Written by Victoria Pallien
Squeezing into the recently opened Below Zero Rolled Ice Cream shop at 116 E. Broughton St. gives you a sweet welcome with promises of unparalleled ice cream preparation. Owners of Savannah Seafood Shack opened the ice cream store this past July and its “Thai-inspired” rolled ice cream has been popular ever since.
The store itself is a narrow, rectangular shape with two registers and three rolling stations all by the front door and approximately 15 tables near the rear. While the wood-paneled walls give the shop a visually pleasing atheistic, the most exciting part about the outing is watching the employees roll your dessert.
Being indecisive as usual, I was stuck between the S’mores and the Cookie Monster flavors. The shop offers eight options in total; S’mores, Cookie Monster, Savannah Bananas, Georgia Peach, Strawberry Shortcake, Health Nut, Perfect Matcha and Red Dragon, although it’s important to note that Strawberry Shortcake and Health Nut were seasonally swapped out for Frozen Hot Chocolate (crushed peppermint, hot chocolate, whipped cream) and Piña Colada (coconut, pineapple), respectively. I asked the cashier which he would recommend.
“Well, the Cookie Monster is good, but it’s just Oreos,” he said. “I’d go with the S’mores, because we put a toasted marshmallow on top.” I felt my eyes widen as an “ooh” left my lips. “So the S’mores?” he asked with a smile—a genuine smile, not the fake kind, the checkout lady at Publix gives you after she spent seven minutes finding the code to ring up your organic apples. The cashier handed me a ticket with the number 61 printed on.
Stepping aside from the giant line of eager, sweet-toothed individuals, I waited in line No. 2 to choose my toppings and watch my ice cream be rolled. How can one person decide between Oreos, chocolate chips, coconut shavings, mangos, gummy bears, nuts, and more?
After my ice cream was rolled and placed in a cardboard dish with a Below Zero sticker slapped on the side, the employee adorned the treat with a graham cracker and a toasted marshmallow on a stick, my predetermined toppings. She called out No. 61 and after happily claiming my tub of ice cream, I selected sprinkles, chocolate chips and brownie bites in addition.
My ice cream was a creamy, refreshing chocolate—not too rich, although I could’ve handled a little more flavor. My toasted marshmallow fell short of the promise. It seemed as if it had been toasted in advance, leaving me with a gooey, but cold marshmallow.
Nonetheless, my graham cracker was crunchy and did not once become soggy, but my chocolate chips froze and became difficult to bite, perhaps an invitation for my next dentist visit. The sprinkles were sprinkles—serving their purpose as an extra sugar rush—but the brownie bites, oh, the brownie bites! Perfectly chewy on the inside and firm around the edges, they were everything I wanted, heaven to my taste buds and my teeth.
While $6.42 is borderline insane for just one ice cream, the pricing is just what I expected to find on Savannah’s main street and it’s roughly comparable to most frozen yogurt shops. You’ll get enough dessert in exchange for a swipe of your debit card and the ice cream is certainly of reputable quality, but with Below Zero, you’re paying for the experience and unprecedented presentation.