The strong southern sun is at full blaze, but luckily, a stop at these locations for Atlanta‘s best summertime treats will help fend off the heat. We have the details on the top ice cream sandwiches, brewery tours and food cart frozen treats for the season.
Ice Cream Sandwiches
The lunchtime-only ice cream sandwiches at West Midtown’s Miller Union came into being in April 2010, when the restaurant started its lunch service six months after opening. The pastry chef at the time, Lauren Raymond, developed flavors such as Earl Grey, orange creamsicle, roasted banana and butterscotch. When Raymond left the restaurant, the frozen dessert — which comes wrapped in wax paper à la the sandwiches of yore — remained.
This January, the General Muir opened in Emory Point. Raymond joined the team and brought her ice cream sandwiches across town with her. While she’s kept her basic ice cream and cookie recipes the same, she has introduced new freezing methods and added novel flavors to the treats at this Jewish deli. Here, the most popular flavors include popcorn and candied peanut, peach cobbler and butter pecan (some of Raymond’s favorites are thyme-marshmallow and lemongrass-chile). They’re available throughout the day, and she makes all inclusions, from the candied peanuts and the peach jam to the marshmallows, in-house. At both restaurants, flavors change seasonally and incorporate fresh, local fruit.
SweetWater Brewing Co., which opened in 1997, is known for a lot of things: Its popular SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale, seasonal flavors such as imperial stout Happy Ending and extra special bitter Motor Boat, and Waterkeeper, the hefeweizen designed to raise awareness for Save the Hooch, a fund to protect the Chattahoochee River. More famous than the beers, perhaps, is the rite-of-summer brewery tour at the SweetWater HQ off Monroe Drive. The tours mark the beginning of warm weather for many in Atlanta; lines are out the door when patio season hits, and you can often hear the live music from down the street. Stop by for a tour and six five-and-a-half-ounce pours of whatever’s on tap (you get to keep the glass). SweetWater just added Sunday tours in addition to their regular Wednesday-through-Saturday schedule.
Are weekends overrated? Monday Night Brewing certainly thinks so, and it’s making quite a case. Located on Trabert Avenue off Howell Mill Road, the converted-warehouse brewery opened early this year. Like Sweetwater, the MNB team offers tours and pint glass-plus-brews , but they dole out four eight-ounce pours instead. They also have a patio with a fire pit, an indoor four square court, occasional old-movie screenings, and, every so often, special food truck Fridays. Swing by for a tour and tasting every Monday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.
Food Cart Frozen Treats
If you’ve been out and about in Atlanta, you’ll have noticed the rainbow-striped umbrellas that pop up on street corners, in parks, and at festivals in the warmer months. Those umbrellas are likely to be attached to King of Pops carts, which happen to be toting one of the city’s most iconic desserts. The pops hit the scene in 2010, and come in flavors from chocolate sea salt and salted caramel to orange basil, banana puddin’ and pineapple habanero. S’mores, pralines n’ cream, and snickerdoodle have recently joined the regular lineup and for special events, they also offer alcoholic “poptails.”
People love beer, and people love ice cream, but have you ever seen the two combined? Ari Fleischer and Aly Moler hadn’t, so they created Frozen Pints, an Atlanta-based craft beer ice cream company that’s just over a year old. Frozen Pints ice creams are sold in liquor and grocery stores (including select Whole Foods locations) with alcohol content ranging from one to three percent per pint. They come in flavors such as peach lambic, malted milk chocolate stout and vanilla bock. New this season are single-serve containers and, soon, Frozen Pints carts will take to the streets. Look out for the adult treat at music and food festivals and other special events.
Photos Courtesy of Frozen Pints Ice Cream and The General Muir