When it comes to rolled foods, I love ’em all — burritos, California rolls, crepes, enchiladas and don’t even get me started on Swiss Cake Rolls. But rolled ice cream? It just seems physically impossible. But I guess if they can get ice cream in scoop form, soft serve form, even dotted form, confectionery engineers can create a tasty treat in rolled form. And thus, we introduce you to 8 Fahrenheit.
8 Fahrenheit brings Thailand’s popular “fried” ice cream to Atlanta, where the process of making the food is just as enticing as eating the food itself. It’s almost hypnotic to watch 8 Fahrenheit’s hard-working rollers/scoopers/employees create each custom order atop the “fryer.”
So here’s how it works: A staff member pours a base liquid onto the ice-cold metal surface (holding at 8 degrees, hence the name). As of press time, 8 Fahrenheit offers five base flavors: mango, green tea, Thai tea, original (milk based, neutral) and chocolate. The liquid freezes into a creamy texture, upon which the staff member chops, mushes and prods it. At this point, he adds whatever flavors you’ve asked for and spreads the base out super-thinly across the cold surface. Then, in a process that’s part performance art/part manual labor, he uses a spatula and scrapes columns of the ice cream forward, creating multiple rolls that get picked up, placed vertically in a cup and covered in your chosen toppings.
Customers order from the always-evolving menu, which features one ice cream flavor and three toppings for $5.99. There are some clever ice cream flavors you can choose from — for example, The Green Mile (green tea with lychee), Evil Berry (original with raspberry, blueberry and blackberry) and Nesquik (chocolate with Nillas and bananas). Toppings include various fruits, whipped cream, candies and pretzels.
The orders at 8 Fahrenheit are almost too pretty to eat but, of course, all their patrons eventually do chow down … after taking the ubiquitous Instagram shot. I ordered Evil Berries topped with strawberry (what can I say, I like berries), kiwi and banana.
For the same reason you go to Benihana for stir fry, you’ll want to head to 8 Fahrenheit for dessert — it’s a show, strangely mesmerizing, as these workers create edible art atop frozen metal canvasses. In fact, some orders, like Black Humor (made with chocolate, Oreos and brownies) are a bit tongue-in-cheek, where workers will write special messages or jokes with chocolate sauce directly on the ice cream slab as people (hypnotically) watch, right before it gets rolled up and gently placed in the cardboard bowl. In fact, it’s so cool to watch that we had to include a video (below) of what the process looks like. Unfortunately, you can’t taste a video, so it’s best to see the real thing in person.
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Amanda Le and Edgar Gee, a cute couple I met while researching this story, enjoyed the new concept on a tried-and-true frozen treat. One ordered Sexy Peach (Thai tea with peach) and the other got Fifty Shades of Grey (chocolate and banana) — both said that their orders were very flavorful and cool to try.
8 Fahrenheit opened earlier this year in March along the always-growing Buford Highway. If ever there was a place to experiment with foreign flavors, cooking methods and ingredients, it’s the Buford Highway neighborhood that prides itself on its international residents and businesses that welcome visitors from all over the city.
The line at 8 Fahrenheit was out the door during summer — partly due to the heat, kids out of school and just the sheer novelty of it all. As fall approaches and school is back in session, the lines may be a little shorter but there’s no shortage of filling bellies with scrumptious, fun flavor combos. In fact, the ice cream shoppe is just getting started on new, creative additions to the line-up. Each month, they change up the flavors,and the staff has begun experimenting with liquid nitrogen (first on the must-try list: flash frozen graham crackers).
As Amanda puts it, “Part of the reason (8 Fahrenheit) is fun is because it’s like playing with your food.” We concur.
8 Fahrenheit is located at 5090 Buford Hwy., Ste. #101, Doraville, GA 30340. The hours are Monday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Friday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, call (678) 585-3818 or visit 8ficecream.com. There’s a second location in Duluth, Georgia, with more details online.
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