I'm not from the east coast. I'm just a good ol' midwesterner who knows and loves her ice cream Yet, when I moved out to DC I kept hearing about this mythical thing known as "water ice" from all of my friends from New Jersey and Philadelphia. I found the term to be a bit repetitively redundant considering water that is frozen is ice, but then again what do I know.
Well, last week a Rita's Water Ice opened just a few blocks away from me on H Street, meaning that I could no longer deny the existence of this supposedly amazing dessert. So on Monday night, after we hit 100 degrees in the District, I decided to take a little walk down the street to reward myself for surviving the heat (and give myself a reason to continue to deal with it).
Rita's first location opened in 1984 in Philadelphia, and has been expanding ever since. This small Italian ice concept has won the hearts (and taste buds) of people across the country. And, as of last night I am a convert as well. At Rita's they not only serve the Italian ice in the traditional way, they also serve it sandwiched between vanilla custard or blended with the custard. Holy gelati is that stuff good! The staff at the Rita's on H Street were friendly and helpful. I couldn't make up my mind about what to get, so the man behind the counter allowed me to try about half the flavors they had. I also was sad that they no longer had the famous "Alex's lemonade," so they gave me a coupon to come back and try it for free!
I walked away with Island Infusion (it had hints of mango, pineapple and peaches) and vanilla custard and the person I was with had the black cherry with custard. We both agreed that it incredibly refreshing while still being light on the stomach. When I threw out my regular sized cup I felt like I had just had the perfect sized summer treat.