It’s practically August, which means the end of summer is near. For me, it’s always been a horrible month. As a child it meant the end of magical freedom and another school year on the horizon. As an adult, it means one more month of brutal heat and hair-raising humidity. Summertime might not be as magical for adults as it is for kids, but one thing I enjoy just as much now as I did in my youth is an artificially fruity, sugary liquid concoction drizzled onto ice served in snow-like composition. When you’re at a snow cone stand you’re in a world where red tastes like red, blue tastes like blue, green tastes like Ninja Turtle and Tiger’s Blood is a gourmet delicacy. We learned that the snow cone game has been taken to new levels in Central Arkansas, and we’ve put together a guide to some of our favorite spots to cool off.
The Breezy Scoop
8420 Stagecoach Road
Breezy Scoop owner Jade Summerville offers several delightful add-ons to her Italian ice: You can top it with candy like Nerds, gummy worms, Sour Patch Kids, or get the ice scoops served on top of a watermelon half or inside a pineapple. A “Cheesecake Delight” is also on the menu, featuring a slice of cheesecake served with strawberry Italian ice. My favorite flavor is virgin margarita, which Summerville said sells out weekly.
Kaluas Refresqueria & Botanas
3425 Pike Ave., North Little Rock
Kaluas offers smoothies, agua mineral, snow cones, ice cream, sorbet and fruity energy drinks. I tried the “mangonada,” consisting of mango smoothie, mango sorbet, chamoy sauce (a spicy Mexican fruit condiment made from dehydrated fruit, chili powder and citrus juice), Tajin seasoning and chunks of fresh mango. It’s served with a straw coated in tamarind fruit and chili powder. It’s refreshing, not too sweet and a tad spicy. It’s a perfect summer treat.
I also had to get an agua mineral because it looked so enticing on the menu. A blend of ice, Topo Chico, chamoy and Tajin, it’s simple, refreshing, spicy and delicious.
Cozy’s Shaved Ice
2829 Parkway Drive, North Little Rock
Cozy’s Shaved Ice is just a few miles northwest of Kaluas, so I thought I’d chase down my mangonada and agua mineral with a really sweet snow cone. The most popular blend according to the lone employee is “Tiger’s Blood,” a flavor I know all too well. So I got the daily special, “Solar Punch.” The soft, snow-like texture was perfect and Solar Punch tasted blue in the best way.
El Sur Street Food Co.
Various locations; check Facebook or Instagram
In the summer months, our favorite Honduran food truck regularly offers a fruit cup on special: It’s long slices of watermelon, sliced peaches, a liberal dousing of lime juice and a heavy sprinkle of Tajin. It pairs perfectly with a baleada.
3000 Kavanaugh Blvd.
I inquired about the daily special, “Shark Week,” and was told it was “Ocean Mist” with a little “Tiger’s Blood.” How could I resist those two flavor profiles? I told myself I was only going to eat a little because I’ve been eating my weight in snow cones, but the combination of sweet red and blue fruity flavors was so wonderful that I ate the whole thing and only spilled a little bit in the car.
Three Fold Mobile
1509 Rebsamen Park Road
In the warm-weather months, Three Fold’s mobile food truck serves up some delicious, unique shaved ice. Traditional flavors are offered as well as authentic Asian flavors such as lychee, dragonfruit, red bean and yuzu. You can choose to have your shaved ice topped with fresh fruit, or bobas, similar to the chewy tapioca bobas in bubble tea, but with fruity bobas that burst fruit flavor into your mouth. We recommend lychee with mango bobas, but you really can’t go wrong. Three Fold’s shaved ice is only served at its mobile location on Rebsamen Park Road. Three Fold is also utilizing its lychee, dragonfruit, yuzu, peach, mango and passion fruit syrups to sweeten its new Jasmine tea, brewed at the downtown location on Main Street. So you can get mango ice Jasmine tea with mango popping bobas.