Monday, March 22, 2010

Water Ice

I was driving around Philadelphia today, passed by a Rita's Water Ice shop, and knew that I just had to make a stop. I was able to fight the urge until I got over to my sister's house tonight and offered to take my niece for a treat.

Rita's has become a Philadelphia institution over the past 20 years and now has around 500 locations in several states. They sell a few different summer treats including soft-serve ice cream, frozen-coffee-style drinks, water ice, and (at least in the Philadelphia area) pretzels. You can also get the basics mixed in various ways. The most popular menu item is a water-ice/soft-serve combo that has some silly name.

For me though, the money's still in the plain, old-fashioned water ice. If you haven't had water ice before, it's kinda' like a Slurpee or Icee drink only thicker so it can't be eaten with a straw. It is not like a snow cone, which tends to be made from fairly course (unflavored) ice and flavored syrup poured over it. The flavoring in water ice is actually in the ice and comes in various flavors like cherry, lemon, mint chocolate chip, mango, and others. My favorite, chocolate, has been recently overtaken by my new addiction, Swedish Fish. I've been known to polish off a large along with a pretzel.

As I mentioned, I took my niece over to Rita's tonight. She's a fan of cherry water ice. Here's one happy customer:

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