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Ava's Italian Ice

Ava's Italian Ice
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  • Ava's Italian Ice

    Post #1 - July 2nd, 2018, 4:01 pm
    Post #1 - July 2nd, 2018, 4:01 pm Post #1 - July 2nd, 2018, 4:01 pm
    I am not sure if anything on this wonderful place has been posted yet, but I haven't been able to find one on LTH yet.

    On Western Ave, steps from the 606 has opened a new Italian Ice stand.

    Ava's Italian Ice is a sensation IMO. When one arrives there is a list of the days flavors on the whiteboard menu. Typically I would say there are at least 10, usually more, flavors available. Each of the flavors are made with organic fruit, pure cane sugar, and triple-filtered water. No artificial flavors, HFCS, etc.

    You can get sizes: Small - $3, Regular - $4, Neighborhood - $6, Flight - $8, King - $9.
    With all but the small you can mix multiple flavors. The Neighborhood size comes in a plastic cup, that if you bring it back will get you $1 off. The flight is a tray in which you can put 4 flavors. In addition, they will give you a card, with each visit regardless of purchase size they will stamp the card. After 5 visits you get a free flight. Pictures can be found of their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/avasitalianice/

    The ice is scooped and has a denser texture than Marios, and is best eaten with a spoon. I have been there multiple times already (enough to get a free flight). I have sampled many of the flavors and most of them are OUTSTANDING. The Cherry, Blueberry, Pineapple, Apricot, Lemon, Lime, Raspberry, Mango....heck pretty much everything I have tried so far, are bursting with natural flavors and are not too sweet. All of them are teeming with specks of rind or pieces of the fresh fruit they were made with. The flavors are exceptionally well balanced with none being too sweet or cloying.

    They typically post on their facebook page if they are closing because of weather, etc.

    Ava's Italian Ice
    1814 N Western Ave
    Chicago, Illinois 60647
  • Post #2 - July 5th, 2018, 12:16 pm
    Post #2 - July 5th, 2018, 12:16 pm Post #2 - July 5th, 2018, 12:16 pm
    We live less than 2 blocks from here, and it was great on our couple visits... but it seems like they've been closed half the time lately. I hope they get a handle on their operations so they're open dependably.
  • Post #3 - July 5th, 2018, 1:50 pm
    Post #3 - July 5th, 2018, 1:50 pm Post #3 - July 5th, 2018, 1:50 pm
    blipsman wrote:We live less than 2 blocks from here, and it was great on our couple visits... but it seems like they've been closed half the time lately. I hope they get a handle on their operations so they're open dependably.


    I agree, I would suggest that you check their facebook page for days when they may be closed. It has saved me a trip (from further away than 2 blocks).

    I will say that in my visits I have only seen the owners there working, no other employees/help, so on days when it is storming or raining all day and business will be slow they tend to either close early or not open.
  • Post #4 - July 16th, 2018, 10:24 am
    Post #4 - July 16th, 2018, 10:24 am Post #4 - July 16th, 2018, 10:24 am
    Thanks for getting the word out on this new Italian Ice joint! I would've never caught wind had I not seen this thread.

    I tried them out yesterday and can confidently say it's the best Italian ice (and possibly my favorite frozen dessert) I've had in the city.

    XaHyWdT.jpg Blueberry (shown) and pear (not shown) Italian ice - Regular Size ($4)


    Both the blueberry and pear flavors were very 'natural' tasting. In fact, the Italian ice at Ava's has a texture VERY reminiscent of pear, so eating the pear Italian ice was almost like eating a frozen pear smoothie.

    Hoping to try them again this week and order my two favorite flavors--watermelon and cantaloupe--since they had run out of them yesterday by 7p.

    Side note: they have a sign saying they're open May through October, so keep that in mind when it's getting closer to Fall.
  • Post #5 - July 16th, 2018, 11:54 am
    Post #5 - July 16th, 2018, 11:54 am Post #5 - July 16th, 2018, 11:54 am
    Walked down yesterday and shared a flight with my wife - peach, plum, watermelon, mango. All were very good with the peach being the real standout. The texture of this Italian ice is much closer to sorbet than Miko's so I will definitely have to hit up both places often to really nail down my preference (woe is me). It should be noted, the scoops sizes at Ava's are HUGE, so don't go in thinking that you'll put down a flight solo without also budgeting for some serious brain freeze.
  • Post #6 - July 16th, 2018, 3:25 pm
    Post #6 - July 16th, 2018, 3:25 pm Post #6 - July 16th, 2018, 3:25 pm
    gnarchief wrote:Walked down yesterday and shared a flight with my wife - peach, plum, watermelon, mango. All were very good with the peach being the real standout. The texture of this Italian ice is much closer to sorbet than Miko's so I will definitely have to hit up both places often to really nail down my preference (woe is me). It should be noted, the scoops sizes at Ava's are HUGE, so don't go in thinking that you'll put down a flight solo without also budgeting for some serious brain freeze.


    I was also there yesterday. I continue to be wowed by their flavors. I would agree that the texture of their ices is closer to a sorbet, and tends to vary slightly depending on the flavor. My daughter chose Banana and it is so smooth and flavorful you would almost think that it was just a smashed/pureed banana. At this point I have tried many of the flavors and they are all good, but the absolute standouts so far have been the Raspberry, Blueberry, Peach and Pineapple.

    I have not been to Mikos, but Ava's is definitely drawing me away from Marios only because EVERY flavor at Ava's is made from fresh fruits. I love Marios for the ices like lemon, peach, watermelon and pomegranate that are fresh fruit based, but some of the staples like Orange, grape, strawberry and the every present "blue raspberry" made from artificially flavored syrups are just not as appealing.
  • Post #7 - July 18th, 2018, 5:19 pm
    Post #7 - July 18th, 2018, 5:19 pm Post #7 - July 18th, 2018, 5:19 pm
    Stopped by the other day and had peach and pear, which were both outstanding... and even spied Steve Dolinsky in line behind me with his family.

    I hope they get their operations in order, though, as they've been "closed for production" the past 3 days -- which would have been great days/evenings for a visit. We had a pizza party with our neighbors last night (we're less than 2 blocks away) and they may well have had 15-20 of us stop by. Tonight would also be a great night for some Italian ice. It's disappointing when their fans can't depend on them being open the days/hours they state they will be open. And I can't imagine it helps their cash flow.
  • Post #8 - July 18th, 2018, 8:57 pm
    Post #8 - July 18th, 2018, 8:57 pm Post #8 - July 18th, 2018, 8:57 pm
    Was thinking the same thing; been twice and absolutely loved the flavors I’ve tried so far. Went twice this week for more, alas unexpectedly closed both times. Pass by on way home from work, so only wasted a few minutes, but still disappointing. Hoping they have smoother operating going forward; really want them to succeed.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #9 - July 19th, 2018, 9:11 am
    Post #9 - July 19th, 2018, 9:11 am Post #9 - July 19th, 2018, 9:11 am
    Gonzo70 wrote:Was thinking the same thing; been twice and absolutely loved the flavors I’ve tried so far. Went twice this week for more, alas unexpectedly closed both times. Pass by on way home from work, so only wasted a few minutes, but still disappointing. Hoping they have smoother operating going forward; really want them to succeed.


    I am thinking that maybe the recent exposure on Dolinskys show created a volume of customers that they were not yet prepared for. Before that piece aired, whenever I went by there may have been a few people in line, but since then the lines have been more significant. Hopefully they will get it under control. I have noticed that they also have some help and its not just the owners working.
  • Post #10 - July 19th, 2018, 3:37 pm
    Post #10 - July 19th, 2018, 3:37 pm Post #10 - July 19th, 2018, 3:37 pm
    They were open on Thursday.
    There was no peach on the menu, so I tried plum. I would never have ordered that flavor but for the recommendation upthread.
    Really good. Tiny pieces of plum, but so many of them that the flavor popped. I didn't mind the slightly coarse texture, compared with Mario's, as it slowed the melting. The $4 regular size was more than enough.
    My friend had lemon. Plenty of natural lemon flavor, but more tart than other places'. Not so tart as to be out of balance, though.
    Really impressed.
  • Post #11 - August 18th, 2018, 2:51 pm
    Post #11 - August 18th, 2018, 2:51 pm Post #11 - August 18th, 2018, 2:51 pm
    Bump for amazeballs. The cherry was a work of art with evenly distributed burnished bits of peak fruit, if a little subtle on the flavor, though not too sweet. The pineapple was like living inside a day on the Road to Hana - sublime. I think their act is more together now than earlier reported, and they look to be serious about getting to 9 each evening and all the way through September.

    I was musing while downing a saffron kulfi and then a miso-butterscotch at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream earlier in the summer: have frozen treats moved irreversibly past perfecting traditional flavors? Ava's answers back straight from the Mario's playbook.

    There's still room in the tent for all of these styles; as much as I adore my weekly fresh fruit Michoacana mangonada con chamoy, I have to say a cherry-lime ICEE at the movies can really hit the spot too. Hooray for summer.
  • Post #12 - August 25th, 2018, 9:29 pm
    Post #12 - August 25th, 2018, 9:29 pm Post #12 - August 25th, 2018, 9:29 pm
    Delicious regular-sized combo of banana and plum. Of note, the two scoops are stacked, rather than side by side, so if you have a preferred flavor on top to eat first, ask for that. Walked over after the Bucktown Arts Fest, about 2PM on a warm Saturday, no line and I believe eight flavors on offer. Thought it would be a good idea to walk the 606 while eating my ice, but seeing all the joggers just made me feel fat, so I slumped back down to street level after a few steps
  • Post #13 - August 26th, 2018, 11:04 am
    Post #13 - August 26th, 2018, 11:04 am Post #13 - August 26th, 2018, 11:04 am
    We stopped there a couple of weeks ago while on a walk and loved the sampler. Strawberry, raspberry, cantaloupe, and pineapple. Chatted with the owner for a couple of minutes and she was very nice. Glad to see them doing well.
  • Post #14 - October 12th, 2018, 9:53 am
    Post #14 - October 12th, 2018, 9:53 am Post #14 - October 12th, 2018, 9:53 am
    In case you guys haven't seen, Ava's is now serving a variety of Fall flavors, including:

    -Apple Cinnamon
    -Apple Cider
    -Pumpkin Spice
    -Peanut Butter
    -Pumpkin Pie

    I don't think I'll like any of these over their standard fruit flavors, but figured I'd pass along the note for those interested.

    Reminder they're set to close for the season at the end of October, so brave the cold and head on over to get your last tastes for a while!
  • Post #15 - October 21st, 2018, 5:28 pm
    Post #15 - October 21st, 2018, 5:28 pm Post #15 - October 21st, 2018, 5:28 pm
    Raspberry particularly good on a recent trip to Ava’s.

    With the weather resulting in more varied hours at Ava’s (updates often posted to their Yelp and Facebook pages) as the month comes to an end, I recommend planning to visit another nearby place or places in conjunction with going to Ava’s.

    Examples include GNR New China Station a couple of blocks south and GNR Redhot Ranch on Western a few blocks north.

    Redhot Ranch shares a parking lot with John’s Pizzeria. John’s was recently featured by David Hammond in New City.

    https://resto.newcity.com/2018/10/15/th ... ho-sez-me/

    To clarify something posted upthread, Orange at Mario’s has artificial color, but is considered one of the real fruit flavors there.

    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=322475#p322475
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=415619#p415619



    thetrob wrote:
    ...

    I have not been to Mikos, but Ava's is definitely drawing me away from Marios only because EVERY flavor at Ava's is made from fresh fruits. I love Marios for the ices like lemon, peach, watermelon and pomegranate that are fresh fruit based, but some of the staples like Orange, grape, strawberry and the every present "blue raspberry" made from artificially flavored syrups are just not as appealing.


    --
    edc

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