The Soda Parlor (East Nashville)

I first went to this location because I have an unhealthy habit of eating ice cream. I was blown away. I then got invited back before I was able to publish my first article and even with three complete different options, I can say that you cannot go wrong.

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the soda parlor

bow down to greatness


The second you walk in you are going to ask, "Why are they selling space stuff?" It is a mystery that I had when going in. I was just so confused as to why a clothing line and Dessert shop had in common. The reason is quite amazing. You see, the show creator, Olan Rogers, had a YouTube channel. In this channel he pitched this idea of a show back in 2010. With a few years of tinkering here and there, a pilot episode was made for "Final Space" and it caught Conan O'Briens attention. After a bidding war, TBS won. (and yes, I have watched every episode so far).

 final space apparel

final space apparel

So we know that the show "Final Space" is fantastic, but are the desserts that good? Yes. Yes they are.
 

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Do not doubt the ability to craft a dessert like this. I will say, hands-down, it is the best dessert shop I have visited yet. Complain all you want Jeni lovers but this place has it all. You have an option of three different type of desserts: Waffle Mondaes, Moonshakes and Floats. Within those options you have several to choose from. Out of my options, the king of all are the Waffle Mondaes.

 cinnamon bun

cinnamon bun

 The mixture of ice cream from Mike's (I need to stop by there soon!) and the waffle underneath it all are just ridiculous. It's a dessert to share. Unless you're like me and then just eat it yourself. I not only enjoy the creaminess and flavors of this place but I also appreciate the creativity. Fun Fact: Waffle Mondaes are called so, because of one of his more popular YouTube videos. So creative in fact that you even see an easter egg pertaining to that video in the first video. 
Creativity at it's finest.

 a final space character - mooncake

a final space character - mooncake

The Moonshake we ordered was the Cub Scout. I sometimes don't even know why I write articles explaining things when all I want to say is that you have to go and try it. The milk shake is thick. It uses local ice cream that gives it such a dense flavor. They even give you a large straw because they know that it will amplify the effect of what you are drinking. Not only is this milkshake amazing but look at that presentation! Mason jars lined and decorated with perfection of a water-falling effect of hot fudge.

 the cub scout

the cub scout

Now here is a disclaimer: I don't drink soda. Out of just trying to stay healthy, I cut soda off. From time to time, I appreciate a quality made soft drink from time to time. This orange beauty is the 'Freakin Foster'. It is a creamsicle in your mouth. It is childhood in the form of a liquid. This place is just a place where you go to feel like a kid again. A feeling I feel that many of us are missing in our lives. And hey, if you hate having to wait, you won't have that worry here.
They even provide you a bunch of free arcade games you can play with your friends. If you need a Ninja Turtle teammate, hit me up.
 

 freakin foster

freakin foster

And hey, if you hate having to wait, you won't have that worry here. They even provide you a bunch of free arcade games you can play with your friends. If you need a Ninja Turtle teammate, hit me up.

 free arcades

free arcades

I'm done writing about this place. Just go and pay it a visit. It's just that good. Best dessert only spot I have visited so far.

Location: 966 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206

Show: Airs every Monday on TBS. Can also view on the TBS app.
 

KoKo's Creamery (East Nashville)

I don't think you could give me enough money to go full on vegan. But I may be willing to leave "real" ice cream for this!

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kokos creamery

they accept bitcoin

Dreams made into a reality is what KoKo's Creamery is. A couple, that had a little bike cart, riding around parks and events to sell some dairy free ice cream. Talk about starting at the
bottom of the food industry! I am so intrigued when I hear stories like these. These sort of things require passion. If you are going in it for strictly business, no way you survive the grueling hours, long bike rides and hot days in the summer. Let it be known, these KoKo owners are fit. Lucky for you, you don't need to burn calories chasing after them. They now have a solid little place in East Nashville.

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I was first introduced to Vegan ice cream by my good friend Patrick down in Phoenix. He would take me to this small place called Tsoynami from time to time and it was just blissful. That's when I knew that I could like something that was out of my nature. So when I heard of this place I had to check it out.

 the perfect spot

the perfect spot

It's what Instagram dreams are made of. The perfect set-up. Genius marketing really. There is absolutely no way you walk in there and leave without taking a photo. The location is small but large enough for their need. No scoops, no bombardment of options that delay the eating process. It truly is simple. You have a mix of 4-6 flavors, depending on the day, and that's it. Your order of ice cream is served in those little paper cups that used to be served at your elementary cafeteria. It's a bit nostalgic. Except this time, it actually tastes good. 

 ice cream cups

ice cream cups

Now KoKo's uses a coconut base for their ice creams (and I will edit this if I'm mistaken). I am generally not the biggest fan of the coconut flavor as it seems to overpower others, yet this one was subtle. Out of all the flavors I tried, I found it to only carry the strong notes within the chocolate. The ice cream is rich in flavor with a solid creamy base. A huge difference is that Vegan ice cream needs to be dense or else it comes out watery and flavorless.  It's counterpart, the dairy form of ice cream, is based around the dairy that it comes from. Constant churning, temperature regulation and the type of dairy used (fat content, cow type, pasteurization techniques) all play an essential role (and eggs for emulsification too). To achieve the perfect creaminess, the ingredients have to be able to blend together. Too cold and crystallization creates unnecessary moisture in your ice cream. Too much churning at a cold temperature and crystallization gets stuck into those air pockets that are supposed to make your ice cream creamy. That is why the best ice cream places are the ones that if you order one-scoop you are satisfied, and if you order two, you will walk out full. 

 they even have cones!

they even have cones!


KoKo's finds the balance here. Throughout eating it I didn't yearn for that dairy base. I didn't even miss it. I ate what was found inside that paper cup and left guilt-free. That is rare for someone who eats at different restaurants constantly. If KoKo had a loyalty program, I would be the first one to sign up.

At the end of it all, the success and future success of this business stems from the creators behind it. Their passion, love and drive for this cuisine is spot on. Truly enjoyed my time visiting and look forward to quite a few more.

 Oh! and they accept bitcoin as payment.   Location:   729 Porter Rd, Nashville, TN 37206

Oh! and they accept bitcoin as payment.

Location:  729 Porter Rd, Nashville, TN 37206

Roll'd Creamery (Clarksville)

All it takes is one viral-video and something can travel from Thailand to the US. Welcome to the newest sensation of Rolled Ice Cream.

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roll'd creamery

it's still ice cream, right?

I consider myself a lover of Ice Cream. Don't you dare feed me some of that boxed stuff you find in the grocery stores. I can taste it even if you smother in toppings. I am talking about the real ice cream. The ones that are churned in small batches. Where the mint taste like real mint, and strawberry ice cream isn't bright red. So is this sort of ice cream actually the real deal? I don't think so. - but that doesn't make it bad, it makes it different. Sometimes, different is good.

 interior (plays some great music)

interior (plays some great music)

We all know dessert trends are the hottest thing. Giant milkshakes. Cereal soft serve. Roll'd ice cream. It's what we drool over in our Instagram feeds. Some just look good. Some taste awful. Now we all have eaten ice cream. We know its served in a ball, and the goal is to be both flavorful and creamy. I mean, that's the goal at least. So I want to hit a few points in this summary of this place: Flavor, Texture and Presentation. 

 the ice grill making Oreo Crack

the ice grill making Oreo Crack

Texture: Understand this - you are rolling up the ice cream. In doing so, you are creating a surface area that becomes way more than a ball. You have air gaps between each rotation it makes. This introduce a way different texture. Stay with me. It turns into an ice cream that is built in layers. That means you can more evenly distribute flavor. Huge advantage in this. No longer are you digging around to find that last cookie dough chunk. Instead, its spread throughout the entirety. The downside of rolling an ice cream over an icy grill is that it is highly dependent on human skill. Leave it too long, it gets too cold (there is such a thing). Take it off too soon and it doesn't roll properly. Lucky for me, Roll'd creamery nailed it. 3 different rolls and only 1 was just too cold when nearing the bottom half of the cup. 

Now how does this taste?

 Bad & Boujee

Bad & Boujee

Flavor: I feel like Roll'd Creamery nailed. I mean, there is a reason the doors opened and a line of 20 people appeared. Impressive. I think that is the single biggest advantage of rolling it. You can distribute flavors all through the dish. This specific dessert pictured above had nutella inserted into the middle of the rolls. Because they are cold, it made it into a sort of chocolate hazelnut ganache. Impressive. Think of your roll as a base cream flavor with mix ins actually incorporated into the dish. Unique for sure.

 looking good.

looking good.

Presentation: Easily the winning factor. You get to create, watch it get mixed into a thousand pieces (hands are fast!) and then spread into a perfectly flat piece of ice cream. You watch it get rolled and then plated. I mean, kids love it. It's the overall experience that makes it more than just someone scooping something for you. 

I am a fan of trends. I think that cultures are supposed to mix. I think that pushing the bounds of our culinary knowledge is what cooking is all about. That's why the next dessert I had wins.

 B's Cherry New York Style Cheesecake on a Roll'd Bun from North Meets South

B's Cherry New York Style Cheesecake on a Roll'd Bun from North Meets South

This is why I find this acceptable. You wouldn't be able to do this with ice cream balls. It just would be some uneven beast of a dessert. This makes sense. Roll up some ice cream, toss some toppings, throw it in an oval donut and you got the best mix of flavors. This is available every weekend and it is worth the trip. This in itself is the reason why rolled ice cream exists.

 options

options

When going to a rolled style ice cream, you do lose a key original ice cream factor. Creaminess. No matter how good the person making your rolled style ice cream may be, it will not be as creamy as an ice cream churning away for a lot longer. But I will tell you this, it will be different and if you haven't seen it yet, it will be way more Instagram worthy. 

Highly recommend Roll'd Creamery. 

Location: 1715 Wilma Rudolph Blvd D, Clarksville, TN 37040