If you have been jonesing for an Eatsie Boys Frank the Pretzel or, in my case, a No Sleep Til Philly, fear not, they will be back, bigger and better than ever, promises co-owner Ryan Soroka. But when the Houston weather and a hot grill became unbearable, Eatsie Boys decided it was time to "diversify their portfolio" and turned to an idea that had always been part of the big plan: making ice cream.
You may wonder if guys who created savory treats could master the sweet side of life. Let me assure you. They can. Chef Matt Marcus is trained in baking and pastry and, after attending the Culinary Institute of America, worked in research and development, focusing on ice cream inclusion. What does that mean? You know those blobs of cookie dough that are in ice cream? Yup, those are made by specific companies that focus on ice cream add-ins. Sounds like a great gig, huh?
But, luckily for us, Chef Matt turned this knowledge to creating Eatsie Boys Ice Cream, which carries approximately 10 flavors of ice cream, gelato and sorbet at a time, constantly adding new flavors as the inspiration hits. The funky flavors with the fun Beastie Boys-inspired names are homemade with Eatsie Boys' own recipes.
I caught up with Ryan and Matt at the Urban Harvest Farmers' Market Eastside, where they currently camp out on Saturday mornings. On the menu were these ice cream flavors: Greatful Bread Vanilla, Ch-ch-chocolate, Root Down Rocky Road, Pass the Pistachio, Professor Peach, Brass Monkey Caramelized Banana, Sweet Corn Shazam and Beastie Buttered Pecan. There were also two gelatos - Funky Boss Fig & Ricotta and Mint Chocolate Maestro - and four sorbets - Arnold Palmer, Shake Your Coconuts, Electric Yuzu, and Crazy @&& Caipirinha.
I tried more flavors that I'd like to admit and could have happily eaten myself into an ice cream coma. Although I don't normally find vanilla ice cream noteworthy, this one, flavored with vanilla extract made by Matt's dad at Greatful Bread, is just straight up vanilla-y goodness. The Sweet Corn Shazam seems like an odd ice cream flavor, but it tastes like a bowl of sugared-up summer. And, steeping bananas in a homemade caramel sauce overnight to make the Brass Monkey Caramelized Banana results in the perfect true banana flavor. None of that fakey banana extract flavor here.
The dairy-free sorbets are the perfect answer to this crazy heat. The Arnold Palmer, a tea and lemonade blend, is light and refreshing, as is the limey Crazy @&& Caipirinha. Surprisingly, the Shake Your Coconuts sorbet tastes creamy despite the lack of dairy. So good.
Although a scoop of one of these treats would make you perfectly happy, if you're in the mood for something different, Eatsie Boys has you covered. They carry GoodPops, all-natural frozen pops in flavors like Mango, Watermelon Agave, and, the blissful, Hibiscus Mint, made by a friend of the boys.
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But, back to their own creations...They're baking up homemade cookies that can be eaten as is or made into a sandwich with your choice of ice cream. On the day I was there, Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin were on the menu, but Chocolate Heath and Cornbread have also made appearances. Speaking of that cornbread cookie, creative sundaes have also made their way onto the menu, like a recent Sundae Shazam, which started with a cornbread cookie and was topped with sweet corn ice cream, tomato confit, candied bacon, kettle corn, and black pepper whipped cream. Whoa.
Want to know where to get your Eatsie Boys Ice Cream? Ryan states that they are currently hitting up the Urban Harvest Farmers' Market Eastside on Saturday mornings, but are contemplating bringing their sweets to stores and restaurants. And they are working on teaming up with other Houston food trucks to give you two trucks for one stop. Want specifics on where to find them? Follow their feeds on Twitter and Facebook, and go hunt them down. No matter where they are, it will be worth the drive.