The summer is hot and miserable; why not stay inside and eat a bunch of sugar to make it all better?

Cookie Dough Bliss
(241 Harrison Ave.)
Cookie Dough Bliss is way out in Lakeview, in a rather charming grandma-style 1960s brick ranch house. They have maybe the weirdest food concept I’ve encountered in awhile (maybe ever?). It’s set up like an ice cream shop with little tubs of flavors arranged behind a glass case, but instead of ice cream, it’s cookie dough. Yep, just raw cookie dough. I thought it would be cookie dough in ice cream; but no, it’s just dough. You can get it in either a cup or a cone. I sampled the unicorn and animal cookie flavors, but ultimately decided to get the classic chocolate chip. My dining companion ordered triple chocolate. The unicorn was straight-up bizarre: it tasted vaguely like a generic sugary cereal. The animal cookie tasted like vanilla and nothing else. The chocolate chip was exactly what I expected: chocolate chip cookie dough. The triple chocolate tasted like raw brownie batter. So the flavors were all fine; but y’all, it is a true experiment in decadence to eat an entire scoop of cookie dough. I only made it about halfway through the scoop before it became too much. I appreciated the grainy texture of the dough—little sugar crystals contrasting with the otherwise whipped texture of the dough—but it was just strange. Like, cookie dough is fine, but I don’t love cookie dough enough to want to eat giant globs of it. But if you happen to be a person who habitually eats half the tube of cookie dough before it makes it into the oven, this could be just the place for you. 7/10 Experiments in Decadence

Sweet Handkraft
(3363 Severn Ave.)
A coworker tipped me off to Sweet Handkraft and I’m so glad she did! Y’all, this is gonna be my new spot. Sweet Handkraft is in an unassuming little strip mall several blocks away from Lakeside, but it’s bright and airy inside, with a cute neon sign and lots of fake plants (which I always find charming. What can I say? I enjoy artifice). They have cookies, ice cream, and macarons—plus macaron ice cream sandwiches! The flavors are pretty fun: pandan (a palm tree that tastes like vanilla), red bean matcha, honey lavender, goat cheese and fig, etc. I got a half dozen macarons and a Vietnamese iced coffee-flavored macaron ice cream sandwich. My dining companion ordered a Thai tea macaron ice cream sandwich and two different cookies: chocolate chip and triple chocolate. Only after we ordered did we realize that one of us should have also gotten a bubble waffle cone or tried the ice cream donut combo. Whomp whomp—next time! For macarons, I ordered Fruity Pebbles, Earl Grey, pandan, birthday cake, Cookie Monster, and ube (purple sweet potato), and took a small nibble of each one to try them out. One of my dad’s girlfriends always had ube ice cream in the freezer, so that one was especially nostalgia-inducing for me. The Cookie Monster was obviously their version of cookies and cream (which is usually a ride-or-die for me), but my favorite turned out to be pandan! It was so good and creamy. Also, none of the macarons were especially sweet, which was really interesting. The Vietnamese iced coffee macaron sandwich (basically two giant macarons with ice cream in the middle) was excellent. It really tasted like Vietnamese iced coffee. Again, it managed to not be too sugary somehow. The Thai tea sandwich tasted like Thai tea, which I don’t actually like, but my companion loved it. I had to wait until the next day to try the cookies because I’d ordered so much, but they held up really nicely. The gentleman behind the counter told us to warm the cookies up before eating them, which I totally didn’t do. But it didn’t matter because they were perfect anyway. I’m super hype to go back; and a lot of the macarons were gluten free, so I can drag my gf friends there too! 10/10 Fake Plants

Roulé Rolled Ice Cream
(5029 Lapalco Blvd. / 5618 Jefferson Hwy.)
I’ve been aware of the whole rolled ice cream fad, but had managed to avoid it until now. A milky mixture is poured onto a super cold metal pan, manipulated and smushed around, spread thin, then rolled up into little cylinders. The whole thing felt like a novelty, and not in a way that appealed to me. But, whatever, I’ll try anything once! Let me tell you right off the bat that the Roulé I visited is in a massive strip mall in Marrero and does not need me hyping their spot, because they were slammed on a completely random Thursday night. I waited in line for roughly a half-hour before ordering the Sweet, Salty & Sassy; my dining companion ordered the Chocolate Lovers Dream. Sweet, Salty & Sassy ended up being a caramel ice cream with pink Himalayan salt and pretzels mixed in. I actually quite liked the flavor but the texture was very much not for me. My dining companion pointed out that it’s kind of like play dough, and she’s right. It’s chewy and gummy and just not pleasant at all. The Chocolate Lovers was an odd one flavor-wise: It didn’t actually taste like chocolate; it was just sweet. I can definitely see why Roulé is as popular as it is, but I can’t get past the texture. Hey, at least I tried, right? 5/10 Manipulated Milky Mixtures

Shake Therapy
(624 S. Carrollton Ave.)
Shake Therapy is a cute little spot located next door to The Camellia Grill, inside the old Cold Stone Creamery location on S. Carrollton. It’s a milkshake bar, so you choose an ice cream, an outer trim, trim garnish, a drizzle, a grand garnish, and a grander garnish. Confused? I was! OK, the ice cream part is self-explanatory, but the rest was a little more difficult. The outer trim gets smeared around the edge of the glass, the trim garnish then gets stuck to that. Outer trim options: Nutella, marshmallow fluff, caramel, cookie butter, and peanut butter. I won’t list all the trim garnish options but think along the lines of sprinkles, cereal, waffle cone bits, chocolate chips, etc. Onto the drizzle, which is a sauce that lines the interior of the cup: strawberry, raspberry, caramel, etc. Then whipped cream gets added and the grand garnish goes on top of that; options include pretzels, nuts, gumballs, gummy bears, and CHEESY POOFS (yes, you read that right). On top of that, you get a grander garnish: Swedish Fish, lollipops, gummy frogs, pop tarts, etc. It’s a lot to take in and Shake Therapy doesn’t have any pre-designed options on the menu, so you’re forced to choose all of these options separately. It was hard for me not to lean into my baser instincts and order a bubble gum-flavored milkshake topped with peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, cheesy poofs, and a lollipop, or a “holiday” flavored milkshake (holiday is pumpkin and cinnamon) topped with Nutella, raspberry sauce, pop tarts, gumballs, and a pretzel rod. Like, if given the opportunity to go weird, I tend to. But in the interest of getting something actually edible—and semi-inspired by my Roulé order—I ordered a salted caramel shake, cookie butter trim, Cookie Crisp cereal trim garnish, caramel drizzle, pretzels, and sugar wafer cookies. And it was fine. The consistency of the milkshake was thinner than I expected but all the flavors I chose went well together. But it frankly always annoys me when I’m forced to choose every element of a dish. You’re the chef—you decide what goes well together! The lady behind the counter was very nice, and told me most people are overwhelmed with the variety, so just let her know if I needed help—which was a welcome offer but seriously, they just need to give people some pre-designed shake options! They also desperately need signage; I almost left because I couldn’t tell if they were open. There’s no open/closed sign, there’s nothing stating their hours, and the door was seemingly locked (the gentleman at the gaming store next door helped me figure out how to get in). It’s a fun idea, but Shake Therapy has been open for a couple years and it feels like they still haven’t gotten their kinks worked out yet, which is puzzling. 6/10 Cheesy Poofs | illustrations Ben Claassen III

Verified by MonsterInsights