If I’m being totally honest, I’m still mourning last year’s loss of Betty Ringer Ice Cream. What owner Stephen Smith was doing with cream and sugar was special. His unique, bold flavors were intriguing, tasty, and often a little risky. So with the arrival of Dallas’ newest ice cream venture, my hopes for an heir to the ice cream throne were understandably high.
Baldo’s Ice Cream recently started scooping at 6401 Hillcrest Ave., just across the street from the SMU campus. The location feels appropriate coming from three SMU grads looking to bring the highest quality ice cream to Dallas. With the addition of local chef and artist, Aldo Sandoval, the team embarked on a mission to offer ice creams that provide customers with a fresh take on a classic treat, perhaps pushing them outside of their comfort zones, and making their overall experience (as they say) “anything but vanilla.”
They make all of their products in-house, daily, from scratch, and in small batches. It’s not the easy way, but it’s the right way. And the attention to detail pays off in the end.
The interior of the shop is bright, crisp, white, and clean. The staff are helpful, cheery, quick to offer suggestions, and happy to provide samples as you attempt to narrow your order. But truthfully, you just need to ask for the ice cream flight. You could do the three-cone flight, but I’m suggesting you throw all caution to the wind and order the six-cone flight. It allows you to be adventurous, try some interesting flavors, and not be entirely committed to one flavor. And it will only put you back $13.
Flavors are divided into a few sections, the more familiar “Vintage” flavors such as cookies and cream, chocolate, strawberry, salted caramel, and vanilla. Then there’s the more interesting “Why Not?” section. This is where you should focus most of your attention. This is where Baldo’s tantalizes tasters looking for an extraordinary ice cream experience. There’s flavors such as olive oil, spiced pear, cinnamon cayenne, peppermint bark, winter spruce, and cranberry cheesecake. In creating my first flight here, I simply told my scooper to give me six “Why Nots,” without even sampling them. I was not disappointed.
The flavors are bold but not overwhelming. Winter spruce, being the most interesting, was a wonderful addition to my sampling, and (luckily) was nothing like licking a car air freshener. It comes sprinkled with tart cranberries and it’s lovely, folks. Cinnamon cayenne is equipped with a gentle spicy finish, spiced pear is sweet and fragrant, and olive oil comes with a whiff of orange peel. There was not a disappointing flavor among the group. I should also note that their mini-cones are spectacular—crispy, toasty, and fragile.
Baldo’s also puts a good amount of attention into their coffee and tea lineup. You’ll find your standard hots and colds in the form of drips, pour-overs, espresso, macchiato, cold brews, and iced coffees.
I, for one, welcome Baldo’s to our city and I’m grateful for their willingness to offer some non-traditional ice cream options. It may be February, the outdoor temperatures may be toying with us, but there’s never a bad time for good ice cream.