Flavors set Lick Ice Creams apart from the crowd

Sara Benner

Setting up shop in the same plaza as the foodie favorite Barley Swine, Lick Ice Creams offers handmade, locally-sourced artisan ice cream featuring unusual but tasty flavors such as Caramelized Carrots and Tarragon, Cilantro Lime and Breakfast Bacon.

Though their flavors are unusual, they make sense. Cilantro and lime, for example, often perform a tasty tango in Tex-Mex, but what makes Lick intriguing is their ability to make these combinations into delectable ice cream that you can mix and match to suit to your taste.

Their Goat Cheese, Thyme and Honey flavor featuring Round Rock honey, is a rich experience. Texturally, the ice cream is smooth with a buttery flavor. The combination of goat cheese’s tartness with the herbal notes of thyme makes perfect sense from a culinary perspective, especially in baking, because thyme has a lightening effect on the cheese’s stronger flavor.

Lick’s Too Hot Chocolate is essentially frozen Mexican hot chocolate, and is a suitable warm weather alternative to the cultural treat. Their dark chocolate blend features a smoky heat achieved through the use of cayenne, cinnamon and chipotle peppers. Thrown into the spicy mix are Delysia dark chocolate particles, which accrue lovingly on the spoon as the ice cream is consumed.

The petite creamery’s interior features an Americana color scheme and a picture of a cow playfully licking its lips. Upon entering the bright and welcoming shop, the eye is drawn instantly to the white display case that fills most of the space, which is detailed with eye-catching words and phrases like “laugh,” “cherish,” “of the earth” and “honest.” Though seating is sparse, with only one bench along the wall and an assortment of child-sized stools, the ice cream is so amusing that it makes up for it.

The ice cream counter is manned by UT alumnus Anthony Sobotik and his partner Chad Palmatier, who created the ice cream flavors based on their favorite dishes and what’s in season.

“I am really inspired by all the local farmers, all the food artisans and all of the restaurants in Austin that source locally. I think it’s very important to support those practices because I want to know where my food is coming from,” Sobotik said.

When deciding to open the store, Sobotik chose to go local in terms of ingredients, from their milk and cream to their herbs and spices, because of his distaste for the dairy industry’s treatment of cattle.

“I was like, if we can’t do it with grass-fed or organic milk, I’m not going to do it. I didn’t want to use the same dairy mix that anyone can get in the state — not to be exclusive, but because I didn’t want to support that,” Sobotik said.

But with local sourcing comes the opportunity for artisanship. With each batch of ice cream that Sobotik makes in house, he has to tailor the recipe to suit the characteristics of the produce.

“In the first batch of Butternut Squash I made, to get the flavor profile I wanted, I used more squash than I did this week. The squash is from the same farm, but because it’s natural, it changes,” Sobotik said.

Lick’s prices and locally-sourced ideals are comparable to Amy’s Ice Creams, Austin’s queen of ice cream, but Lick’s flavors set them apart and make them a creamery worth visiting.

Printed on Thursday, October 27, 2011 as: Lick Ice Creams dishes out locally sourced treats