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Staffers explore unique spots to get sweets in the Bay Area: Icicles

Written by Tim Sun

The hype surrounding rolled ice cream has burgeoned, and Snapchat stories of it have caused much salivation. But is rolled ice cream truly superior, or is this just another fleeting fad?

Icicles is located in a small downtown area in San Jose. The store is located right off of the highway, and parking is easy to find. The setting is charming: a few small tables fill the outdoor patio, and lights are draped from a canopy to provide a pleasant ambiance.

There are a variety of exotic flavors to choose from, including Bravocado and Gotcha Matcha. A short time after ordering, your name is called by one of the workers, who then creates the ice cream from scratch in front of you. They pour milk over some initial ingredients, then blend and chop the mixture as it freezes. When the ice cream is thick enough, it is spread out into a thin surface and scraped into rolls that are placed in a cup. This process is supposedly the highlight of the experience, but I found it a bit underwhelming. It was over in less than a minute and was no more exciting than watching ice cream getting scooped from a large cylindrical container. The only interesting aspect was the novelty, but watching one time was already enough for me.

After the rolling, you get a choice of unique toppings, from strawberries to boba, as well as the classic sprinkles and Oreo crumbs. The flavor of the ice cream was tasty, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. When you start to eat, the toppings cover the rolls, so the experience is essentially identical to having ordinary ice cream.

Perhaps my experience was distorted by the 20 minute wait time to simply enter the store, followed by the realization upon entering that each cup was $7. Maybe my astonishment at how a dessert could cost as much as a Chipotle burrito got in the way of my enjoyment of the experience and the taste. Still, I don’t think the rolled ice cream is worth the price. In the end, a long trip to Icicles (and perhaps an even longer wait) for expensive ice cream is a one-time experience. After watching once and getting a solid Snapchat story in, another visit would be a waste of time and money.

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