A new concept featuring a gimmicky ice cream technique is colonizing Texas. Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt is a Utah-based chain that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze ice cream in front of customers. A branch has already opened in Hurst, at 9986 Grapevine Hwy., and another is set to open in Flower Mound.
The first Texas location opened in San Antonio; there are also locations in Houston. A spokesperson for the chain says that two more locations will open in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2017.
Dallas-Fort Worth is no stranger to liquid nitrogen. Dallas' La Duni opened a dessert shop in Allen called Dulce By La Duni that featured ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, but it closed in 2016. And Creamistry, a chain based in California, is opening in Addison in the summer.
There is also iCream Cafe, a shop in Frisco, and if you're really going to get into it, the liquid nitrogen-made prickly pear margarita at Dallas' Stampede 66.
SubZero is special in how customizable it is. Customers can choose from seven cream bases, including lactose-free, sugar-free, and vegan. There are dozens of flavor options that are reminiscent of shaved ice, such as amaretto, banana, bubble gum, and cake batter. Mix-ins include fruit, candy, nuts, and baked goods — think everything from M&Ms, maraschino cherries, and marshmallows to berries and Oreos.
And it's interactive, which is a big trend right now: You watch in shock and awe as the ice cream is made before your eyes.
Founders Jerry and Naomi Hancock opened the first Sub Zero Ice Cream in Orem, Utah, in 2004. There are now locations in states across the country, plus international locations in China and the United Arab Emirates. The couple was featured in a story in the Deseret News about Mormons on TV, and also appeared in 2013 on Shark Tank, although they did not get the $300,000 they were seeking.