I have 5 amazing grandchildren, ranging in ages from 22 to 6. My greatest pleasures are the times around their birthdays that I take each one shopping, out to eat, or to get ice cream for their birthday. It is a special time that I spend with each one alone. This year, Dominic is turning 15. He decided wanted to try a new ice cream place that had just opened in Hiram called IC Hot, located on Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway in the Cheeseburger Bobby’s shopping center. I had never heard of it, but when he described it to me, it sounded like a place we really wanted to try. When I was looking it up on the web, I discovered that a graduate of Kennesaw State opened the original store on Bells Ferry Road in Kennesaw. I was hoping to discover that he opened it for his graduate dissertation, but I couldn’t even find his name anywhere.
Upon walking in, we could smell the different fruits mixed together in the air, with just enough of a chocolate aroma to make you smile. The air was fresh and crisp, and as we got closer, we could tell it was from the frozen blast tables used to make the ice cream. It reminded me of a 1950’s ice cream parlor with booths along one side and tall bar tables and stools in the front. The wall with the booths was painted white on the top, with record albums screwed into the wall, and the bottom half was painted black. Two walls were painted red. This gave the store a little bit of an Asian flair. There was a jukebox in the corner next to the doors. The staff was friendly, polite, and very knowledgeable about their craft.
Upon opening the door, we discovered that it wasn’t as busy as we thought. People were at tables eating their treats, but the customers in the front that we had seen were actually watching their creations come to life. When you walk in, there are chalkboards with the menu’s written on them. You get to chose one of six flavors of ice cream which includes chocolate, but there is thai tea, mango, and green tea. Step two is to chose up two of several mixers. These are fruits, cookies, and even cereal. Then, comes step three which is choosing two of the several toppings.
These can be mixed and matched in any way you wish, but there are several featured ice creams as well. My grandson chose the Naughty Monkey which was chocolate ice cream, banana, caramel, and whipped cream. I made my own with chocolate, cherries, and whipped cream. Each bowl was $5.99, but, we could have added extra mixes and/or toppings for $.50 each.
After we decided what we wanted, we ordered at the counter. While we were waiting, we, too, watched the dishes being prepared. Dominic and I were fascinated watching. This is where the Asian flair truly came in. There were two stations set up like a Hibachi grill, only blast freezers instead of a hot grill. The artists poured the mixers onto the grill, and then began chopping them up very finely. After that, they poured the ice cream liquid mixture on top, and using two plaster knives, they began mixing everything together while the ice cream froze. They then spread the mixture out into a long flat rectangle. The next step was to roll the ice cream up, and then scoop it into the bowls. These artisans could work on any Japanese Hibachi grill. After ordering, it took about 20 minutes to get our ice cream. We didn’t mind the wait since it was so much fun watching them prepare the bowls.
This atmosphere is casual and is perfect for families. Teenagers can go and hang out. It would be great for church or sport team outings. The beginning price of $5.99 is reasonable for hand crafted, gourmet ice cream and the serving size is just right. The hours are from Noon to 10 pm. We arrived about 45 minutes prior to closing, so it wasn’t as crowded. I spoke with someone who said they had driven by, and the line was out the door. So, plan your time well when you make plans to go. The original store is on Bells Ferry Road in Kennesaw, and I plan to visit it very soon. I have a feeling that IC Hot will become one of my favorite places to hang out with those grandkids. Over all, I would highly recommend the IC Hot in Hiram.