Mode uses organic produce and coconut milk, local dairy, and cane sugar in its ice cream creations. Base flavors include sweet cream, vanilla bean, cocoa, coffee, almond butter, and green tea, as well as rotating seasonal offerings. For something summer-ready, try the sticky mango concoction, an interpretation of the mango sticky rice Thai dessert, which has mango and condensed milk added to a sweet cream base. Getting extra mango is recommended.
Location: 1800 Barton Springs Road, South Austin; 1309 West 45th Street, RosedaleHours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
A one-stop shop for a variety of frozen treats, Ice Scrapers offers Thai rolled ice cream as well as sno balls in the style of both New Orleans and Hawaiian (stuffed with ice cream) and ice cream sandwiches. The business is a family affair, run out of a bright red trailer near campus on 23rd street, behind University Co-op
Ice Scrapers offers the standard starters of vanilla, chocolate, and coffee, and people can add any of the 40 sno ball flavors to the milk or coconut milk, like peach or tamarind. Mix-in options range from standard (cheesecake, strawberries) to the intriguing (poppy seeds, cayenne pepper, “magic dust” — pulverized Fruity Pebbles). The truck also ventured out with trendy ice cream creations like “Unicorn Treats” — cotton candy ice cream mixed with purple marshmallow fluff, magic dust, and topped with a dollop of cotton candy.
Location: 411 West 23rd Street, CampusHours: noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday