To say that I’m fond of the vegan ice cream at Spiral Diner would be an understatement. When I bounce up to the counter with two dollar bills, one penny, and a dime, usually counted out ahead of time, because it’s far more fun that way, I know what I want: one scoop to go of the whatever the monthly ice cream flavor is.
There is a magic in Spiral’s soy-based frozen creams, the basis of their chocolate and vanilla flavors. They achieve a smooth silkiness that’s hard to surpass, with just enough soy to be distinctive and pleasant. Their coconut milk-based strawberry is fruity and refreshing. And that’s the classic diner line-up, though each month they feature a rogue flavor as fourth.
Some month’s specials I like better than others. Rocky road did nothing for me recently, but over the past year, coconut-lime, peanut butter, and apple crumble—all comforting apple-cinnamon-spice with bits of streusel snuggled into the creamy soy base—were stupendous.
And then came Mexican hot chocolate. May is almost out, and it’s only now that I discover this. (They generally change flavors on the first Tuesday of the month.) Spring is busy—what can we say? But they’ve outdone themselves, and if I’ve dawdled, however many scoops I might get in between now and next Tuesday will only be the sweeter. The base is rich chocolate, like the thickest, most luxurious Mayan drinking chocolate in ice cream form. Cinnamon warms, cayenne gives a kick that warms the throat, and salt crystals accent with tiny salty pops like stars scattered in a night sky. It’s deep and dark and unbelievably dreamy. If chocolate and spice are what your vegan dreams are made of, take heed … and make haste.