Paradise. Utopia. Shangri-La. Heaven.
|Lost Horizon is one of my favorite books I was forced to read in high school!|
There are many, many names to describe our definition of the ultimate pleasure, environment or experience. Some imagine waves softly lapping a sandy beach, maybe think of living in the rain forest, some think of simple things like food. Specifically ice cream. Yeah, you heard me.
I've been reading and hearing about Paradise Ice on Main Street. Yesterday finally presented an opportunity for me and the Vivver to check it out. Now, Viv is an ice cream connoisseur (connoisseuse?) Well, to be honest, she's a connisseur of sweets and desserts in general. She knows what she likes. Although I'm not a big sweet addict, I do know a good dessert when I taste it and I can appreciate it. I just don't seek it out. However...there's Paradise Ice.
We walked in and were greeted very warmly by the husband-wife owners. As we perused the menu board, we were told to ask for a sample of anything we were curious or unsure about. Paradise Ice serves up homemade (the old-fashioned way: custard) ice creams, sorbets and Italian ice. They use organic, fresh ingredients and the menu changes frequently. We were focused on ice cream rather than ices. So, from the ice cream menu, some of the choices facing us were White Chocolate Raspberry Almond, Strawberry, Cinnamon Chocolate Chip, Irish Cream and Salty Caramel. My baby requested a sample of Irish Cream...she's 7...what prompted that? But she loved it and ordered a scoop. I opted for the Salty Caramel. We chose a table up front by the door so we were in prime people-watching position.
I have to hand it to the Wunderkind. Her Irish Cream selection was rockin'! I'm so impressed that this flavor appealed to her. The Salty Caramel was exactly what I was hoping for and I was diggin' every single spoonful. Their ice cream is what you really dream about when you dream of ice cream. Thick, rich, cream infused with flavor that you just can't and never will get from a carton at the grocery store. What we both also appreciated about the experience was the atmosphere (comfortable and friendly) as well as the art. Viv pointed out to me that the pictures of fruit that adorn the walls
were actually kind of holographic. They are really beautiful photos which complement the cheery environment of this awesome, family ice cream parlor.
So, here we are one day later and as we were out geocaching, Paradise Ice came up. Well, that pretty much brought our caching to a stand-still. The little one could no longer focus on treasure hunting. So, we headed over to Main Street and upon entering, the nice lady who owns the place remembered us from yesterday. I pointed to the Vivver and said, "You have a new addict!" I refrained today, but the little one today sampled the Chocolate Cardamom Chip, liked it and ordered it. She gave me two (very) tiny tastes and it was damn good! I'm impressed and wish I was such a good ice cream maker. But, sadly, I am not.
For those of you here in Columbia, this place is worth a drive, no matter where you are. We live in the Rosewood area and a short drive to Main Street is certainly worth the few minutes to get there. As a non-sweet freak, I can tell you this. When I do want something sweet, I'll forego cookies, soft-serve, brownies, whatever, to drive to Paradise Ice and use my calories wisely! If you haven't checked it out, trust me and do it. Soon. Like first thing tomorrow. And, as you know I love, they are local, local, local. A super-cool husband and wife team who are making ice cream like BOSSES!
Oh, and full disclosure, I