I had planned to fill my lunchtime with the cheeziness of a 79 cent Cumby's chill zone frozen beverage (= faux ICEE), but the machine was broken.... bummer.
As I was headed back east, I remembered something: The new Coco's Tropical Ice. You see, in central mass, we're still waiting for Rita's to really infiltrate our state (though technically there is one in Salem).Until then, what's an italian ice lovin' person to do? Iunno, because I don't really have any italian ice lovin' friends in the area... hehehehehe, sorry, with an ice cream stand in every town, sometimes you forget about other frozen treats.
Ok, quick lesson: Now if you want to be literal, gelati is the plural of gelato. Now somewhere along the line, the term "gelati" was tweaked by Rita's and others to mean a layered/mixed dessert of italian ice and soft serve. Weird... you know, I really thought I had tried Turkey Hill's Duetto Gelati at some point but I can't find the review.
Back to Coco's. First off, in an effort to drum up business, there's a big sign out front that says free samples. Simple marketing, because you come in and see the reasonable looking prices on the wall and realize you have to buy something. There are currently 12 flavors in all. Rita's may have 33 flavors, but they don't have Coco's "chocolate peanut butter" or "cookies n' cream" now do they? I actually tried a sample of the chocolate peanut butter and while I expected the worst, it wasn't bad at all. In the right mood I could definitely be tempted to try a full serving.
Being a traditionalist, and remembering my slush puppy filled youth, I picked cherry italian ice for my purchase. Now the very nice lady asked me if I was willing to try a bit of chocolate softserve on top because the cherry italian ice and chocolate soft serve is what makes up their "chocolate covered cherry" gelati flavor. Having never tried this combo before, I will admit to being a little... unsure. It's just not something I would think to do. Even now, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I'm not disgusted or anything, I'm just debating how much I like the combo.
Let me note that the italian ice they serve is in a semi liquid state, which is cool in my books. The problem with things like PhillySwirl is that I don't have the patience to let it melt (not even sure if I am suppose to let it melt). No problem here at Coco's, you get to dig right in. (and if you are on the run, it means you can drink it)
More stuff to note: Everything is made on site and according to the writeup in the local paper, the flavors come from fresh ingredients. I will personally attest that I found a few tiny cherry bits in my italian ice.
If you want something different, or maybe if you are trying to cut back on the ice cream, why not give your local italian ice place a try and see what's on their menu. (thanks for getting to the end of the most poorly written local review ever. The point is that I will definitely be going back. I'm thinking of trying something with vanilla softserve, mmmm)