Wow! You aren’t going to believe the story I’m about to tell. So, Mr. T. and I are in Chicago for a work conference. We had to fly in today because the conference starts tomorrow morning around 7:45am and there wasn’t an early enough flight.
We decide to head over near my old stomping ground for dinner only to find that the restaurant we wanted to go to was PACKED and had a 35-45 minute wait. We decided to scout the area for other choices. During scouting we uncover an ice cream place called iCream. We stop inside to see what looks like a normal ice cream parlor only to discover that one of their menu items is HOT PUDDING.
Anyone who knows me well knows I ADORE a good warm pudding. I have eaten more than one bowl of creme anglaise for dessert. There is just something so right with cream, eggs, sugar and either vanilla or a good chocolate warmed together until slightly thick. Mmmmm.
Mr. T. declares that I cannot have pudding for dinner and that we must procure dinner prior to said indulgence. Wet blanket. 😀 😛 😀 We head back up the street to a little italian place where my dinner was fantastic (gnocchi with pancetta, spinach, garlic, parmesan, and cream!) Mr. T’s was not that great. In fact, I have never seen him NOT eat a pizza. He took *ONE* bite and then proceded to share my dinner. That was fine by me. I had iCream to save room for.
After dinner we walked back up the street while Mr. T lamented that it was really cold outside and yet here we were headed to have ice cream (and WARM PUDDING I felt the need to chime in frequently!).
Oh, iCream…what have you done to me?!?!
So, the thing is, you have your choice of ice cream, yogurt, light ice cream (all cold of course) and pudding and rice pudding (warm!). Then you select one or two of about 30 flavors. You can add extras like candies, chocolate chips, fruit as well. But back to the selections…so Mr. T. had ice cream with coffee and cinnamon flavors and chocolate chips. This is an old standby for him.
Anyway, so the lovely co-owner then measures out the ingredients, throws them into the bowl of a kitchen aid stand mixer and turns it on. Now, this is not your standard run of the mill kitchen mixer. No, this one is suped up with a nitrogen injector! So as your mixture is being whipped around by a machine strong enough to mix concrete the nitrogen injects and begins to instantaneously freeze your delight into ICE CREAM. Right before your very eyes.
And it is FANTASTICALLY DELICIOUS!
I had chocolate with strawberries and bananas. Oh, wow. You could almost taste the shiny, just created, newness. This is like the VEAL of the frozen foods world.
(True confessions: I also ordered a warm pudding.)
The warm pudding is a similar concept except instead of injecting with nitrogen your mixtures spends a few minutes getting freaky with the nozzle of an espresso machine frother. Yes! How ingenious is that?! (I might have to purchase an espresso machine after all!) So, similar kind of procedure you pick your flavors and your mixins. I picked “burnt sugar” and vanilla. No mix ins. It was really good. We had the warm pudding first and thought it was fantastic. Then we had the ice cream…
So, if you are ever near Chicago I highly recommend a stop in at iCream…your imagination is the only limit to creating ice cream heaven.
(We also ate at Pastoral and Beard Papa which were decisively dynamite for lunch but iCream got the blog post…)