Photos by Justin Fox Burks
The Tornado packs quite a punch: mango, pineapple, cucumber, lime, jicama, strawberries, and a straw coated in candy and hot chili powder.
The words “ICE CREAM” are painted across the front windows of Los Jarochos, a paleteria y neveria (popsicle shop and ice cream parlor) located at 4900 Summer Avenue, and owner Carlos Pavon makes good on the looming promise of finally cooling down in this Memphis heat. House-made flavors start at $2.50 for a generous scoop. We tried mint chocolate chip, strawberry cheesecake, and caramel pecan and found them to be balanced and not overly sweet, which is a definite win in our dessert playbook.
However, ice cream isn’t the half of it at Los Jarochos. We also chose the pine nut popsicle ($2) or paleta to try. It was creamy like it was made with the same base as the ice cream, but it was a blush color, and hidden inside was a palm
full of toasted pine nuts. We can’t wait to try some of the other flavors of paletas. In addition, the Choco Banana in the same case looked good enough to make the Bluths proud.
We were blown away by the Tornado ($4.75), which was a cup overflowing with mango, pineapple, jicama, cucumber, and strawberries all spiked with Tajin, a spicy chili powder, lime, and then doused in carbonated water. The whole thing is garnished with candied peanuts, kiwi, an orange slice, a cocktail umbrella, and a straw that’s coated in candy and hot chilies. It’s one of the best things we’ve ever eaten, and it’s difficult to place into a category. I guess we’ll call it a snack, so that way we can have it more than once a day if we want.
Chamoyadas is another sweet, spicy, salty treat that looks like a dessert but skews savory. It’s a rustic popsicle shape formed in a cup by freezing blended ripe mangos. It’s doused in chili powder and served with a spoon. It’s fiery red and orange, messy, and kind of addictive.
Pavon told us that the idea for the ice cream shop came from a family business they had back in Mexico.
Here, the Los Jarochos ice cream shop is housed in a small permanent building and is a companion to Pavon’s mom’s food truck of the same name. The truck, which serves everything from big burritos to Mexican hamburgers, is parked outside, and the two places share a covered outdoor patio space.
If you don’t speak much Spanish, you’ll have plenty of questions about the menu: What’s a Mangonadas?
What are Salchipapas? What will I get if I order Gansito Polar? Based on our experience, Pavon will be happy to take time to help you understand each item. He may even show you, like he shared with us, cell phone photos of his latest wild creations with pineapple cups and in-the-works cold drinks that look like exploding fruit sculptures.
We’ll definitely be back for the Tornado and the paletas ... and also to find out what the heck Cheese Cheetos are because they sound pretty great, too.
Los Jarochos, 4900 Summer Avenue (901-827-9261)
Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence