Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches: Food Truck, Carts and Storefronts

It seems that after every small-scale ice cream operation I post about, I get emails and messages from some of my readers recommending another storefront, food truck or cart in their area. The latest endorsement I received came from someone suggesting I look into Coolhaus and some of their crazy ice cream sandwich creations.

One of four food trucks owned and operated by Coolhaus
After cruising over to the Coolhaus website and clicking around a bit, I soon found out this is how it all started, “Natasha and Freya started baking cookies and making ice cream in Freya's mom's kitchen in the Fall of 2008. They named the flavor combinations after architects and architectural movements they were inspired by and started experimenting with recipes and testing them on friends. It seemed like a fun art project with "farchitecture" in mind ie food + architecture. One day it occurred to Freya and Natasha that an ice cream truck would be a perfect way to disseminate their ice cream sandwiches (and architecture dialogue) around the city of LA. The truck would be a nod to the past tradition of the Good Humor man selling ice cream novelties around neighborhoods, but with a modern twist – not to mention the long-withstanding popularity of taco trucks around LA and the rapidly growing infatuation with "gourmet" food trucks. The timing seemed perfect, now all Freya and Natasha needed was a truck! They found a postal truck on Craigslist and were able to afford it with money they had saved from their other jobs. They prepared the truck and their product for their launch at Coachella Valley Music Festival in April of 2009 where the product was very well received – and when they came back to LA, they had generated a strong buzz and following. Today, they have a fleet of 4 trucks in LA, 2 trucks and 1 cart in NY, 2 trucks in Austin, 2 trucks in Miami, a newly launched storefront in Culver City, CA and even have their ice cream sandwiches at Southern California Whole Foods Markets. They hope to continue to expand to other cities nationally, and maybe even globally (doesn't hurt to dream, right?)!

Step 1: Decide what size ice cream sandwich to build
By following the Coolhaus calendar (located on their website), you can keep up with where their trucks will be so you can try out some of their crazy combinations for yourself. The Coolhaus menu is so extensive that you’ll probably want to sit aside some extra time to contemplate exactly what you’re going to go with. The experience starts by selecting whether or not you want a one or two story ice cream sandwich. Or if you’re feeling up to the challenge, you may opt for the Ice Cream Sandwich Skyscraper: six Coolhaus cookies with five handmade Coolhaus ice cream scoops in the middle (free if you finish it under ten minutes).

Step 2: Choose your cookies
Once you’ve decided exactly how hungry you are, customers then pick out which cookies they’d like to serve as the cookie roof and floor slab. With flavors like Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, Potato Chip & Butterscotch and even vegan and gluten-free options like Carrot Cake and Coconut Almond, the combinations are plentiful. My personal choice would be two hotcake cookies: a maple cookie with maple sugar bits.

Step 3: Choose your ice cream
After selecting the cookies, you’re left with the seemingly impossible task of choosing an ice cream to sandwich in between. With other 50 available flavors, the possibilities are endless. While I may be tempted by flavors like Beer & Pretzels, Chocolate Chipotle BBQ with Jack Daniels, Cuban Cigar, Fried Chicken & Waffles, Patron Blackberry Mojito and Guinness Chip, I’d probably stick with the Coolhaus suggestion of pairing their Candied Bacon with the Hotcake Cookies to create the Breakfast Sammie. This combination of brown butter ice cream with brown sugar candied bacon sandwiched between the maple cookie with maple sugar bits may take years off my life, but sounds well worth the sacrifice.

Step 4: Enjoy!
If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in the Austin, Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami or New York areas, Coolhaus even offers their products through their Online Store to cater to customers that don’t have access to their ice creams. They ship pints of ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and various other products all over the country. I’d love to receive a Reader Review from anyone with easy access to any of their food trucks, carts or storefronts!

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