Burger restaurant’s shakes come in unusual flavors & combos.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar, whose sole Colorado outpost is by Denver’s Union Station, is known for unusual and varied burgers, beer and sweets. These include an selection of interesting — make that unique — shakes: Vanilla Bean, Oreo Cookie, Chocolate Stout, Lemon Olive Oil Biscotti, Red Velvet Cake, Caramel & Sea Salt and Nutella & Chocolate Pretzel on the regular menu.
Now through August 2, the Austin-based burger place is also serving a current special, the Frozen Banana Shake that features house-made ice cream blended with honey-roasted bananas and a rich chocolate sauce topped with whipped cream and a chocolate-dipped banana chip. The price: $6.
Travel & Leisure magazine’s recent selection of “America’s Best Candy Shops” included Lola’s Sugar Rush of Littleton. If I lived anywhere near there, I might be haunting this cheerful shop at 2490 West Main Street. Here’s what this prestigious national magazine published about what they call “a shrine to sweets” — largely nostalgic old-timey sweets, really:
Lola’s Sugar Rush, Littleton, CO
“Perhaps it was inevitable that a woman whose nickname is Sugar would open a shrine to sweets.” About 200 glass jars line the shelves of Lola Salazar’s fanciful pink and white boutique. “We serve every single customer, and we welcome them and tell them how it works. We want to make sure everyone who walks through the door has personal assistance,” she explains. Besides the gummies, jelly beans, and other bulk candies in the jars, the store sells nearly 900 types of novelty and retro treats like candy cigarettes, Astro Pops, and Sky Bars, as well as ice cream and cookies.”
Pearl Street Mall classic looking good & expanding menu.
There is no shortage of places to buy frozen treats in downtown Boulder. Ice cream and frozen yogurt shops and carts abound in the Pearl Street Mall and on adjacent blocks to the east, west and south. One long-timer is on the southwest corner of Broadway and Pearl. When a Häagen-Dazs shop opened in 1981, little Lindsay Shaw helped her parents. She gave out samples and dipped the popular ice cream — one of the first boutique brands. A decade ago, she became a Häagen-Dazs and became a franchisee a decade or so ago. She transitioned into the deli realm, first adding soups and later sandwiches, baked good and breakfast. She also added the words “Lindsay’s Boulder Deli” to the awning.
The ice cream/shop deli had enjoyed immense popularity, but the place was nothing much to look at. Shaw put covered the windows paper and embarked on a total renovation and expansion to nearly 3,000 square feet that took the better part of spring. The wraps are off now, so I popped in for a look. The layout has been reconfigured, and the floors, walls, counters, seating and lighting are new, as are the restrooms that I didn’t check out. The soup and sandwich menu offers both deli classics and modern combos of ingredients. As for ice cream, Lindsay’s is still dipping.
Here I go again, drilling down on a national site’s food list to see whether any in Colorado spot made the cut. Thrillist.com named “The 21 Best Ice Cream Shops in America,” and I’m happy to report that Sweet Action Ice Cream, a South Broadway ice cream purveyor, is there. I’ve never tried it, but my local selection would probably be another “Sweet.” Sweet Cow, born in Louisville, now also has stores in Denver’s Highland ‘hood and also in Boulder. So here’s their choice — and again, I’m relieved — even grateful — whenever anyplace in Colorado makes a list. Here’s the ‘graph about Sweet Action.
Sweet Action Ice Cream (Denver, CO) What you’re ordering: Pocky and Red Bean if you’re feeling interesting, Milk Chocolate if you’re feeling boring
Our man in Denver tried every single one of the flavors at Sweet Action, and, although he didn’t care much for vegan Maple Walnut or Vanilla Rose, he can vouch for nearly every other flavor as being worth at least several samples. But as sexy as Salted Malt Butterscotch and Cinnamon Roll sound, the champion of the taste was a simple milk chocolate described as “a scoop of goodness in a world full of freezer-burned crap”.
Sweet treat at Sweet Cow a happier experience than shopping
While other people are trampling or at least elbowing each other in the nation’s big box stores and shopping malls, some of us Denver area travel people have our own Black Friday tradition. We meet at a pub for some beers and other cheers. Visit Denver‘s Rich Grant, who keeps an eye on such things, always finds a cool place. This year, we went to The Matador (click here for my post) in the Highland neighborhood.
Friday afternoon was a shirtsleeve day that felt like a warm fall day rather than almost-December. With a forecast for snow and cold coming up, we were easily lured across the street to an ice creamery called Sweet Cow. Deciding what to order — or perhaps just grab a decadent-looking ice cream sandwich from the freezer — was a challenge. But we were up for it, and Sweet Cow was up for it too with its intensely flavored, rich but not cloying ice cream scooped in an environmentally friendly dipping store. OK, so there are places to sit, but since we walked out with our frozen treasures, to me it is a dipping store.
The Sweet Cow’s permanent menu board consists of 8 perennially popular flavors called “staples,” two sorbets and other flavors from an “arsenal” of 140 that rotate on and off. How can one not love a place whose “arsenal” consists of ice cream? In addition to the Denver location, there’s one in downtown Louisville, which is closer to home.
Price check: $1.50 (kid’s cone), then $2.95-$4.50; various extras and add-ons, 25¢-95¢; shakes, $4.50-$5.25; sundaes, $4.50-$5.50.
Original US maker of tasty Japanese dessert now impoving online ordering
Whenever I have room for dessert after a sushi feast, I ask for mochi, if it is on the menu, and when I shop at Pacific Ocean, an Asian supermarket in Broomfield or Denver’s Alameda Square, I buy a box or two if I can get it home before it melts. Truth is that I am very fond of Mochi Ice Cream, as it is branded. This small, round dessert ball consisting of a soft rice starch (mochi) encasing an ice cream core and dusted with cornstarch was created in Japan in 1981, and a version was introduced in the US in 1993 by a company called Mikawaya that has been marketing it as “Mochi Ice Cream.” It is cool, slightly chewy on the outside and totally addictive.
Delicious as it is, the product is not available in most mainstream supermarkets — except perhaps in Calfifornia. To fill the national void, Mikawaya has beefed up its online store to bring all seven Mochi Ice Cream flavors to anyone with access to a computer. It is delivered by the 5-box case overnight, packed in a dry ice case, for $30 a box plus shipping and taxes. Mikawaya, a 100-year-old family business run by Frances Hashimoto and her husband Joel Friedman, that specializes in the creation of specialty Japanese pastries and desserts. With its beefed-up online presence, Mikawaya the mochi alternative to traditional ice cream. Click here and enter your zip code to find out if there’s a retail grocer nearby that carries it, or click here to order online.
Sweet Action Ice Cream is one of the country’s select few
Colorado culinarians have occasionally been among Food & Wine magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs of the Year — a high honor in the food world. Whenever I see a list of the top 10 or 25 or 100 somethings, I always scan it for Colorado representation. Therefore, I am happy that while no Colorado chefs were honored this year, the magazine included a Denver ice cream shop on its top 25 list. The magazine noted that Sweet Action Ice Cream “is made by hand with fresh, natural Colorado dairy and the finest ingredients.” An abundance of fine flavored ice creams, sorbets and vegan product previously earned it top honors from 5280 Magazine and USAToday.
Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.