100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 91, Avocado Gelato at Frozen Cafe

This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

Although there is no shortage of excellent dessert places in Chinatown at the moment, Frozen Cafe is my current favorite. True to its name, it's an entire cafe based around frozen desserts and incorporates both a self-serve frozen yogurt model and a gelato case into its storefront along with several other frozen dessert concoctions that are made behind the counter.

The inventive gelato flavors are what keeps me coming back, whether candy bar-based (Twix and Almond Joy are in the current rotation) or cake-based (red velvet and wedding cake are in the case, too). And the gelato itself is always deeply, richly flavored, from a simple chocolate that tastes as if someone threw a bar of high-quality chocolate into a blender and froze the results, to the irresistible avocado with bits of fatty avocado flesh dotting the gelato.

Westerners don't often consider avocado for dessert although it's very common throughout Asia. And why not? We only think of avocado as savory because we tend to add salt and whip it into guacamole, but it's much more versatile than that. Its silky, fatty texture is equally adaptable into either sweet or savory applications. It pairs naturally with chocolate and can also be used to great effect in vegan recipes to replace butter and other fats, such as in this rich avocado fudge.

If you don't yet appreciate the sweet side of avocados, consider starting with this little cup of creamy gelato at Frozen Cafe.

The list so far:

No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Katharine Shilcutt