Friday, August 20, 2010

Cloud 9 - Snow Ice!

Cloud 9 has been on the “want to try” list for some time and recommended by Ernie’s Dad (thanks!). It’s a short walk away from the condo and we went after a LONG day of IKEA shopping and building furniture. On a side-note, Ernie and I survived building a lot of furniture from IKEA. This is a major step in any relationship and for those of you who know the stresses of furniture building, our experience was pretty easy!

Right on Belmont just east of Broadway is a little brightly lit with a variety of fun colored bubble lamps hanging from the ceiling. There are two front doors (not sure way, maybe it was once two separate store fronts). We walked up to the register to check out what the whole situation was.

For those of you who don’t know about Snow Ice, it’s a delicious Chinese treat that can replace your traditional ice cream, sorbet or gelato dessert. The set up is similar to Pinkberry and all of their knock-offs meaning that you pick your flavor of ice, then add a drizzle and some toppings. It’s not frozen yogurt like Pinkberry, it’s literally ice. The ice is frozen into cylinders and then shaved by a machine that slices it so fine that the snow ice comes out fluffy, puffy, kind of like cotton candy.  I forgot my phone/camera when we went so I pulled this image off google so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.

I ordered a strawberry flavored snow-ice with a chocolate drizzle with blueberries and crushed heath bar bits. The young Chinese guy who runs the store told me I was the first person to request such a combination. (And the IKEA delivery man told me I was only the second person in his seven years of delivering that asked for the furniture to be put in the bathroom!)

The family that owns the store is from St. Louis, MO most recently. The parents were in the store hanging out and waiting til closing time. The son is the guy who runs the joint and they were all very friendly.

The snow ice was something else! The “snack-sized” serving came in a bowl and stacked about 10” tall! Not to worry, it’s super fluffy and melts in your mouth like cotton candy but doesn’t taste so sugary. The texture is difficult to describe so you just have to taste it for yourself. Cloud 9 is better than Korean Ice which has a consistency more like Icee drinks or blended ice. This serving size is less than 180 calories (not including toppings) and plenty for an evening snack.

Get out and support Cloud 9! It’s great to see small family owned shops making a splash and bringing innovation to desserts. I hope the shop can survive the winter. Sadly, Café Latika (amazing pistachio ice cream) just closed its doors around the corner.

Cloud 9
604 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL 60657
773-857-1255 (the website is kind of broken)

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