Foodie News

Ice cream food trucks are on a roll: Forget the kitschy kids music, these rides are gourmet

Ice cream food trucks are on a roll: Forget the kitschy kids music, these rides are gourmet

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Kim Clemmons of SweetRide Photo by Barbara Kuntz
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The SweetRide ice cream truck Photo by Barbara Kuntz
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Eatsie Boys' ice cream truck Eatsie Boys/Facebook
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The Eatsie Boys' menu Eatsie Boys/Facebook
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Whether you prefer a Drumstick or the Bomb Pop Flag Pop, everyone has an ice cream truck fave, as familiar as the tinny, repetitive tune that lets you know it's on its way. But two new ice cream stands are on the move in Houston and they're shaking up expectations.

The Eatsie Boys have moved from hot to cold treats, whipping up made-from-scratch ice cream, gelato and sorbets in a rotating mix of offbeat flavors with Beastie Boys-inspired names like Hello Nasty Hazelnut, Brass Monkey Caramelized Banana, Sweet Corn Shazam, and Funky Boss fig and ricotta.

After weeks of mechanical issues, the new fall flavors are back on the road, so I hit up the truck at the City Hall Farmers Market to see what all the fuss is about. I started with a taste of Eatsie Boys' most popular flavor, and I can see the appeal. Sweet Corn Shazam has a distinct corn essence, but it's wrapped in a mild creaminess that makes it both unusual and accessible — it was like the frozen version of an elote with whipped cream I used to eat in Mexico.

 Two new ice cream stands are on the move in Houston and they're shaking up expectations. 

The new Slow and Low Sweet Potato Marshmallow flavor looks normal, but at first taste the intense Thanksgiving-ready yam flavor overwhelms, to the point that my mouth did not understand why I didn't have any sticky starch on my tongue. Once the visual discrepancy passed, the earthy sweetness (particularly combined with the chewy mini marshmallows) was really pleasant.

The pistachio gelato had too much of a bitter flavor for me, but I immediately fell in love with the fig and ricotta gelato, bursting with both a warm fig flavor and the cool mildness of ricotta. The Eatsie Boys say they plan to keep serving ice cream straight through the winter, though they'll be adding hot foods back to the truck menu in a few weeks.

Another new contender on the ice cream truck circuit is SweetRide, from local artist ChicagoKim, which dishes up sno-cones, cake balls, ice cream truffles and sorbets. The sorbets, served in fruit shells, are light and delicious, though a little difficult to spoon up, and the Italian ices with fresh fruit in the mix are tasty without being too syrupy sweet.

However the regular sno-cones have a chemically syrup aftertaste and the cake balls are covered in so much glitter they look inedible.

What kind of ice cream truck do you prefer? And what flavor should they come up with next?