Big chill: Ice cream shops go upscale

One of my favorite things about summer is ice cream. Nothing is so satisfying on a sweltering evening as the cool sweetness of a soft-serve strawberry sundae or a scoop of cookies and cream in a sugar cone. 
 This summer, we’ve discovered some brand new sweet shops to add to our list of favorites. Newest among these is Caldo & Freddo’s, which serves up Italian Gelato in Seminole Square since October. The name means “hot and cold” in Italian, and I’m looking forward to cooler weather when I can try out the dizzying array of hot chocolates and teas along with the usual coffee shop varieties of espresso drinks.
For now, though, the focus is on a most interesting assortment of cold confections whipped up fresh and preservative-free right on the premises. There are 32 choices in the case at any one time… flavors like tiramisu, bubbliscious, coconut, and the shockingly good cinnamon, along with classic favorites and at least 10 dairy-free sorbets.
Having manned the scoop at his uncle’s Baskin Robbins shop for a number of years, Jeff Turner decided the ice cream business was in his blood. So when Thirty-One Flavors closed a while back, he set out to create his own shop on 29 North. Dips and Sips has been around for a little more than a year, also offering both coffee and ice cream. Turner’s case features 26 standard favorites, along with six additional seasonal and specialty flavors like pumpkin in the fall and peppermint stick at Christmas time. And dig this: Wednesday is BYOB day… if you bring your own banana, you’ll get a dollar off a banana split.
Our third discovery is only new to us; Arch’s has been serving up frozen yogurt on the Corner and at their Ivy Road location for years. The folks behind the counter are eager to assert that their six flavors of soft-serve— two of which are non-dairy, non-fat, and just nine calories per ounce— are healthier than ice cream. But it’s the Archers— those frosty concoctions of yogurt mixed with cookies, candies, nuts, fruits, and any other tasty thing you want to throw in— that keep everyone coming back for more.
 So with so many yummy options, there’s really no reason to suffer from the heat… no matter what season it is.

Caldo & Freddo is in Seminole Square. 975-3314. Dips & Sips is in Seminole Commons on Rt. 29 north near Airport Road. 984-0028. Arch’s has two locations: 2218 Ivy Road, 979-ARCH; and behind Baja Bean on the Corner, 984-ARCH.

Read more on: caldo & freddo