As I peered into the nearly empty dining room of Steel City Pops (908 Currie St.), a new gourmet ice-pop joint in the West 7th area, I couldn’t help but wonder why the owners would open the place just in time for winter. North Texas hasn’t exactly been a deep-freeze so far this season, but still, winter weather can’t be great for businesses that purvey chilly treats, can it? I put on my warmest gloves and went to a few such places to check for signs of life in the month of Frosty the Snowman.
At Steel City Pops, an Alabama-based chain, I was promptly greeted by the fellow behind the counter, who seemed genuinely surprised to see me. He eagerly explained that the menu is separated into two categories: a.) fruity, which featured some interesting-sounding flavors, like bosc pear with honey and pineapple-jalapeño; and b.) creamy, with things like rum raisin, eggnog, and coffee mint. The nice man assured me that all the Popsicle-like concoctions are made in small batches, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It’s all gluten-free, vegetarian, locally sourced, blah, blah, blah. In other words, eat one and you’ll go to heaven.
I opted for the season-appropriate wassail-flavored pop ($3). Lo and behold, it tasted exactly like the spiked holiday punch. The mulled spice cider is a staple at Chow, Baby’s family holiday parties, but Steel City’s version didn’t have alcohol or the related side effects of arguing, crying, and blaming others for all my problems.