HER EATS

SNOW CONES IN THE SPA CITY

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Contents - Story and pho­tog­ra­phy by Lorien E. Dahl

Since the early 1900s, Amer­i­cans have been cool­ing down in sum­mer­time heat with the icy treats known as snow cones or shaved ice. In the Spa City, res­i­dents can choose from stands lo­cated in nearly every part of town — each of­fer­ing a mul­ti­tude of syrup com­bi­na­tions to al­low for cre­ations from the most ba­sic cherry or grape, to the more ex­otic and ex­per­i­men­tal.

Trends across Hot Springs in­clude the fla­vor fa­vorite Tiger's Blood, which is a blend fea­tur­ing berry and a hint of co­conut, and the Home­made Ice Cream se­lec­tion, that gives a richer taste with the ad­di­tion of both sweet­ened con­densed and evap­o­rated milks.

Though most stands close for the sea­son when tem­per­a­tures start to drop, there's no short­age of op­por­tu­nity to visit dur­ing Au­gust's heat.

• The Frigid Frog Shaved Ice, at 3684 Malvern Road in the Lake­side Flea Mar­ket shop­ping cen­ter, has been owned by Suzanne and Bren­nan Her­ron for four years.

They boast more than 80 fla­vors, plus nine sugar-free op­tions. He said their big­gest seller is Straw­berry Cheese­cake, and unique fla­vors in­clude Pur­ple Peo­ple Eater, a mix of Blue Rasp­berry and Cherry, and Orchid Vanilla Magic.

Work­ers can turn any treat into a “Supreme,” by be­gin­ning with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bot­tom, then adding shaved ice.

Their cream syrup hides a few se­cret in­gre­di­ents within the milk slurry, and he said it's so tasty, some cus­tomers or­der it as the only fla­vor for their shaved ice.

The Frigid Frog also makes party pack or­ders of 10 or more. Those in­ter­ested can call 501-802-0788 to dis­cuss op­tions.

The own­ers pro­vide treats at a num­ber of char­ity events, and also help out dur­ing func­tions for schools and or­ga­ni­za­tions within the com­mu­nity.

Open through the end of Au­gust, hours are 3:30-8:30 p.m. Mon­day-Thurs­day, 12:30-8:30 p.m. Fri­day and Satur­day, and 2-7 p.m. Sun­day.

• One of the more vis­i­ble stands, be­cause of its lo­ca­tion at 3804 Cen­tral Ave. on the First Church of the Nazarene lawn, is Po­lar Freeze Shaved Ice, for­merly known as Get Real Chill.

Pas­tor Jay Vestal over­sees its op­er­a­tion, and he said the trailer got a new wrap de­sign and un­der­went a name change dur­ing the first week of Au­gust.

They've been serv­ing up cold con­coc­tions for nearly eight years at that lo­ca­tion, and use pro­ceeds to ben­e­fit the church's in­ter­na­tional mis­sions and youth ac­tiv­i­ties. Sales also sup­port the Tues­day night meal of­fered to the needy at Faith Pointe Min­istries, on Broad­way Street.

Sum­mer­time hours are noon to 10 p.m. Mon­day-Satur­day. When school starts, the stand will be open from 5-9 p.m. on week­days, and noon to 9 p.m. on Satur­days.

• Gourmet Sno-Balls, at 623 Car­pen­ter Dam Road, is owned by Stephen and Amy Gar­ri­son.

They have 38 syrups for end­less com­bi­na­tions, and three ro­tat­ing sugar-free op­tions. He said their most unique is the Sweet Tart fla­vor, and they also have the add-ons of a sour spray or caramel cream to tan­ta­lize peo­ple's taste buds even fur­ther.

This is the stand's eighth year of busi­ness, and they’ll be open from 2-9 p.m. daily un­til La­bor Day.

• Bombers Shaved Ice, at 1428 Air­port Road in the front lot of Hawg's Pizza Pub, is co-owned by Jeff Scott and Tim Kil­lian.

Their va­ri­ety of fla­vors come from more than 60 base syrups, and Scott said his em­ploy­ees can make any treat sugar-free, by spe­cial re­quest.

This is the stand's sec­ond sea­son to be open, and cus­tomers keep them busiest in late evening.

Scott ex­plained that shaved ice is fluffy and fine, while snow cones are more like tiny ice pel­lets.

Bombers has ser­vice un­til 9 p.m., and ac­cepts Visa, MasterCard, Dis­cover and Amer­i­can Ex­press.

• The new­est ad­di­tion to the area is New Or­leans Snow­balls, lo­cated at 250 Park Ave. in the Quar­ters Cafe park­ing lot.

Own­ers Danna and Paul Strozyk opened the stand in June, and she said they're en­joy­ing get­ting to know both res­i­dents and vis­i­tors.

They have more than 40 syrups, and their spe­cialty is Stuffed Snow­balls. For these, cus­tomers choose their sweet­ened ice fla­vor, which is lay­ered on the bot­tom and top of a vanilla or choco­late ice cream scoop, then topped with sweet­ened cream, marsh­mal­low fluff or choco­late syrup.

Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day through Sun­day in the sum­mer, with later open­ing when school starts and through Oc­to­ber.

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