Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Best Friend Friday No. 24: Rita's Italian Ice

First off, I just need to say that I was so close to titling this, "Ice Ice Baby" because so many icy things were going on, but I chickened out at the last minute. Nothing against Vanilla Ice though.

Anyway, the morning of Friday, March 20 was spent anxiously waiting for Lauren to finish her last final of the quarter. We had been planning to go to Rita's Italian Ice once she finished her test to celebrate the first day of Spring by getting a free flavored ice. Apparently Rita's is pretty popular around here, but I had never heard of it back in California so I was excited to try it. Rita's closes for the Winter and reopens the first day of Spring; I guess some people don't want to eat frozen treats in the cold, but I'm not one of those people! Lauren and I have walked past their establishment several times before, and their colorful building has been taunting me to go in. We had been pretty pumped to go to Rita's, but then we found out that snow was on the forecast for Friday. Lauren was hesitant to still go, but I wasn't going to let the snow deter me. 4.5 miles walking in the freezing snow has nothing on me!

To be truthful, I didn't actually know what Italian ice was. I wasn't sure if it was going to be snow cone/shaved ice-like, or more like Merlino's/Hagen's which I have enjoyed countless times back in Sacramento. I was definitely hoping for the latter, but I would've been content with either. To my amazement Rita's was pretty similar to the thick slushie-like Merlino's, except without chunks of fruit. From what I can gather, it seems like they have a dozen or so different flavors everyday. Looking on their website, they have pages and pages of different flavors, but I'm not sure how often they are rotated.
Lauren quickly selected the mango Italian ice and I picked the pineapple. We had the option of adding custard on top for $1, but since it's not vegan, we just stuck with the Italian ice. But it I weren't vegan, I'd be all over that custard! It looked more than delicious swirled on top. Even without the mouthwatering custard, my pineapple Italian ice was delicious, just like I expected! As part of our marathon training, Lauren and I have long runs every Saturday, and we usually find ourselves headed in the direction to Rita's. Lauren brought up the idea of planning on running route so that we end at Rita's. That way, in the hotter Summer months, we can walk back home with a cold treat as we rest our legs and replenish all those lost calories ;)

Despite it snowing and being pelted in the face with huge snowflakes (at that point are they really snowflakes though?), our freezing jaunt around the city was completely worth it for this sweet treat! I may have been an icicle when I got back home, but at least my taste buds were satisfied!