Monday, May 25, 2009

Water Ice Station, Pitman

No doubt you'll remember the Water Ice Station from the 15 or so years they spent in their Pitman Ave location, just across the little alley from the Itaska Building and across the street from Rosebud Florists. There was a lot of sadness in some minds, at least mine, when they closed that store - last year, I think. There were some vague statements about how they wouldn't open that location again, but I didn't hear anything specific. So I was pretty happy to roll through town last week and see some signage on the Pizza Garden (formerly Stan and Mary's) to the effect that The Water Ice Station was moving in and sharing the space. Sign of the times, methinks...less rent for everybody except the owner of the old WIS location, which now looks extremely decrepit and unusable.

Until the new space is built out (currently there are some studs up and the new front window is in, so there's a lot of drywall and equipment-type work to be done) they're selling from this portable truck out in front of the store. Dad and I cruised down there to hang out and chillax yesterday, and here's what we ate.

I can't really imagine that you don't know what water ice, or Italian Ice sometimes, is, but here's a quick description: like sorbet, but cheaper (natural ingredients need not apply). Or maybe : like a Slurpee, but more solid. The Water Ice Station really made an impact on me when they opened because the flavors were so fresh and clear (and, dare I say it, natural?). The best things in my memory were the vanilla, lemon and chocolate, all of which had their own little surprises, but most everything is good. In this picture Dad is holding lemon and peach; sales from the truck are limited to about 6 flavors on a hand-written board.

Strangely, despite the board being hand-written, there was one flavor not on it, and I ordered that very Birch Beer flavor in a combo with Chocolate. If you squint you should be able to see the two-tone effect on top of this cup (nice closeup!), which is how they always treat multiple flavors. One goes in the bottom, the other goes in the top, and they make a little space on top for some of the bottom flavor. Smart orderers know that the sequence in which you name the flavors makes a difference, because the first flavor will go on the bottom, and you invariably get a bit more of that one. Plus on hot days that bottom flavor is going to melt and you're going to be stuck drinking sugar syrup, so you'd best make sure it's a flavor you don't mind drinking.

Nothing beats water ice on a hot day. Maybe a hoagie for lunch, a nice grilled dinner, and a quick walk downtown for waterice as it gets dark around 8:30? That's summer right there it what that is.

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