About a year after I became vegan I read an article in the Tampa Bay Times about this upstart local ice cream shop with a commie-hipster vibe. The shop was called Revolution Ice Cream Company and their schtick was to make homemade ice cream in the funkiest flavors possible. Instead of your typical vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and moose tracks the Revolution Ice Cream Company’s constantly rotating menu (12 flavors at a time) treats customers to sweet treats such as Chocolate Habanero, Porky’s Delight (okay there is a bit of vanilla…with bacon), drunken brownie (chardonnay caramel ice cream with brownie bits), Chocolate Shock (chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge, brownie debris and chocolate chips), what’s up nutter fudger (chocolate base with crunchy peanut butter and peanut butter wafers), pump up the yam and blueberry muffin tops (blueberry streusel crumbles on top).
I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Why hadn’t I heard of this place sooner? Why hadn’t I spent my last few hours of eating dairy there, shotgunning ice cream cones until I worked myself into a lactose style stupor? I was in too deep to back out now no matter how many key lime pie ice cream cones you wave in my face. Still, I wanted to check the place out and see what all the fuss was about. J-Fur does dairy so I figured I could at least live vicariously through her.
The Revolution Ice Cream Company is located on Brandon Boulevard in, you guessed it, Brandon. It is a bit out of the way for us to go there (and believe me, nobody accidentally goes to Brandon). So for months I sat on this idea that next time I was in Brandon I would stop by Revolution and watch J-Fur eat ice cream. Right before the holiday we finally got our chance. A friend of J-Fur’s invited us over to take pictures of Z-Bot in Christmas attire. She lives less than a mile from the shop. Score!
Revolution sits inconspicuously on the inside corner of the Brandon Retail and Office Center. It is located right beside one of those non-affiliated cell phone shops that I’m surprised get any business. We entered, and were greeted by store owner Bill Workman and his wife Leslee. It is a pretty cool feeling to enter a shop and be served by the masterminds behind the whole operation. They started with J-Fur. She is a chocolate freak and there many chocolate offerings made her choice difficult. After sampling basically everything with chocolate, she settled on the drunken brownie. Once she was satisfied, Bill turned his attention to me. I shook my head no thanks. But as I was reaching for my credit card I noticed something called the Caramel Apple Pie Granita on the menu. Making conversation I asked, “What’s a granita?”
Bill explained that it was an apple cider base that had been frozen into bits of ice shavings. It was dairy free because a lot of people can’t do dairy and he wanted to give them an option too. He went on to say that they usually try to have one dairy free version at all times. I stopped him at this point by blurting out, “Hold on now, backup a second. Did you say dairy free? I’ll have one of those.”
Bill poured warm caramel (which I forgot to check on as far as the dairy content goes…most caramels have butter in them so this one probably did as well) on the bottom of a bowl. He placed a few scoops of the granita over top of the caramel. Then he slathered on a bunch more. The warmth of the caramel mixed with the coolness of the ice shavings was an amazing combination. I was pleasantly surprised with the granita. It had nice flavor. I think it would be tasty even without the caramel (though you’d be missing out on the warm/cold dichotomy). The ice shavings weren’t what I envisioned. They were closer to ice cream than snow cones or slushies. That was perfect because I am not a fan of either of those.
The Caramel Apple Pie Granita
J-Fur wasn’t as enthused with her ice cream. She liked it alright. Taste wise it was nice and chocolatey and all the add-ins made for a fun time. But her sensitive palate and texture detector noticed some ice crystals in her ice cream. They were slight and most people without her sensitivities probably wouldn’t notice. But for her, it took a place that quite possibly could be amazing and made it average. She’d rather go to Bruster’s or Massey’s.
That’s cool with me, I’ll just leave her in the car next time I go back. Which will be as soon as the Caramel Apple Pie Granita returns to the menu.
J-Fur’s drunken brownie
Our drive to Brandon was accompanied by These Four Walls, the first album by We Were Promised Jetpacks. Turns out, the band is back and prepping for some new releases (their first new stuff in over two years). It starts with their brand new single “Peace Sign.” It is an early live-version taster of their upcoming studio album, which will be released this fall. The live version comes from the band’s forthcoming live album E Rey – Live In Philadelphia (set to be released February 25th via FatCat):