The other day I had the always fun pleasure of showing someone around Austin who had never been here before. After a couple days he uttered one of my all time favorite summations of his stay “What’s up with Austin anyway, there is, like, a vegan ice cream parlor on every corner?” and so it seems my friends! Lick is a relative newcomer to the Austin ice cream scene. Since they pride themselves on being super local which for some reason means having ice cream with bacon and goat cheese I didn’t even look at the menu even though all of my foodie friends were raving about it on twitter. The truth is, I can hardly keep up with all the new places these days! My cool vegan treats map from last summer is already out of date (but still helpful). Luckily my friend Marie mentioned it to me and as soon as that bug was in my ear (don’t worry vegan police it’s a figurative bug) I was on my way.
Lick has an adorable little storefront right next to the Horseshoe Lounge on a rapidly developing stretch of South Lamar.
The inside is teeny tiny but there are plenty of room to look over all of the myriad of selections. They partner with many of Austin’s local oranic farms and base a lot of flavors on what is available. It’s not really the place to go for chocolate vanilla swirl so much as to try roasted carrot with tarragon. The also make a huge point to not offer ingredients universally known to be evil like high fructose corn syrup. When I went there were only two non-dairy selctions to chose from and only one was vegan (damn I wanted you avocado curd!) so I was pretty much stuck with Spicy Peanut Coconut.
I was pleased that everything was well labeled and spicy coconut sounded like it would make perfect ice cream cone but alas, the cones are not vegan! As a hardcore cone lover I was disappointed….until I tried the ice cream. It was creamy, and spicy and salty all at once. I just wanted to eat more and more for the rest of the day. I read that they often have another vegan coconut based flavor, “Coconut, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirl” and I can’t wait to try that the next time. Sitting on the front bench eating my scoops by the succulents was a pretty good way to follow up a trip to Barton Springs and I’m sure I will be back soon.
It is really amazing how far vegan ice cream has come. I remember the first time I tried a store bought pint. I was just so saddened by my chocolate flavored ice, it reminded me of the weight watchers desserts we always had around in my youth. I wish I could go back in time to that sad young lady and tell her that a vegan ice cream renaissance would be around the corner. I’d also tell her to look where she was going and to not leaver her camera on the beach but that’s neither here nor there.
So the next time you are cruising down lamar and would like to have an exotic scoop of coconut ice cream to chill you out I highly recommend you try it. And hey, if you are in need of a cone or a banana split or something more traditional, Mr. Natural is only a couple blocks away.