Howdy Homemade Ice Cream

 

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Photo courtesy Howdy Homemade Ice Cream

“Come for the ice cream, but stay for the people” is a common saying of Tom Landis, founder of Howdy Homemade Ice Cream. This Dallas-based ice cream concept touts ice cream made in-house using high quality ingredients that yield unique results, such as the Dr. Pepper chocolate chip ice cream, a favorite in Dr. Pepper-obsessed Texas.

Oh, and the other unique aspect of Howdy? The majority of their employees have special needs related to Down Syndrome or autism.

“Our main goal and hope is that people recognize exactly what our employees can do instead of what they can’t do,” Will Nielson, son of the Howdy Salt Lake store said in a recent interview with the Deseret News. “I think when a disability or a special need comes up, often our mind starts running on to what are the limitations or the disabilities instead of thinking about (how) someone with autism, they have great retention skills, and someone with Down syndrome, they’re just naturally the most happy and loving people that you come across.”

Howdy Salt Lake is located at 2670 South 2000 East, across the street from Feldman’s Deli.  Local contractor Chris Nielson, who has a son with special needs, fell in love with the Howdy concept and brought it to Utah. The store features some local flair, offering sorbettos made by Amour Cafe, as well as a Publik coffee chocolate chip. All of the other ice creams are made in-house and feature everything from your basic cookies and cream all the way to a Dr. Pepper chocolate chip.

I particularly enjoyed the cheesecake ice cream, which is everything you’d hope it would be: rich and creamy. If you’re a fan of Coldstone’s sweet cream ice cream, this is the one for you. The Dr. Pepper ice cream was unique, but I was left wishing that a bit more of the soda flavor would have shone through. But it is a fun idea, and definitely worth at least sampling. Other favorites were the cinnamon brown sugar and the orange dream.

I love everything about the concept, from the location, the smart design, the delicious ice cream, the prices, and most of all, the wonderful smiles from everybody behind the counter. It is heartwarming to see the community coming out to support the shop, as evidenced by lines out the door when we stopped by.

Howdy Salt Lake
2670 S 2000 East, Salt Lake City

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The Annex by Epic Brewing

Truth be told, I never managed to make my way into The Annex, Epic Brewing’s take on a gastropub, when they initially opened a year or so ago. I never heard reviews compelling enough to sway my meal choice in their direction.

However, Annex shifted gears this Fall, bringing in chef Craig Gerome, who cut his teeth cooking at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia and Spruce in San Francisco. Chef Gerome completely revamped the menu, basically stripping everything from the old menu and starting fresh with his take. 

I was invited as a guest of Annex to try out the new menu and to meet Craig, and all I can say is that he is doing amazing things. You can tell this guy cares about his food, crowing about the fact that his mussels are FedEx’d daily from a lady named Jan in Maine, and she only sends him her very best, biggest mussels.

We tried the grilled octopus with salsa verde, lime bean and kale brodo, Bouchot mussels with Berliner weiss, poutine with braised cheek, and deviled eggs as starters. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but I’d especially steer you to the mussels. 

For the mains, we tried the herb fried chicken with fried green tomatoes and buttermilk risotto, and the stout braised pork shank. Of the two, I would definitely recommend getting the fried chicken, which was perfectly crispy, moist, and seasoned well. But other items on the menu such as the buffalo short rib pie and steak frites certainly caught my eye.

Dessert was a nice take on the traditional s’more, using house-made marshmallows and Amano chocolate, giving it extra depth and richness.

Sugarhouse continues to evolve, and the recent development occurring on and near the sugarhole continues to impress with new fantastic eateries popping up. There is a fun, electric vibe happening in this area that has been missing for quite some time.

I’m glad that Annex chose to locate here, and can’t wait to come back.

Disclaimer: I was an invited guest for dinner at The Annex by Epic Brewing.

Kale Brodo. Yes, I ate kale. And it was amazing.

Grilled octopus with salsa verde

Steamed Bouchot mussels

Poutine with braised cheek

Herb fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, buttermilk risotto

Stout braised pork shank

S’mores with Amano

Chef Craig Gerome