Upon arriving at the corner of 17th and Summit, a small fenced-in garden visible through a wall of bushes chirps with lazy activity. Small red signs reading “Snow Cones, 2-9 Sat” point customers through a vine-covered canopy and toward a small vintage trailer with soft, hipster music playing and a more pronounced sign of a snow cone holding a banner that says, ‘Fresher than Fresh.’
People wait in line, conversing casually amongst themselves. A couple banters playfully about which flavor they’ll share this week while a boy clad in a soccer jersey and shin guards asks his dad if he’s allowed to get the Flight of Freshness, a special consisting of five different snow cones.
A large chalkboard displays the seven routine flavors and the Daredevil Special at the bottom, which on this particular Saturday, is Pineapple and Serrano Pepper. Each flavor is homemade by the owner, Lindsay Laricks, using her own ingredients with no artificial colors or flavors. The price for a regular sized snow cone is a mere $2 and the price of the Flight of Freshness, the five flavor sampler, is only $4.
These affordable treats look enticing as Laricks pours the flavored syrup over the small ketchup-container-esque cups filled with balls of ice. The shop owner chats happily with customers, skillfully scooping ice, pouring syrup and topping the snow cones with herbs from her own garden. In front of the teal and white trailer sits a chest filled with ice and assorted bottles of mineral water. The laid-back feel of the place gives off an inviting charm.
After paying my $4 and talking easily with Laricks, I take my plate of eight mini snow cones over to one of the tree stumps arranged into a seating area by the fence. Across the street are salons, cafes and small art studios, shops that echo the relaxed atmosphere of the newly renovated Westside area. Groups of people are already lounging on the stumps around me and the benches under the canopy, though the shop’s only been open for half an hour. The business is small, but it’s booming.
From the first crunchy bite of ice, I can tell that this place was worth the 15 minute drive up. From the rich taste of the Espresso and Mexican Cane Sugar to the sweet zing of the Lime Mint, it’s like finding a new love with each straw-full. The care put into each individual flavor is rewarded immensely in the overall taste. Every flavor has something to offer, reminding me of tastes I’m familiar with and tastes I know I’ll learn to love.
As I revel in the delicious uniqueness of each flavor, a nearby twenty-something-year-old wearing J.Crew sandals leans forward on his stump. “What do you think? First time?”
Friendly, conversational customers? Check. Soothing, carefree atmosphere? Check. Fresh, original flavors? Check.
Obviously, I’ve become a fan. I can’t believe that there are only three days left this season to enjoy these tantalizing treats. Just when I accepted the fact that summer is over, I’m going to have to go back and do it again. Sept. 26 is the last Saturday this season that the trailer will set up shop, and dates can easily be checked on the FTF blog for clarification.
When it comes to summertime treats, these snow cones beat a freezer-burned Spongebob popsicle from the ice cream truck a thousand times over. I can wholeheartedly say that this snow cone joint is fresher than fresh.