Our friends to the North and Midwest might be taunting us with cooler temperatures, but it’s still hot as ever down here in Florida.
As the bank sign read 105 degrees, Todd and I headed out one recent Saturday on errands that took us over to Market Square. While the Square has always been a treasure trove of delightful shops, Lofty Pursuits (known for a variety of games, yo-yo and juggling supplies and other fun things) has relocated there from it’s longtime home at Lake Ella and, as part of their new digs, opened an old fashioned ice cream fountain!
The official grand opening of this bit of nostalgia is just around the corner–September 4th and 5th–but for the last month they’ve been serving ice cream and testing out a variety of menu items as more pieces of this cream and fizz-laden puzzle arrive.
Because it’s not enough for owner, Greg Cohen, just to serve cold drinks and treats–what goes in them is important! The ice creams are from Tampa, the cream for the in-house whipped creams (regular, chocolate and strawberry–get all 3 on a banana split!) come from a nearby Blountstown dairy. The syrup for the egg creams comes from the original Brooklyn, NY, company that serviced the original fountains in Cohen’s old stomping grounds. And that’s just what I remember from talking with him over ice cream samples.
Oh, the samples. Of the 32 flavors we tasted at least half of them–maybe more–along with some of the toppings (the crystallized ginger is so moist, it’s amazing). The champagne sorbet was light and crisp, the mango sorbet as good as any I’d had from local pastry chefs, the birthday cake ice cream tastes like light, fluffy whipped icing with morsels (not bricks!) of yellow cake stirred in. The strawberry tastes like it came straight from the strawberry patch with a brief stop at a churn, the cinnamon like a creamy frosting that would be fantastic over some carrot cake or gingerbread (hint!), and the butter pecan was heavenly. Todd even liked the Guinness ice cream, and he’s not a beer fan at all!
(Apparently I should have found a bib before writing this post–my mouth as watering at the very thought of those ice creams!)
Our gregarious host was kind enough to tell us of some of his plans–bringing back drinks like Egg Creams, Rickies and Phosphates. A particularly yummy signature dish that is illusion food at it’s best (hint: it involves that amazing crystallized ginger) is on the to-do list that we’re definitely looking forward to, perhaps more than the ubiquitous Kitchen Sink-style concoction that inspires brain freeze at the mere thought of all that ice cream.
More and continual updates can be found at the Lofty Pursuits website or you can just stop by 1415 Timberlane Road #410 (next to Old Town Cafe) between 11 am and 10 pm, Monday through Saturday, (noon to 8pm on Sundays).
As tasty as those banana splits look (served in a banana boat with a waffle-sail set to steer you away from spills), I think my next trip will have to include a root beer float. Not only was Greg nice enough to confirm that the Sprecher root beer is caffeine free, he carries 2 soy ice creams–I think I might just be in heaven!