Whenever I go to Amy's Ice Creams, it's hard not to imagine how awesome it would be to have a snowball fight with scrumptious scoops of ice cream.
Order a Crush'ns and watch the "scooper" masterfully whip together your choice of ice cream and favorite toppings, pounding at the cream with a pair of scoops with the enthusiasm of a punk metal drummer on a sugar high.
I chose Cop Stop -- coffee ice cream with chunks of doughnuts -- mixed with pecans. And after a 30-second scooper solo, Billy Rodriguez has blended the two into a nice little glob on the counter.
Time for the encore. Yes, the cream must still make it into the cup.
With a flip of the wrist, Rodriguez flings the cream off the edge of his scoop and high into the air. He catches it with ease, smiles and hands it across the counter to a delighted customer.
Rodriguez jokingly explained that he's oxidizing the ice cream so that it tastes better. And It must have worked; the ice cream tastes phenomenal!
- QUICK BITES
- In Quarry Market
- 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Mon - Thurs
- Open to midnight on Fri, Sat
- Current flavors listed online
- Celebrating 27 years in business
- 13 stores in Austin, 1 in Houston
But does he ever miss?
"Sometimes it hits the (ceiling) actually," he said, pointing with his metal scoop. "There's a few blotches. One right there."
Rodriguez humbly explained that he's not that talented when it comes to flinging Crush'ns, and then called for his co-scooper, Crissy Patiño, who showed him up with two under-the-leg tosses in a row.
Patiño, though, is an Olympian, having competed in the annual Trick Olympics in Austin with other "scoops" from the 15 Amy's stores throughout Texas. At the Olympics, the competition is as hot as the ice cream is cool. Tap dancing, behind the back catches, acrobatics, dance moves -- nothing is off limits when it comes to winning "Best in Show."
Although the entertainment is a good enough reason of its own to visit Amy's, the real treat is on the funky chalkboard, where customers will spend a considerable amount of time trying to choose between a keen selection of their 367 flavors.
Ever have peach jalapeño ice cream? Or watermelon? How about Shiner? Yes, as in Shiner Beer. Nearly 50 of their flavors are alcoholic -- but be careful, they melt more quickly.
The menu always features a few mainstays, like Amy's famous Mexican Vanilla, but is constantly working in new and old flavors to keep customers exploring the boundless possibilities of ice cream.
On a hot summer day, Patiño says she goes with a crazy combo of Cucumber and Fruit Loops, while Rodriguez sticks with his favorite, Peanut Butter Honey Sandwich.
The possibilities are endless, and all are sure please the palate. I just wonder, especially when the mercury creeps into triple-digits, could they please sling a scoop directly at my face?
The store manager at the Quarry location had kindly asked that it be noted that all of Amy's ice cream contains no artificial colors, sweetener or ingredients. It's all made from whole milk, real sugars and no High Fructose Corn Syrup.