› Where: Cold Point Thai-Style Ice Cream, 1925 Gunbarrel Road, Suite C
› Hours: 1-10 p.m. daily
› Price: $5.45
› Alcohol: No
› Phone: 423-892-1688
Rolled ice cream is a new frozen dessert that is an import of Thailand. It arrived in larger U.S. cities in 2015 and has now trickled down to Chattanooga. With the opening of Cold Point Thai-Style Ice Cream in East Brainerd, Chattanoogans won't have to search YouTube how-to videos anymore to enjoy these made-to-order desserts.
Cold Point is located behind Chili's on Gunbarrel Road in a brick shopping strip next to Batteries+Bulbs.
The interior is a long, narrow, rectangular space much like a galley kitchen. Three tables and an L-shaped counter containing the food prep area are the only fixtures.
A cashier is placed on the short end of the L facing the front door. A large chalkboard on the wall beside her lists 10 named ice-cream choices with predetermined ingredients, or visitors have the option to build their own by choosing one of four bases, their mix-ins (16 choices from Nutella to candy to fruit to graham crackers), one of four swirls (optional) and three toppings.
There is one flat price of $5.45 for all cups, which will contain anywhere from four to six rolls. There is no children's price. However, each roll is roughly the equivalent of one child-size scoop of
ice cream so two, possibly three, children could easily share one cup — if they can agree on flavor choices.
The 10 predetermined flavor combinations include some that stretch the imagination such as Green Light (green tea and Oreos) and some that are old favorites, such as a s'more combo. I chose Key Lime Crunch just to see whether they could duplicate the tang of Key lime pie — and yes, they could.
The tartness of the lime, combined with graham cracker crumbs, gave the mix the flavor of Key lime pie, just in a different consistency. It was worth the 25-minute wait.
Here is the glitch that can cause such lengthy waits.
When patrons enter the ice-cream shop, they place their orders at the register. It's only natural that each individual needs time to scan the chalkboard list and ask questions since the shop is new to the area. But during that time the line continues to grow behind them.
On the day I visited, I made a point to get there when Cold Point opened because I had already heard about the wait if the store was slammed with folks. I walked in at 1:03 p.m. and was 14th in line. I placed my order 15 minutes later — but at least I knew what I wanted when I got to the register because I'd had plenty of time to peruse the chalkboard. My order was completed a little less than 10 minutes later, for the 25-minute wait total.
Ice-cream orders are prepared in the order in which they have been taken. Each order's prep takes anywhere from two to four minutes to fill. No one seems to mind the wait, though, because most are watching — and taking cellphone shots — of the interesting prep process.
The liquid cream base is poured onto a metal surface chilled to minus-16 degrees. It immediately thickens, then the server starts adding and chopping mix-ins with two chilled metal spatulas. Once that desired consistency is reached, the server uses spatulas to smooth and flatten the ice cream into a thin square, before sectioning it off and rolling up each section.
Every order comes with the customer's choice of three toppings. Some finished cups are true works of art with tall spirals of whipped cream decorated in anything from mini peanut-butter cups to colorful sprinkles to cut fruit.
It will be interesting to follow Cold Point's longevity once the novelty wears off. But for now, the delicious, made-to-order frozen treats are the coolest things going this summer.
Contact Susan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6284.