Posted May 8, 2013
By HADLEY JORDAN
With summer break right around the corner, it’s time to find the best places in South Florida to cool off.
Hidden in a strip center off U.S. 1 in Pinecrest, ChillN Nitrogen Ice Cream takes a futuristic approach to making ice cream. Founded by Chuck Woodard, a junior at the University of Miami, and his business partner, Danny Golik, ChillN is the first ice cream shop in South Florida to use liquid nitrogen to flash freeze the ice cream instantly.
The atmosphere could be described as “science lab-chic” with exposed brick walls, two large nitrogen tanks, and a periodic table of menu items to order from. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
There are endless combinations of tasty treats to try. Start off with choosing a base (ice cream or yogurt), pick from one of the 11 flavors offered, and add some of the 29 mix-ins available.
The chocolate and vanilla ice creams, though possibly easily overlooked with other flavor highlights such as Cake Batter, Nutella and Biscotti, are deliciously satisfying for the purists. The mix-ins range from standards like rainbow sprinkles and homemade hot fudge to Krispy Kreme donuts and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.
Not sure which combination to try first? These ice cream scientists perform weekly experiments to find new sinful combinations called Equations of the Week with the base, flavors, and mix-in combos written on a chalkboard by the entrance.
By using liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze the ice cream, there are less ice crystals and air. The result is a velvety and creamy ice cream very similar to frozen custard. The only downside of having the ice cream made to order is not being able to sample the flavors, but ice cream of this high quality is sure to not disappoint.
Jaxson’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant has been a legend in Dania Beach since it opened in the mid 1950s. You can’t miss the giant Jaxson’s sign with flashing lights and the long lines of people outside waiting for a table or waiting to order from the ice cream window.
A classic ice cream parlor with an old fashioned and quirky atmosphere, Jaxson’s offers a certain sense of nostalgia for the “good ole’ days.” Wait for a table inside or walk up to the ice cream window outside to be served by someone in a slightly obnoxious red and white striped uniform and Gatsby cap. Inside, the restaurant walls are covered with license plates and other random knick-knacks and chotchkies, adding to the fun family environment.
Jaxson’s also has a mini gift shop in the front with old-fashioned candies, novelty toys and other odds and ends.
Jaxson’s is an all American restaurant, serving foods ranging from hot dogs and burgers to sirloin steaks. The four-page menu has an entire page dedicated to their world famous desserts.
All of Jaxson’s ice cream, sherbets and yogurts are homemade on site. The menu has many different options for ice cream lovers, including Jumbo Sundaes, Fabulous Creations, Spectacular Goblets and Colossal Parfaits. This is not the place to go for a simple scoop of ice cream.
Famous for their banana splits and giant sundaes, Jaxson’s isn’t about subtlety. Bigger is better here, and these dishes are definitely big! The Kitchen Sink is Jaxson’s own trademarked sundae. For $12.95 per person (reserved for groups of four or more), Soda Jerks will scoop mounds and mounds of ice cream into an actual kitchen sink with plenty of toppings and whipped cream to create a masterpiece of a sundae.
The ice cream quality was disappointing for a place that has been featured on The Food Network multiple times. The texture wasn’t very smooth with ice chunks and air pockets littering the scoops. Overall taste was good, but not stellar enough to warrant the outrageous prices.
Jaxson’s all in all is a fun place to visit, but is more hype than substance. It is worth going to at least once to enjoy the carnival-esque environment complete with a monkey in the parking lot who will shake your hand for a silver dollar. But if you are looking for really good ice cream, you might as well buy a gallon of Blue Bell ice cream instead and save a few bucks.
Whip ‘n Dip is a staple for most University of Miami students. Located off of Sunset Drive, just minutes from campus, this family-run homemade ice cream shop is an affordable and sweet place to stop.
Whip ‘n Dip was founded in 1985 by a family of four. Still owned and run by the same family, Whip ‘n Dip is a delicious and simple ice cream shop that sticks to the basics.
They offer a selection of seven standard flavors of ice cream as well as around 10 other special flavors that are rotated based on what has been recently made. Though the ice cream is very good, the soft-serve “whips” are what really steal the show. There are three different machines each offering two flavors. So rich and creamy you can’t believe it’s light ice cream!
The atmosphere is nothing special, just a simple ice cream shop. The seating is very limited (four benches) and they don’t accept credit cards, but the ice cream is worth it. They also offer a selection of cakes and pies.
All in all, South Florida has some gems for ice cream. Though ChillN was by far the best quality ice cream and overall experience, Jaxson’s had the best environment, and Whip ‘n Dip has the best bang for your buck.
- ChillN Nitrogen Ice Cream
- Address: 8271 SW 124th St, Miami, 33156
- Phone: 786-732-6988
- Website: http://www.chillnicecream.com
- Hours: Mondays-Thursdays: 2-10 p.m., Fridays: 2 p.m.-11 p.m., Saturdays: 12 p.m.-11 p.m., Sundays: 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
- Payment: Cash, Credit Card
- Highlight: Ultra-smooth texture, equations of the week
- Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant
- Address: 128 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach, Fla. 33004
- Phone: 954-923-4445
- Website: http://www.Jaxonsicecream.com
- Hours: Mondays-Thursdays: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Fridays-Saturdays: 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Sundays: 12 p.m.-11 p.m.
- Payment: Cash, credit card
- Highlight: A whimsical and carnival-like old-fashioned ice cream parlor environment
- Whip ‘n Dip Ice Cream Shoppe
- Address: 1407 Sunset Drive, South Miami , Fla. 33143
- Phone: 305-665-2565
- Website: http://www.Whipndipicecream.com
- Hours: Mondays-Thursdays: 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Fridays-Saturdays: 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Sundays: 12 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
- Payment: Cash only
- Highlight: Too good to be true soft serve