Friday, June 20, 2014

Atlanta in a Cone: Morelli's

The name Less-elli's was never considered.
Atlanta is hot. This is obvious to anyone with a basic understanding of weather systems on planet Earth. Still, like many cities, it has acquired a cute-but-annoying nickname used by non-residents: Hot-lanta. (This might be the most sigh-worthy of such loathsome nicknames, which is saying a lot being from *sigh* Chi-town, pronounced shy-town.) Non-residents and newbie transplants use these vapid cute-isms to indicate that they are knowing insiders when, ironically, doing so exposes them as superficial frauds. That being said, the fact remains that Atlanta does get hot and, therefore, anyone who finds themselves there would benefit from knowing different ways to cool off. And, as I live only to serve you, I’ve found two of the best options available.
Great photo, Brad!
Thanks, self!

Today, I’ll talk about Atlanta in a Cone. Later on, I’ll tell you about Atlanta on a Stick.

• • •

The moment I landed at ATL, I hustled my bustle straight to the rental car place, hastily agreed to numerous contractual obligations and turned on my phone’s GPS. I had one hour to get to my destination before it closed for the night, a business whose “Away on Vacation” sign had broken my heart when I last passed through Atlanta in 2009, a business that since has grown to add two more locations, a business whose flavor concepts stuck with me even before I tasted them.

Night photography is hard, y'all.
Dr. Pepper, Lard Raspberry, Salted Caramel, Coconut Caramel Macadamia. These are some of the rotating options I tried at Morelli’s. Their original location, tucked away from the street, is a walk-up window with a handful of cafe chairs sitting at umbrella-shaded tables. Though the surrounding area may seem a little rundown and, based on my experience, you will likely be solicited for money in the parking lot, something about a summer evening spent relaxing with a cone or bowl outside of Morelli’s adds a touch of class that resonates much longer than the “Am I in the right place?” feeling one gets driving there at night. (For guests who want more of a typical scoop shop vibe, their second of three locations is in an open air shopping center called Edgewood. Formerly a Cold Stone, the spot has indoor seating and an ice cream freezer you can peek in to see the flavors.)

Salted Caramel in the middle.
And then there’s the ice cream itself. Morelli’s dense, creamy scoops each offer something unique. Take, for example, the Salted Caramel. At first, one might think them just another dessert distributor jumping on the band wagon, believing themselves to be a James Beard contender simply by sprinkling some Morton’s in with some runny nonsense they slanderously refer to as caramel. But one taste proves that Morelli’s may have the best Salted Caramel creation available, certainly the best I’ve ever had. Rather than tasting sweet and salty as two separate entities, they arrive as one. The caramel has a dark and rich burnt sugar taste to it and the salt serves only to kick the other flavors up a notch, not to steal to the show. With flavors like this, it is no wonder they've won so much acclaim. It’s also no wonder that I visited Morelli’s three times during my short stay!

Next time: Atlanta on a Stick!

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