With the last few ragingly hot weekends of the year (hopefully) coming to an end, I celebrated with one of my favorite summer treats over the weekend: gelato.
Gelato Blu (5710 Memorial Drive, Suite B) is in a rather bland strip center on Memorial Drive, next to a Subway and a nail salon. But this unassuming little shop also supplies much of the sweet, soft gelato that you'll encounter in restaurants across Houston (along with local gelato makers Nundini's and Trentino). Wholesale gelato sales finance most of the operation, which means that the product in the storefront on Memorial is always wholly fresh.
My favorite flavor at Gelato Blu is the Michaelangelo. On this particular afternoon, it was the girl behind the counter's favorite, too. "I can't get enough of this one," she smiled as she scooped it swiftly into a plastic cup. "Some people come in here asking for 'a large low-sugar vanilla bean,' and I'm like, 'Get outta here and don't come back!'" she joked as she topped off the cup.
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The Michaelangelo is made with creamy, barely sweet ricotta cheese and figs. It's one of the store's most popular choices and is usually in rotation among the dozens of other flavors that move in and out of the case. The ricotta makes it every bit as rich and decadent as regular ice cream, though, so don't think you're doing your diet any favors by getting gelato instead of Marble Slab. If that's your thing, head towards the sorbetto end of the case.
There were recently rumors that Gelato Blu had shut down, after the storefront changed its hours to open later in the day (it's now open starting at 2 p.m.). But, as CultureMap reported, even the restriction in hours came with some good news: Owner Chuck Irwin is planning on opening a "little sister" to Gelato Blu downtown at the Magnolia Hotel.
The Coffee Cafe, as it's been named, is expected to open this fall. Look for the same delicious gelato flavors and expertly made coffees that have made Gelato Blu a success.