Is there anything more fun than going out for ice cream on a heated afternoon? If there is, it might just be getting the chance to see your flavor of choice frozen right in front of your eyes. Kids will be amazed at the science-experiment-cum-dessert experience at the D.C. area’s two newest ice cream shops. Liquid nitrogen freezes made-to-order ice cream treats in under a minute. The accompanying billows of frigid steam will have little ones just as excited about the process as they are about the product.
The scoop: This shop in Clarendon gathers fresh ingredients from local farms to offer its on-demand desserts. Employees man colorful Kitchen-Aid mixers where fruits and candies are whipped and frozen into bowls of deliciousness in a mere 45 seconds. The biggest question they get? Is it safe? YES! Liquid nitrogen is added to the mixer to freeze the cream and it evaporates off in 10 seconds, leaving no trace of nitrogen. The location just blocks from the Clarendon Metro makes this an easy outing for the family. And you can even start your day with a visit: They serve coffee and will make you “breakfast ice cream” from ripe bananas and agave nectar.
Extra scoop: Nicecream makes house calls! For that summer birthday party you’re trying to plan, consider booking Nicecream—they’ll bring all the fixins and birthday friends can watch as their dessert is made right in front of their eyes.
2831 Clarendon Blvd. (Arlington, Va)
The scoop: Since 2010, Faith Holmes has been serving up liquid-nitrogen ice cream from five roving kiosks in the D.C. Convention Center. But her first brick-and-mortar location—called the Love ‘n Faith Community Café—is set to open on 14th Street next month (June 2014). The menu of 51 flavors of frozen-on-the-spot treats includes such delights as Chocolate Overload (made with homemade toffee and brownies), Nojito Sorbet, and Chocolate Bourbon Pecan PieScream. The shop will also hawk espresso drinks, baked goods, and smoothies.
Extra scoop: Watching the processed sugar intake? Faithfully Sweet has perfected the art of making 100 percent naturally sweetened ice cream. Their secret? Pure maple syrup.
2424 14th St., NW (U Street)
Have you tried liquid nitrogen ice cream? Tell us how you liked it in the comments section below.