Wanted in Houston: An Old-School, Over-the-Top Ice Cream Parlor

While there are certainly a few glaring gaps in Houston's restaurant scene (Burmese?), I am and continue to be pleasantly gobsmacked by the diversity of our city's food options. Which makes the absence of one particular thing all the more painful.

Are you there, God? It's me, Joanna. Please bring Houston an old-school-style, over-the-top ice cream parlor.

From my Sunday perambulations, I know there are plenty of places to get decent sundaes in Houston. I can design my own at Amy's or choose from a handful of pedestrian options at Baskin-Robbins or Ben & Jerry's. And I certainly don't want to ignore Ritter's in Katy, home of the "mud" sundae, a concoction guaranteed to put you in a chocolate coma.

But none of these places exactly fits the bill. I long for an ice cream shoppe with an extensive menu of creative sundae options (beyond brownie, hot fudge and butterscotch), plus an array of malts, shakes, frappes and other ice cream concoctions available in dozens of flavors with an equal amount of toppings. And I want this place to be, well, in Houston (not other "nearby" smaller towns or communities). Not necessarily in the Loop, but not a day trip, if you know what I mean.

New York's Serendipity 3 is pretty damn close to the ice cream parlor of my dreams, though I shudder at its inflated prices. But its semi-fancy, whimsical, large-and-in-charge creations served in pseudo-fancy glasses are what I'm seeking. Other model ice cream parlors include Orlando's Beaches and Cream, San Francisco's Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, and, best of all, Cabot's in Newton, Massachusetts. The latter's "S'mores" sundae is almost enough to make me return to Boston despite the wretched weather and sky-high rents.

I really hope it's only a matter a time before some bold entrepreneur with ample angel funding home-grows H-town's very own over-the-top ice cream parlor or, at the least, opens a branch of any of the aforementioned standout shoppes.

It's only going to get hotter, which means my cravings for a five-plus-scoop sundae with all the fixins' served in a fishbowl with an extra-long spoon will only intensify. Please don't make me move back to Beantown.

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Joanna O'Leary