Better get in line now if you want to enjoy rolled ice cream in Dallas. At Chills 360 in Deep Ellum, late-night dessert seekers wait up to two hours "pretty much every night," says Usman Babar, director of business development for the shop.
In mid-March (read: peak spring break season), Babar recalls customers waiting close to four hours.
That's a long time to wait for ice cream.
Rolled ice cream originated in Thailand, where it is often sold by street vendors, though the frozen treat has been taking the U.S. by storm: The first place to sell rolled ice cream in New York City, 10Below Ice Cream, typically has lines that stretch down the block, Buzzfeed says.
But ... why?
Despite the fact that rolling ice cream is a relatively uncomplicated process, it's undeniably mesmerizing to watch. A cream mixture is poured onto a cold, plate-like machine; mixed with toppings and frozen. It's then scraped into rolls with a metal spatula, then topped with Instagram-worthy add-ons.
Truthfully, rolled ice cream doesn't taste much different than scooped ice cream.
It's a bit creamier and a lot more photo-worthy thanks to fun toppings like berries and Twizzlers. Rolled ice cream is a delicious upgrade, sure, but it's not life-changing.
Martin Doan, owner of Orchid City Fusion Cafe in Arlington, says he was the first to bring rolled ice cream to Dallas back in May 2016. Since then, he says, customers have come from far and wide to see what all the hype is about.
So, how far are we talking, here? He knows of customers who drove from Oklahoma City -- about 215 miles away. For ice cream.
And it's likely those enthusiastic dessert-seekers had to wait in line when they arrived. Doan says he sells at least 100 servings every day and doubles his behind-counter staff during evening shifts in an attempt to abate the lines.
It shouldn't be all that surprising to hear Dallasites are lining up for a chance to taste the new trend. After all, we're no strangers to the waiting game; we've been willing to stand in ridiculously long lines at Carlo's Bakery, Heim Barbecue and Shake Shack, to name a few.
And for the teens and 20-somethings flocking to Dallas' rolled ice cream shops, hopping on an up-and-coming trend like this is a measure of social status. A drool-worthy picture of an outrageous cup of ice cream is Instagram #goals, particularly because it's still somewhat hard to come by in Dallas.
But that may not be the case for long. I-CE-NY, a rolled ice cream franchise that started in Thailand, opened its first Dallas shop in April, joining the handful of eateries selling the desirable dessert.
Soon, you may not have to wait hours to dig into a bowl of freshly rolled ice cream. But if you wait too long to snap that perfect picture, it'll be a puddle before you taste it.
Where to get rolled ice cream in Dallas-Fort Worth:
- Orchid City Fusion Café: 2135 Southeast Parkway #101, Arlington.
- Chills 360: 2646 Elm St., Dallas.
- I-CE-NY: 2625 Old Denton Road #812, Carrollton.
- 7F Ice Cream Rolls: 2150 N. Josey Lane #124, Carrollton.
- 10F Rolling Ice Cream: 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano (in the Shops at Willow Bend food court).
- Iceland Ice Cream: 1201 W. Arbrook Blvd. #121, Arlington.
- 8 Degrees Ice Cream Mania: 5615 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville.
- Snowflake Cafe - Richardson: 312 N. Greenville Ave., Richardson.
- Snowflake Cafe - Plano: 2001 Coit Road, Plano.