Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zarlengo's Italian Ice

Now that the summer heat has arrived, we here at the Commissary take it upon ourselves to identify any and all premium ice cream/gelato/Italian ice/sorbet/etc. worth consuming within a 20-mile radius. After repeated visits to the Creamery and Sam & Jake's (our local faves), plus forays farther afield to Mitchell's in Homewood and Gayety's in Lansing, I was under the impression that we had the South suburbs pretty well sussed out, so you can imagine my surprise when Channel 7 food reporter Steve Dolinsky (aka the Hungry Hound) released his list of Chicagoland's 5 best places for icy treats a few weeks ago and on it was an unknown in our relative backyard: Zarlengo's in Chicago Heights. Inspired and undeterred, this past Friday night, Mrs. Hackknife and I loaded the progeny into the family truckster to check out the wares of this newcomer (at least newcomer to us - they've been around since 1983 and currently provide the Italian ice at the Cell for Sox games).

Hackknifette dozed off during the 15-minute drive, so Mrs. Hackknife and Hackknife Jr. hopped out to nosh while I waited in the car with her. After perusing their extensive (and I mean extensive) list of about 30 Italian ices and 30 gelatos (not to mention many sundaes and ice cream novelties), I chose an Aztec chocolate gelato, a mixture of chocolate and cinnamon with a little chili pepper for heat. It was fantastic, rich and sultry, featuring a pretty solid kick of spice on the finish. The family also enjoyed peach Italian ice (Hackknife Jr.), Nutella gelato (Mrs. Hackknife), and plain chocolate gelato (Hackknifette - she had awoken by then), followed by an extra kid's cup of miso caramel gelato that Mrs. Hackknife convinced me to order as an encore (as usual, she was right - it was delicious). Bellies full and smiles on parade, we returned home secure in the knowledge that we may have found a new favorite ice cream joint for future summer evenings....

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