When summer heat parches, a cup of frozen sweetness from Jeremiah's Original Italian Ice soothes like medicine, but the outdoor temperature is irrelevant when it comes to craving the slushy concoctions of entrepreneur Jeremy Litwack.
Patrons of Jeremiah's flagship location, opened in 1996 in Winter Park (6864 Aloma Ave., 407-679-2665) continue to flock there. The drive-through setup has a throwback feel, with teen runners taking your order so it's prepared when you get to the window. (The walk-up window operates the same way.) Friday and Saturday nights feel like the '50s, with families sitting on the outdoor picnic benches, rock music blasting and all parties either in anticipation of or slurping down flavored ices with or without the signature vanilla "gelato" topping.
The most requested ices are "Cookies & Cream," (chocolaty and creamy but not too rich), strawberry and mango (they taste like real fruit) and "Tropical Paradise" (strong coconut overtones). My favorites, culled from years of tasting, are piña colada (with real pineapple bits), "Scoop Froggy Frog" (a slushy version of mint chocolate chip ice cream) and the simple lemon (no fat and full of lemon zest). Ice with gelato runs $2.55 for a small, $3.95 for a large. You can take home quarts of ice ($4.35) and gelato ($5.75), though the texture of the soft-serve gelato doesn't hold up when re-frozen.
Litwack opened the UCF store in June (12271 University Blvd., 407-277-7769) and a Maitland outlet debuted Aug. 14 in the former Edy's space (111 S. Orlando Ave., 407-599-9991). Also, there's a cart downtown every day at Central and Orange Avenues, and a cart comes to the Full Sail campus a couple of times a firstname.lastname@example.org