Just yesterday I was musing about how a tiger-tail shake would be excellent in this heat — but then I waffled. A mango-chili Popsicle might be better, or maybe blackberry and cheese. I can hear everyone nodding agreement. No? What about mamey? Or rompope?
Let La Michoacana enlighten you.
Two tiny ice cream (or helado) shops on Midlothian Turnpike and Jefferson Davis Highway scoop out these flavors, along with about 38 ever-changing others that are as pretty as they are unique. These sorbet-gelato-ice cream hybrids beat out their fast food alternatives, cones down.
At La Michoacana, you can pick two scoops for $2.10, three for $3.20, or four for $4.30 from an exceptional array of freshly made treats. If you are looking for similarities to normal ice cream, there are none. Classic varieties such as coconut, chocolate chip and vanilla are fresher and pop with more flavor. Slivers of coconut are churned into cream, producing a see-it-to-believe-it unmarred white canvas of deliciousness. Chocolate chip (or chocolate sprinkles, as the menu states) is made by adding melted chocolate to cold milk, creating tiny, abundant pieces of chocolate mixed with vanilla.
Other flavors such as key lime pie, lemon and strawberry and yogurt straddle the line between sorbet and gelato. Key lime has the Mexican equivalent of Nilla wafers, called Marias, which give the tart cream a pie-crust taste and visual appeal.
For me, the money flavors are the traditional Mexican choices. Chamoy is a mixture of mango and pepper, sweet and sour, creamy and spicy. Kiss of angel is the Mexican fruitcake of ice cream. Name a fruit and it’s in there, along with raisins and nuts that round out the eggnog ice cream. Little Pancho is made for the tiny ones, featuring sweet cherries mixed with gummy bears. Mamey is a Mexican fruit not readily available in the states, similar to a papaya and chewy when frozen. Rompope is pure eggnog, thick with nutmeg.
Tiger tail, according to the owner of La Michoacana’s Midlothian Turnpike location, is the American favorite. It is a swirled combination of their take on butter pecan, vanilla and chocolate. Cheese with blueberry evokes a sweet bakery Danish. A seasonal offering, guanabana, is a sour-and-sweet fruit sorbet almost beyond description.
A surprise jolt is the butter ice cream. When reading the menu, I did a double take at the title and immediately expected heavy and thick taste and texture. Instead, light butter flavor is twirled with raspberries, a savory experience that made me an instant fan.
In another cooler you’ll find popsicles like you’ve never seen before. Gorgeous natural hues envelop suspended Oreos and sliced kiwis. They’re practically begging to be the finale of a catered party, picnic or early evening gathering — and they’re just $1.50 for water-based pops, $2 for milk-based.
One warning: Don’t go to these places on empty. The sheer volume and intensity of their homemade treats create the classic “eyes bigger than your stomach” problem. You’ll have enough of a challenge just picking a flavor.
7808 Midlothian Turnpike
Monday - Saturday 11a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday 11a.m. - 9 p.m.
9110 Jefferson Davis Highway
Monday - Saturday noon - 10 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Also sold at:
TaZa Coffee ‘n Creme
5047 Forest Hill Ave.
Monday - Saturday - 6:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Sunday - 9 a.m. -3 p.m.