Get the scoop on Highland Lakes ice cream shops
After working at Nelly’s ice cream shop for two years, Maria Hernandez views making its creamy concoctions as a labor of love. Each day, she arrives at the Marble Falls shop, 1808 U.S. 281 North, with a smile and a Rolodex of memorized recipes, said manager Luz Fernandez, who is also Hernandez's niece.
“She’s there every day making all the ice cream, and she’s always got a smile on her face,” Fernandez laughed. “She’s happy, and the customers always comment on it.”
Nelly’s, a business incorporating traditional Mexican flavors into classic sundaes, is one of the many sweet shops offering Highland Lakes residents and visitors creamy, frozen desserts this summer.
Owned by Maria Valverde, Nelly’s has two locations: one at 4110 Valley View Lane in Granite Shoals and the one in Marble Falls. Fernandez and Hernandez oversee the daily operations of the Marble Falls location.
One of the shop's most popular desserts is the Tres Marias. Customers choose two scoops from the 16 unique ice cream flavors, including eggnog and blackberry cheesecake, to create a sundae topped with whipped cream, sugar wafers, and strawberry, caramel, and chocolate syrups.
For those interested in savory flavors, Fernandez suggests one of the paletas, which are Mexican popsicles made from water and cream bases with fresh fruits and other ingredients. These popsicles can be topped with chamoy, a tangy paste made from pickled fruits, adding an extra layer of flavor.
“There’s a flavor for everyone, really, and everything is homemade in the store,” Hernandez said.
A few miles away, chefs at Choccolatte’s, 807 Third St. in Marble Falls, try out different recipes for a gelato flavor using pieces of the store’s famous Pecan English Toffee. With help from assistant chef Jason Brooks, owner Steve Parsons is always looking for unique recipes to add to the gelato freezers.
One of those flavors is the shop's Twinkies gelato, which incorporates the filled cake into a vanilla base. Unless cookies are included, the homemade gelatos are gluten free.
The difference between gelato and traditional ice cream, Brooks explained, is that the former has a much lower fat content. Additionally, some ice cream mixtures include eggs, while gelato does not. These factors create a slightly different texture between the two desserts.
“It’s taken a while to perfect,” Parsons said of his homemade gelatos. “We’re always trying to think of fun, new flavors and trying them out.”
Ice cream shops in the Highland Lakes are a great way to beat the heat. Here are three other great places where you can find a variety of creamy creations to keep it cool.
208 Main St. in Marble Falls
Hours vary. Call 512-755-9117 for more information.
Stop by for your choice of more than 20 different flavors of Hershey’s brand ice cream or get a little adventurous and try some Dippin’ Dots, ice cream pellets that are flash frozen in liquid nitrogen.
300 Main St. in Marble Falls
Open 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.
Stop by for a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream on a chocolate-dipped waffle cone.
510 U.S. 281 North in Marble Falls
Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Build your own dessert at this frozen yogurt bar, which offers over 40 different flavors on a rotating basis. Add unique toppings, such as cheesecake bits and chocolate rocks, for pizzazz.
1808 U.S. 281 North in Marble Falls
4110 Valley View Lane in Granite ShoalsOpen 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-7 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday.
Nelly’s makes its own ice cream with a variety of unique and delicious flavors, including blackberry cheesecake and eggnog. The shop also features paletas, Mexican popsicles made with fresh fruits.
807 Third St. in Marble Falls
Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
Features homemade gelato, some mixed with the shop’s other speciality, homemade Pecan English Toffee. Choccolatte’s is a combined sweets and gift shop in downtown Marble Falls.
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