I get excited trying new trailers and I get excited eating ice cream, so Kat’s Ice Cream was right up my alley. Set up on South First Street in an unassuming trailer, Kat’s serves up homemade vegan (yes, vegan) ice cream. The flavors are built on one of three milk bases: soy, almond, or coconut. You’d hardly know it though. I’ve enjoyed what Kat has to offer twice now and need to share what my tastebuds got to experience.
I happened upon Kat’s Ice Cream solely by chance on my way home from a Food Trailers Alliance meeting last month. After some Torchy’s Tacos I was in the mood for something sweet. It wasn’t until I was out of my car walking up to the window did I realize it was vegan ice cream. A bit perplexed, I did a mental doubletake to make sure that ice cream, by definition, is definitely not vegan. Intrigued, I stepped up to the window and chatted with Jon (I think?) and got the scoop (pun!). They make all the flavors in small batches and every couple of days as needed.
I tasted the coconut, cinnamon, and one other unmemorable flavor (rosewater?) and settled on coconut ice cream topped with bananas. If I wasn’t told beforehand, I never would have known this ice cream was dairy- and egg-free. The scoop was generous and the toppings plentiful as my dessert was passed through the window. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of coconutty goodness. Each bite of banana was a tropical diversion of piña colada proportions. It was very good. Good enough to make another stop a couple weeks later.
On my second trip I was reeled in by a special flavor: ghostpeppermint chocolate chip. Note the “ghost pepper” and “peppermint”… not an accident. They diced up some ghost peppers, as in the hottest pepper in the world, and mixed it into some fine soymilk-based peppermint chocolate chip ice cream. No big deal, I was feeling tough. I ordered it from the same guy who was at the trailer on my first visit and he was surprised and excited that I ordered a full cup of it.
I took my cup and cozied up on a picnic bench. In the first bite, for about 5 seconds, it’s a pretty good mint chocolate chip ice cream. Nothing special, a little soft. And then in an instant my mouth was washed over in an inferno. I’m no vegan ice cream expert, but I don’t think soymilk ice cream has the same cooling properties as regular ice cream when it comes to spicy food. You know when you’re eating really spicy salsa and the only thing that helps is to eat more of it? That’s exactly how this ice cream fireball worked. The only minimal relief came from the generous amount of chocolate chips. I got through about two-thirds and had to call it quits.
Kat’s Ice Cream is definitely filling an untapped market. It’s vegan- and lactose intolerant-friendly which is a welcome addition to Austin’s food scene. Personally I wouldn’t seek it out over other Austin ice cream gems, but if I’m in the area and/or they’re running an interesting special, I’ll definitely stop by again. Give it a try yourself!