The ice cream sandwich has made a comeback of late, going from the forgotten section of grocery-store freezers to being featured prominently on dessert menus. What used to simply be vanilla ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies has been elevated to myriad flavors of sorbets and gelatos, and the cookie has evolved into red velvet and snickerdoodles. Here are five places to taste the new generation this summer.
Art of Flavors
The fantastic gelato here showcases unique varieties such as pear and Gorgonzola, bread pudding and foie gras with rosemary. But you can take it a step further with a gelato sandwich, which is taken literally—they stuff a soft roll with Italian ice cream, then flatten it in a panini press. Consider the Siciliano, a combination of ricotta gelato, pistachios, candied fruit and some chocolate bits. (Sound like a cannoli yet?) The gelato stays nice and chill while the bread gets all toasty on the outside. If that’s not singing to you, there are four other options of just-as-interesting flavor combos. $7, 1616 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Suite 130, 702-676-1027.
The newest dairy-peddler on the Strip churns its own ice cream and sorbet in-house. BLVD Creamery’s 24 flavors come from a rotating list that includes such inspired flavor combinations as Suds Sorbet (made with Shock Top beer) and the BTA (an ice cream made from avocado, oven-roasted tomatoes and bacon). After making that decision, you get to choose the vehicle: cookies, doughnuts, waffles or brownies. Starting at $4, Monte Carlo, 702-730-6900, MonteCarlo.com.
Found under the “Happy Endings” section of the menu, the Nutella Squeeze is nothing like what you’d expect an ice cream sandwich to look like. Think French Napoleon: long and layered, with chocolate wafers rather than a round, stout cookie sandwich, and the Nutella ice cream in the middle is lighter. Chocolate whipped cream and toasted, caramelized hazelnuts finish off everything with lots of texture and crunch. You’ll definitely be using a knife and fork to eat this one. $9, MGM Grand, 702-891-3222, MGMGrand.com.
The restaurant in Paris Las Vegas offers a classic ice cream sandwich, made with chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough ice cream ($11), while the Town Square shop has six varieties, including bananas Foster and mudslide ($7). If you’d like more options, step over to the Sugar Factory store in Paris for the build-your-own ice cream sandwich bar. Here you can combine up to nine cookie flavors, including brownies and fortune cookies, and whimsical ice cream flavors such as peanut butter and jelly, and pink lemonade sorbet. You can stack your sandwich as high as you like. Starting at $5, SugarFactory.com.
This new spot is dedicated solely to the ice cream sandwich, but rather than calling it that, Sweet Addiction sells the treat under the guise of cookies and ice cream, with a variety of each to customize to your liking. They bake cookies on premises, with a dozen flavors (plus two gluten-free) that include snickerdoodle, mint chocolate chip and oatmeal butterscotch. Pick up to three scoops of Thrifty (possibly the only ice cream brand with a cult following), choosing from more than 25 flavors, such as mocha almond fudge and birthday cake. $5.25-$7.25, 5165 S. Fort Apache Rd., 702-570-6993; 2991 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Henderson, 702-527-9244, SweetAddictionLV.com.