Photo courtesy of grubstreet.com

Photo courtesy of grubstreet.com

November 29, 2016

15 Below, Outside and Inside

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If my mom knew I was eating ice cream when it’s 30 degrees outside, she would kill me. Thankfully, I’m a solid 11-hour car ride away from her, somy visit to 15 Below, a Thai-inspired ice cream shop, was unperturbed. Although this shop didn’t have the nicest atmosphere, it offered  interesting flavors and I would recommend that anyone go there at least once.

It was a Friday night when we entered the eatery. 15 Below is a small store in the Commons, and if you don’t know where it is, you might miss it. There was not a huge line (probably because it was freezing outside) and we ordered very quickly. To be completely honest, the eatery was not a very nice place. Half the store is just cement and there was not much decoration. The menu was also very limited. 15 Below only offers one size for their ice cream, and there are only about seven different options. The starting price was five dollars, with extra toppings costing more. However, they did offer green tea ice cream, a flavor I’ve seen in only a few other places in Ithaca. I naturally decided to try it out with strawberry, blueberry and kiwi as my toppings.

The most amazing thing about 15 Below, and the reason that I recommend everyone go there, is because they freeze the ice cream right in front of you. The employee had a frozen slab onto which she poured the cream and assorted flavors. She blended all the flavors together and flattened it out on the slab to flash freeze it. Then she  scraped this cream into “fried” rolls that she served with various toppings. It was mesmerizing and fascinating to watch this process  right in front of me.

There is not much room to sit down inside the eatery, so I decided to take my ice cream with me as I walked around the Commons. The ice cream tasted amazing! It was insanely creamy and melted in my mouth perfectly. The green tea flavor was not overwhelmingly sweet like most ice cream is, so it paired well with the fruit toppings. The kiwi and all the other fruit was extremely fresh. The experience offered a new and interesting way to eat ice cream that I had never tried before, and I really enjoyed it!

If you’re looking for  traditional ice cream, 15 Below is not the place to go. But it does offer a unique twist on ice cream with their “fried” roll method. I would recommend going for the unique experience that 15 Below has to offer.

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