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Courtesy of Van Leeuwen

An artisanal ice cream shop from New York is making its Fort Worth debut: Van Leeuwen, the Brooklyn-born ice cream brand, is opening a location in Fort Worth's WestBend development.

According to a release, the shop will open Thursday, November 10, with a party from 12-4 pm, when they'll be serving scoops for $1. It's located at 1653 River Run #141, and will be open Sunday-Thursday from 12-11 pm, and Friday-Saturday from 12 pm-12 am.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream was started in 2008 out of a yellow truck on the streets of New York by Ben Van Leeuwen, Pete Van Leeuwen, and Laura O’Neill. They now have shops across New York, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, and Connecticut. Pints and ice cream bars are also sold in grocery stores, and they'll ship nationwide from their website.

They're famous for their French-style ice cream, which means lots of cream and egg yolks, and for unique flavors like Honeycomb, Praline Butter Cake, Marionberry Cheesecake, and Earl Grey Tea.

They also offer sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, root beer floats, and milkshakes, and are especially beloved for their vegan and non-dairy selection made from oat and cashew milk, in flavors such as Churros & Fudge, Peanut Butter Brownie Honeycomb, and Cookies & Cream Caramel Swirl.

They also use high-quality ingredients such as pistachios from Mount Etna in Sicily, marionberries from their Oregon farm partner Stahlbush Island Farms, Rishi Tea for their Earl Grey Tea flavor, and for Texas, Praline Butter Cake, made with Texas pecans.

Fort Worth will be their 37th storefront nationally and their fifth in Texas, following their store in Dallas' West Village, plus three locations in Houston, and they have another location in the works for Dallas on Lovers Lane in spring 2023.

“We are psyched to open our first scoop shop in Fort Worth. Texas has been very good to us and we plan to expand further,” says Ben Van Leeuwen in a statement. “We can’t wait to bring the goodness that is Van Leeuwen ice cream to this unique and historic city.”

Photo courtesy of Jeremiah's

Florida-based Italian ice chain to open 3 shops in Dallas-Fort Worth

Italian Ice News

A Florida-based Italian ice chain is bringing more sweet treats to Dallas-Fort Worth: Jeremiah's Italian Ice is opening three new locations in the DFW area including one in Burleson.

According to a release, the Burleson opening is part of a North Texas expansion that also includes Lewisville and Melissa, with big big plans to open 50 locations across North Texas.

The chain does not yet have an address for Burleson, but a spokesperson says it's definitely in the works and will open in 2022.

These three shops will join six Jeremiah's locations already operating across Texas which include McKinney, Houston, and Temple.

Each store offers more than 40 flavors of high-quality Italian ice that include watermelon, horchata, passion fruit, mint chocolate chip, mango, cookie butter, sour green apple, black cherry, banana, cake batter, and cotton candy, to list a few, as well as soft-serve ice cream.

But the showcase item is Jeramiah's Gelati, which combines the two — layers of Italian ice swirled with the soft-serve ice cream — a yummy combination of tart and creamy.

Stores boast vibrant colors and upbeat atmosphere.

The DFW expansion comes via iServ, Ice LLC, which currently has four Jeremiah's locations in Florida. iServe Ice LLC co-owner Brandon Manly says in a statement that they're "incredibly excited to share this Florida-favorite brand with the Dallas community."

"Jeremiah's Italian Ice has an extremely large and loyal fan base in Florida, and it continues to grow in Texas," Manly says. "The brand's company culture is a really exciting factor for us, and the experience that our guests have when they come to our locations, starts with how Jeremiah’s treats and trains their employees."

Jeramiah's was founded in 1996 by Jeremy Litwack, who first had the idea when he was still a high school student. The chain began franchising in 2019.

"We are so happy to see our close-knit family expand in 2022, and Texas is the perfect place to do it," Litwack says.

Chill-N

Novel nitro-fueled ice cream shop from Florida to chill in Fort Worth

Ice Cream News

UPDATE 6-6-2022: Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream is now officially open in the Stonegate Crossing shopping plaza.

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An innovative ice cream store — without freezers! — is coming to Texas, with its first location in Fort Worth: Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream, or Chill-N for short, is a made-to-order nitrogen ice cream concept that will open at 2473 S. Hulen St. in the Stonegate Crossing shopping plaza, IE the same center as Trader Joe's.

According to a a release, the shop is the first in Texas and the first outside of Florida.

"I knew as soon as I tried Chill-N for the first time, I had to bring that authentic, rich, creamy, and made-from-scratch liquid nitrogen ice cream straight back to our community," says local franchisee Harold Gernsbacher says in a statement. "One of the biggest differentiators for us will be our super diverse menu and the ability to see your ice cream being made right before your eyes with the freshest ingredients. In fact, you could eat Chill-N every day for a month and get something different each time."

Chill-N was founded in Miami in 2012 by South Florida native Daniel Golik, and is one of the first liquid nitrogen ice cream concepts in the U.S. There are locations across Florida with another dozen in development.

"From the Chamber of Commerce to city officials, local schools, and neighboring businesses, Fort Worth has been nothing short of amazing," Golik says in a statement. "We couldn't have picked a better place to open our newest ice cream shop than Fort Worth and just down the road from TCU."

Each serving of ice cream is flash frozen before customers' eyes, using proprietary technology that can produce large quantities of ice cream rapidly without sacrificing consistency or individuality.

Customers choose a portion size, then an ice cream base (milk, yogurt, sorbet, or an alt-milk option – coconut, almond, or oat), and then a flavor from a selection that includes not only van-choc-straw but also dulce de leche, Nutella, cake batter, peanut-butter, banana, mint, and matcha. Seasonal flavors include apple pie, pumpkin, red velvet, pistachio, and hot cocoa.

(Their menu is cute, sporting a Periodic Table of Elements theme.)

Toppings such as candies, cookies, cereal, fruit, sauces, nuts, and Cuban coffee (because their roots are in Miami) are added, and it all gets frozen using liquid nitrogen at a temperature of minus-320 degrees Fahrenheit. The unique freezing process is said to create an ice cream that is "ridiculously rich and decadently creamy."

This new store will also reflect a new prototype design with a softer color palette, more lighting, and a modern edge. There's also a location in the works for San Antonio.

Photo courtesy of Iconic Vegan Cafe

New vegan cafe in Denton combines 2 iconic treats: ice cream & sushi

Vegan News

There's a cool new restaurant concept opening in Denton that surely has to be one-of-a-kind. Called Iconic Vegan Cafe, it'll combine two delicious food groups in one convenient location: vegan sushi and vegan ice cream.

The restaurant will open at 1302 W. Hickory St., hopefully by the end of the year, according to owner Otis Ross.

Iconic is Ross' first brick and mortar restaurant, but he's been doing vegan sushi and vegan ice cream out of two food trucks — called The Vegan Sushi Spot and Earthy Goodness Vegan Ice Cream — since the end of 2018.

With those two trucks, he crosses a wide swath of Texas. He's based in Houston, where his trucks can be found at various locations five days a week; but he also makes regularly scheduled pop-up visits to Austin and Denton about once a month.

Ross grew up in New Jersey and has been non-dairy for a few years.

"We started in Houston, and were invited to do an event in Dallas," Ross says. "It got canceled but I was in North Texas with my truck and ended up in Denton. The response was so enthusiastic that I began to make it a regular thing, and have been going to Denton ever since. When I found this little building, I went ahead and signed a lease."

He makes two kinds of vegan ice cream, with coconut milk and a newer option with oat milk, in flavors such as Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Cookies & Cream, Coffee, Lemon, Matcha & Monk Fruit, Blueberry, Lemon, Cookie Dough, Butter Pecan, Purple Yam Cheesecake, Chocolate Cookies & Cream, Banana, Key Lime Pie, Blue Spirulina, Lemon Basil, Banana Pecan, Cherry Garcia, Almond Joy, Rum Raisin, Chocolate Hennessey, and Mint Chocolate Chip.

That's only the tip of the ice cream berg — he also makes ice cream cakes, milkshakes, sundaes, and juices.

"Our signature is called Cone Gone Crazy — it's a stuffed cone laid sideways on the plate and covered with toppings," he says.

For the vegan sushi, he uses a variety of ingredients such as mango, sweet potato, vegan shrimp, vegan spicy tuna, carrots, cucumber, and avocado.

His menu includes specialty rolls such as the "Rock 'N' Roll" with vegan shrimp, vegan cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, sweet potato, and spicy mayo.

"The thing about my vegan sushi is that it tastes as good as it looks," he says.

American Airlines

American Airlines curtails service to 15 U.S. cities during October

Airport News

If you're thinking about a trip to Kalamazoo this fall, you may want to plan otherwise: During October, American Airlines is removing service to 15 markets, from Dubuque, Iowa to Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

According to a release, the Fort Worth-based airline is suspending these flights as a result of low demand and the expiration of the air service requirements associated with the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

It is but the first step, as American will continue to evaluate its network and plans for additional schedule changes in the coming weeks.

These station suspensions will be effective October 7 and for now are only in place for the October schedule period, which runs through November 3.

But the airline will continue to reassess plans for these and other markets, as an extension of the Payroll Support Program remains under deliberation.

The 15 markets are as follows:

  • Del Rio, Texas
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Florence, South Carolina
  • Greenville, North Carolina
  • Huntington, West Virginia
  • Joplin, Missouri
  • Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Michigan
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • New Windsor, New York
  • Roswell, New Mexico
  • Sioux City, Iowa
  • Springfield, Illinois
  • Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania

The full, updated October schedule will be released August 29, when the full list of suspensions will be reflected on aa.com.

Moving forward, American anticipates releasing an updated November schedule by late-September.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Giant sea creatures made of recycled beach trash wash onto Galveston Island in must-see new exhibit

inspiring sea change

A giant great white shark, massive bald eagle, oversized octopus, and more enormous sea life have invaded Galveston Island.

"Washed Ashore," a compelling traveling art exhibit of giant sea animal sculptures made of trash collected from beaches, is now on display across 19 locations in Galveston.

The clever showcase features more than 20 pieces — most more than six feet tall and as much as 17 feet wide — such as coral reefs, jellyfish, penguins, sunfish, and more.

Sculptures can be found at museums, hotels, parks, attractions, and popular outdoor spaces. Thanks to a partnership between Oregon-based non-profit Washed Ashore and the Galveston Park Board, the exhibit, which is open though March 5, is free.

This innovative, powerful exhibit is designed to educate the public about the hazards of plastic pollution in the world’s waterways and comes at a touchstone environmental moment. Some 35 million metric tons of plastic entered the global aquatic ecosystems in 2020, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s research partners.

Similar "Washed Ashore" exhibits have been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as well as zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens across the nation. Notably, this Galveston debut marks the first time the exhibit will not be behind a paid gate, per press materials.

“The sculptures are impressive,” Visit Galveston Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody says. “But they’re even more impressive when you look at them closely. The artists at Washed Ashore placed recognizable objects – like buckets and shovels – at a child’s eye view. This way, hopefully, they will learn to take with them what they bring to the beach.”

For more information on the exhibit, visit the official site.

Photo courtesy of Visit Galveston

Meet Greta the great white shark.

These are the 5 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

It’s a frigid start to February this week, but tasty events bring opportunities to warm up once the coldest weather passes. Get cozy with hand-made pasta and wine, a dim sum cooking class, two new Sunday brunch launches, and a complimentary educational class to watch online from the warmth of your own home.

Thursday, February 2

An Evening with Batasiolo Wine Dinner
Only 11 lucky individuals get to partake in this four-course dinner set to take place in il Modo’s intimate pasta-making room. Wines from Beni Di Batasiolo Winery will be paired with each course. Reservations are $199, plus tax and gratuity, and include valet parking. Dinner begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, February 4

Who Eats Cornbread? Who Eats Biscuits? Baking and Texas Identity Webinar by the TCU Center for Texas Studies
Curl up at home with hot biscuits or cornbread while watching this tasty and educational webinar led by Rebecca Sharpless, professor of history at TCU. She’ll talk through the history of baking in Texas and the American South, speaking from research conducted for her latest book, Grain and Fire. Learn who used white cornmeal, who used yellow, who used sugar, who didn’t, flour to fat ratios, and why it all matters. The free webinar begins at 10:30 am.

Jazz Brunch Launch at The Fitzgerald
The Camp Bowie Boulevard restaurant will channel New Orleans vibes with the launch of its new jazz brunch. The live jazz pianist will provide tunes on Fitzgerald’s heated patio both Saturday and Sundays from 11 am-2 pm. Plan for brunch dishes like crab cake Benedict, shrimp and grits, crawfish omelets, and bananas Foster banana pudding.

Dim Sum Time at Indulge Cooking Studio
The downtown cooking studio located inside Third Street Market hosts an array of classes regularly. This one will feature dim sum, the traditional Chinese meal made up of small plates featuring various dumplings and snacks. The menu will include chicken shumai, Chinese greens, spring rolls, and an egg custard tart. The class is $89 and will begin at 11 am.

Sunday, February 5

New Sunday Brunch at Craft & Vine
The Roanoke restaurant, wine bar, and craft cocktail lounge will launch Sunday brunch with new buffet-style stations. Enjoy eggs Benedict, a carving station, waffle bar, and more, as well as champagne flights, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and even a bar cart for crafting Old Fashioneds. The price is $39 per person and $15 for kids 12 and under. Brunch service begins at 10 am and the live music starts at 11 am.

Luke Bryan trucks to Dallas-Fort Worth for 2 tour stops, including Dickies Arena

Country on

Luke Bryan fans, clear your calendars in late September 2023. The five-time Entertainer of the Year and American Idol judge is making not one but two stops in North Texas on his "Country On Tour."

He'll play Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on September 28, then scoot over to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena on September 29. The only other Texas stop on his 36-city tour will be in Lubbock, on July 27. (So sorry, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.)

Special guests throughout the tour will include up-and-coming country artists Chayce Beckham, Tyler Braden, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Jon Langston, Conner Smith, Alana Springsteen, Hailey Whitters, and DJ Rock.

According to the tour site, Beckham, Dean, Whitters, and DJ Rock will play the Dallas-Fort Worth shows.

Bryan has a history of investing in new artists by inviting them to join him on tour, a press release reminds.

“Artists get into the business to make music and perform it for the fans,” Bryan says in the release. “Leaving it all out on that stage is what it’s all about for me. I’m excited to support and have so many talented new artists along for the ride this year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job.

The tour is named for Bryan's 30th No. 1 single, “Country On” - a celebration of farmers, truckers, military, first responders, and all of Americana that hit the top of the country singles charts around Christmas 2022. He has amassed a career tally of 56 total weeks at #1.

Bryan launches his 2023 headline dates at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas on February 1. He's also returning as a judge on ABC's American Idol this spring.

Bryan's "Country On Tour" kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, New York.

Tickets go on sale on at 10 am Friday, February 3 at Lukebryan.com.

Presale for Bryan's fan club members will run 8 am Tuesday, January 31 through 5 pm Thursday, February 2. For details, go HERE.

Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets from 10 am Wednesday, February 1 to 10 pm Thursday, Feb 2 through the Citi Entertainment program. For complete presale details visit www.citientertainment.com.