We added homemade vegan ice cream to our menu last week. It’s creamy and sweet, with a gentle key lime tang and hints of mango. But—as usual—the story behind it is the best part.
“[It’s] homemade, from scratch,” manager Louis Hanson begins.
“Made from a vision Louis had,” fellow manager Jeff Petcoff adds. Those two are like an old married couple. But Louis isn’t finished yet.
“…while cursing Tom for buying an ice cream machine,” Louis explains. “and realizing we had to do SOMETHING with it.”
Indeed, this year’s been dubbed The Year of the Auction. As the owner of the Duluth Grill, Tom Hanson has both vision for the future and access to the company credit card. That’s a potent mix—sort of like gunpowder and a spark. Here’s a small sample of this year’s purchases:
1) twenty racks for glasses
2) an Aunt Jemima rag doll
3) a sixteen-foot hood system that took four people to unload from the truck
4) many, many antique lamps
5) an old metal scuba diving helmet a la Jacques Cousteau
6) Not one, but two paella pans. For thirty.
“You could sled down a hill with a friend in that thing,” Jeff says.
But back to the ice cream. One of Tom’s many auction acquisitions was an ice cream maker, and its first official contribution to our menu is the Avocado-Coconut Sorbet. With fresh, creamy avocado and coconut milk for a base, it has the same rich mouth-feel of a dairy dessert. Key lime and mango give it a tropical flavor. You may not be able to fly to Cancun this winter, but at least you can taste it from here.
People are responding well to the $3.50 dish, and brainstorming is under way for new ice cream flavors. Future vegan options may include a straightforward coconut sorbet, and we’re looking at adding regular ice cream too. Flavors under consideration range from vanilla to bacon maple to cardamom and local apricots. With so many options, the future is open wide—and there’s no telling what creative flavors will ultimately make the cut.
“It’s hard to say,” Louis says. “We can do whatever we want.”Tweet