Every week, I ask my colleagues for the very best thing they ate recently. I love hearing what food and drinks people are excited about. This week, I wanted to know how our food team is getting through the unrelenting heat, and unsurprisingly, the answer was cold drinks and frozen concoctions. If you’re looking for ways to survive the rest of summer without melting, here are the best things we ate and drank to stay cool.
Espresso popsicle from Cafe Duro
This is a grown person’s popsicle. And don’t we need more of those? Cafe Duro’s frozen espresso treat is bitter and satisfying, not some saccharine thing that’ll leave you feeling guilty. The top is coated in cocoa nibs and chocolate croquant, making for crunchy bites as you start. Then there’s the jolt of espresso ice cream — great any time of day, even at breakfast. (Cuz I’ve done it.) The popsicle has chocolate orbs hidden inside the creamy bottom layer.
Cafe Duro is at 2804 Greenville Ave., Dallas. Espresso popsicles cost $5. cafe-duro.com.
Affogato from Botolino Gelato Artigianale
I’m a sucker for hot espresso drinks. But in this heat, I get my fix via a cool Italian dessert: affogato, which means “drowned.” Traditionally, it’s made by pouring a shot of espresso over vanilla gelato, effectively drowning the scoop. The espresso melts some of the gelato, creating a coffee-flavored cream to scoop up with bites of the gelato. Botolino’s version is more decadent than the original. A sweet coffee liqueur joins the espresso, and a sprinkling of “burnt” chocolate bits lends a crunchy counterpoint. It’s a heavenly dessert. Although you can get it to-go, I prefer eating it at the store (yes, I sit outside), where it’s served in a pretty glass bowl with an ice cream spoon. You may start out spooning it, but there’s no shame in drinking those last few tablespoons. —Tina Danze, contributing writer
Botolino Gelato Artigianale has two locations in Dallas – one on Lower Greenville and one at Preston Road and Royal Lane. botolino.com.
Golden Opportunity Kolsch from Peticolas Brewing
In his 1945 novel Cannery Row, the great John Steinbeck noted “there’s nothing in the world like the first taste of beer.” I can only assume he felt this way after cracking open a cold can during a summer trip through Texas. If Steinbeck were driving through Texas with his dog Charley in the summer of 2022 instead of 1960, as detailed in his classic travelogue Travels with Charley, he would’ve likely been thrilled by the news that Peticolas Brewing finally sells its beers in four-pack cans throughout Dallas-Fort Worth. I’m guessing that he, like I did a few days ago, would’ve reached for a pack of the brewer’s beloved Velvet Hammer imperial red ale, as well as the Golden Opportunity Kolsch. The East of Eden author would’ve loved the hefty Velvet Hammer for evening sipping, but if he were stopping to set up camp in the middle of the day, it’s the Golden Opportunity he would’ve taken as his refreshment.
Offering a relatively low 4.6 percent ABV, this Kolsch brew is just so darn chuggable. It’s a crispy boy with just a touch of honey-like sweetness during the clean-finishing aftertaste. It helped me beat the heat this weekend and I can’t help but think Steinbeck would’ve let Charley have a little nip to do the same. – Kelly Dearmore, contributing writer
Peticolas Brewing is at 1301 Pace Street, Dallas, TX. peticolasbrewing.com.
Frozen Gin & Tonic at Loro
It’s too hot to do anything right now besides sit in a pool or inside with the air conditioning blasting. But I’ve found that one of the quickest ways to cool myself down this summer is with a frozen cocktail. Those are easy to come by at bars across town, but my favorite of the bunch is the Frozen Gin & Tonic at Loro. This ice-cold, tart refreshment is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s been on the menu since the Aaron Franklin-Tyson Cole collaboration opened last year. Hai Hospitality beverage director Jason Kosmas describes it as a gin and tonic mixed with fresh limeade, and said it reminds him of being a kid and opening a can of Minute Maid concentrate. “It’s like the most adult drink and the most nostalgic drink at the same time,” he says. The drink is pre-batched and ready to go, which shortens the wait time between the slushie machine and your face. When it’s 103 degrees outside, every second counts. – Kevin Gray, contributing writer
Loro is at 1812 N. Haskell Avenue, Dallas. loroeats.com/dallas.
Frozen bellini from Hudson House
Every Texan’s nightmare during the summer months is for their air conditioning unit to break. Unfortunately for me last weekend, that nightmare became a very hot reality. After an hour of playing DIY handyman and one breaker switch later, my housemates and I were craving a well-deserved drink. The remedy: a frozen bellini from Hudson House. This peach drink is the perfect blend of childhood nostalgia and the perks of adulthood. It has a tangy peach flavor with subtle notes of vodka in each sip, but be careful — it packs a punch. Each drink has a deceivingly generous amount of vodka and is topped off with a Grand Marnier floater. After two of these frozen bellinis, all of your problems will be solved. – BreyAnn Sands, reporting fellow
Hudson House has four locations in Dallas and Irving. hudsonhousehp.com.
Bee Happy Latte from The Berni Bean Coffee Co.
I was born and raised in Texas, so hot is subjective. But nothing prepared me for the temperatures we experienced over the last two weeks. To help stave off the rising temps, I kept cool by treating myself with iced lattes from a quaint local coffee shop in downtown Dallas called The Berni Bean Coffee Co. It’s a woman-owned Costa Rican coffee shop that opened a little over a year ago. The aesthetic is tropical-rainforest-meets-java-café and they sell delicious baked goods like biscotto, croissants and avocado toast. The drink that is keeping me sane in this heat is the iced Bee Happy Latte. It’s a strong brew with honey and notes of pistachio. The coffee isn’t masked by overly sweet or creamy add-ins, which means you can still taste the exceptionally brewed coffee. – Deah Berry Mitchell, contributing writer
The Berni Bean Coffee Co. is at 400 St. Paul Street, Dallas, TX. thebernibean.com.