Over the previous two chapters, I’ve related our wonderfully fun barbecue tour of some areas south of the city. We capped this off by getting some ice cream in East Atlanta. I read about Morelli’s on Urbanspoon and added it to my wishlist a couple of months ago. By a happy coincidence, our friends Victoria and James moved over to that neighborhood – just around the corner from it – a few months ago and have been raving about it. When we met them for lunch last month, we agreed that we needed to get together again and see whether all the fuss over this ice cream was warranted.
What happened here is that the owner, Donald Sargent, was looking for a new business opportunity, found a space that a Bruster’s was leaving, invested in all their equipment and started turning out some of the most decadent and wild flavors in the city. They go through 150 or more gallons of heavy cream each week making their ice cream. They have the expected chocolate and cookies and cream and other fun, traditional flavors, but they’ve also got some pretty wild ones. These include the very popular maple bacon and the possibly more popular salted caramel, and some that are way off in la-la land like olive oil, feta and sweet corn.
Two years ago, Bon Appetit named Morelli’s one of the five best ice cream parlors in the country, singling out their coconut jalapeño and ginger lavender. There’s been a line ever since.
Service here can be a little slow, in part because the terrific, friendly staff will let guests try one or two samples before making an order, but we got here between rushes around 3:30 and didn’t have a very long wait. My only quibble was that they didn’t assemble Marie’s chocolate sundae very well. It was delicious, but it was a challenge for Marie to eat it before it toppled over!
I had a cup of salted caramel, and, still stuffed from barbecue, could not finish it, but boy, I enjoyed what I had. Even more critical than the flavor was the texture of the ice cream. This just really tasted freshly mixed. It hadn’t been sitting in that freezer for very long at all. Oooh, and apparently, I have since learned, they’ll let you mix half-scoops in a single cup. I bet a half-vanilla half-caramel is just amazing.
Victoria’s just a couple of weeks from having her boy, and so she and Marie had a lot to talk about. We enjoyed kicking back on Morelli’s patio for probably a little longer than etiquette might have suggested, since there were plenty of people in line and looking for a table, but you know, we ate an awful lot last Saturday and I needed to sit down for a while. We’ll have to go visit our friends again very soon, once we have some babies to introduce to each other, and try another restaurant in the neighborhood… and then pop back for some dessert here.
Other blog posts about Morelli’s: