by Mabel Suen
Since opening last July, Ices Plain & Fancy (2256 South 39th Street; 314-601-3604) has gradually grown its menu to suit the seasons. Its offerings started out as a simple list of silky, dense ice creams made to order using liquid nitrogen -- the perfect treat for summertime. Through fall and winter, warmth was provided by way of chili bowls and a long list of boozy frozen concoctions.
Spring for the shop means delights for an entirely new audience -- your four-legged friend. There's a new dog-friendly ice cream on offer, as well as Ices' continued commitment to incorporating high-quality fresh fruit in its specials.
For its first surprise of the season, co-owner and chef Max Crask drove to Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and brought back a truckload of fresh strawberries. From now until supplies run out, visitors can choose from four festive options featuring the plump red fruit: strawberry ice cream (also available dairy-free), strawberry sorbet, a strawberry-shortcake sundae and the "Ponchatoula Sunrise" -- a strawberry sherbet with tequila and jalapenos.
So what is a dog-friendly ice? "Sticky Charlie Doggie Ices," named after Crask's Australian cattle dog, features sweet potato, yogurt, peanut butter and anchovy. The sale of each pre-portioned frozen treat benefits a cause for paws: 50 percent of the proceeds go directly to Stray Rescue of St. Louis.
From now through Ices' one-year anniversary this summer, when the Crasks hope to roll out a new food truck named Agnes, visitors will find plenty of exciting reasons to stop in. But hey, don't just take our word for it: