If you live anywhere on this planet, you probably know that we’re having insanely hot, hot, hot weather throughout most of the US. If you live in Chicago, it’s the only thing you can talk about. So here we are, sweating our tushies off in not-so-Windy City and doing whatever we can to beat the heat. For some, that includes joining the masses on the shores of Lake Michigan. For others, that means staying inside and not moving for fear of generating body heat. My family has taken a different route, albeit, a much more fattening one…
We’re eating ice cream. Lots of it. And although there are some terrific summer dessert haunts around the city, we’re fortunate to live around some of our favorites.
At the top of our ice-anything list is black dog gelato in Ukranian Village at 859 N. Damen. This place is hot (literally, I don’t believe they have A/C) but the gelato is crazy-good. The lines can get Apple-store-long, and that’s not so much fun in the heat, but at this point, I’m so addicted to the stuff, that I’ve even made my husband leave parties and date night plans to make sure we get there before it closes. If you know my husband at all, then you know that he’s happy to oblige because #1-he loves gelato and #2-he hates going out and/or socializing.
Despite having 2 locations (the second is at 1955 W Belmont), they tend to sell out of my favorite flavors before I can get my fabulous, night-on-the-town-butt to the store. Regardless, let me just say, if you have 5 minutes left to live, spend it eating the goat cheese cashew caramel gelato. Once you’ve tried it, feel free to die and go to heaven.
And as of tonight, coming in at a close-ish second is The Purple Cow at 1740 W. Division in Wicker Park. This new neighborhood ice cream haunt, opened this week, kind of. After a few electrical issues before its grand opening earlier this week, the store finally opened its doors yesterday. We feel like we’ve been waiting and waiting for this place to open, and wondering if this perfect summer spot would even open during the 2012 season. You can imagine our delight to see signs of life and business on Thursday.
So since I promised the kids a special treat for not making me take them outside to play in the unbearable heat after camp, we made the couple of blocks walk over after dinner, and despite having to be outside to get there, and we loved the place! Good news…the ice cream is awesome.
The flavors seem to have been dreamt up by a 9-year-old, including birthday cake and Superman, which is a good thing. And to top that off, at 7:30 at night, in 100 degree weather with 1000000% humidity, we were greeted with a free sample of homemade caramel corn which kept my daughter from asking for her ice cream 2000 times before it was scooped and we were able to get a table for 4 in the tiny ‘scream shop. Small, friendly, and accommodating.
However, I wouldn’t be a future mother-in-law if I didn’t point out one tiny, little problem, and that is that I’m supposed to fit into a bathing suit in the morning and my scoop of chocolate peanut butter was probably the most offensive of all the high fat, high calorie flavors I could have picked. Alright, alright, that’s more my fault than the Cow’s. But don’t worry, I balanced out my guilt-inducing choice by stealing most of the frozen strawberries from my daughter’s cup. I figure the healthiness of her strawberry ice cream combined with the amount of sweat I produced walking 5 minutes home from dessert cancels out most of my caloric mistake, right?
Just hope no one moos at me tomorrow at the pool!
*I have not been compensated in any way to review black dog gelato or The Purple Cow. On the contrary, I have paid with both my wallet and my figure to dine at these establishments. With any luck, double chins will be all the rage come winter.