The Spring term sun is here, which means lounging on one of the many campus lawns is suddenly the fashionable thing to do. And what better way to enjoy the springtime heat than with a refreshing ice cream treat. While Prince Pucklers is the established location when it comes to off-campus ice cream, a new option has emerged for students craving their frozen fix on campus.
Dip It, a pop-up ice cream and dessert shop, opened for business in the EMU on April 10, 2018. Occupying the space previously filled by Red Wagon Creamery, Dip It takes a more customizable, niche approach to desert snacks. Customers can begin their order with a vanilla ice cream bar, an ice cream sandwich (flavors: chocolate, birthday cake or strawberry), a frozen banana or a rice krispy-style bar. Once dipped in chocolate, an array of toppings are available: various styles of sprinkles, almonds, toffee bits, chocolate chips and more.
The Emerald investigated whether Dip It has the legs to become a go-to campus staple.
A simple operation behind the counter produces an aesthetically pleasing delicacy. Each item is presented in a cleverly designed tray and each tray has a notch taken out of its side to allow the stick protruding from the treat to rest flat. This allows the chocolate dip to dry and harden without dripping down the side of the bar or sandwich.
This subtle but ingenious detail also allows for any additional toppings to set within the chocolate membrane of the bar or sandwich. Expect Dip It items draped with colorful sprinkles to pop up on Instagram stories soon.
Ice cream taste can be difficult to evaluate as ice cream is made and served in different ways. For instance, eating soft serve ice cream from Dairy Queen is inherently a different experience than having a cone from Prince Pucklers.
Dip It’s ice cream is decent, but certainly, nothing to write home about. The vanilla bar is, well, vanilla. It complements the chocolate dip, but ultimately the dip is not enough to distract from the flat, neutral flavor.
The ice cream sandwich is much more appetizing — the custom toasted almond topping deserves some credit. Nuts and ice cream is often a lazy, forced pairing. But in this case, the smoky, earthy flavor of almonds work excellent with the chocolate dip and sandwich texture.
An ice cream sandwich of any flavor costs $4.50, a vanilla bar costs $3.50, a frozen banana costs $2.50 and a krispy bar costs $2.00. Chocolate dip plus one additional topping is free, two additional toppings are 50 cents, three additional toppings is 75 cents.
Dip It is not a value play, as the portion sizes are moderate. But for the convenience of location and rapid service, the price range is fair.
Ultimately, patrons should approach Dip It with an open mind and low expectations. It won’t change your life, but it might take that 80-degree spring term Friday from good to great.
Located on the basement floor of the EMU, Dip It is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Follow Franklin Lewis on Twitter (@flewis_1)