With the heat really coming on, a new concept that been spreading all over the country finally made it’s way to Wichita just in time to cool down our palates.
It’s time to introduce the city to 8 Below Rolled Ice Cream.
Union Station canopies
701 E Douglas
Wichita, KS 67202
Open Daily 11am – 10pm
Website – Menu available online
8 Below Rolled Ice Cream brings something Wichita has never seen before and people are coming in masses. They really nailed it down with the location being in Old Town inside the Union State canopies. With an open area with a great view of Douglas, you could grab a dessert and walk around downtown unless it’s so hot out that the ice cream melts. We found some shaded areas in Union Station to sit and enjoy our treats.
The concept is visually appealing as they make the ice cream right in front of you. All the ingredients you choose are placed onto a pan set at negative eight degrees. Then similar to a hibachi grill chef, the staff chops its, mixes it, flattens its, and rolls the ice cream into eggroll shape desserts. They then put them into bowls and top them with additional ingredients of your choosing.
It’s all very cool. I stopped by over the weekend with my niece and cousins and everyone was up against the counter watching the employees work away.
If you don’t want to pick all your ingredients, they have preset options of desserts you can choose from.
We recorded our creations in the works.
On our visit, we ordered the Brownie Mix, Pink Lady, Cookies & Cream, Mango Tango and Gimme Smore.
With only three stations available to make the ice cream, it can take some time especially when there’s long lines. Each dessert took roughly 10-15 minutes to make. We arrived at 12:30 on Saturday afternoon and were able to order immediately. Within minutes after we ordered, an extremely long line built up that had to create about an hour wait. We were very lucky.
The ice cream was better than expected. All the kids absolutely it. The rolls had a great texture which tasted incredibly fresh. Couple of the kids said it was the best ice cream they’ve ever had.
The Mango Tango was probably the favorite of all the ice creams. The strawberries and mango really stood out from your everyday vanilla or chocolate ice cream that the kids are accustomed to. Even though there was a standout favorite, there wasn’t one that anybody disliked or felt was average.
At six bucks per bowl, it was a little on the high end even though everyone liked it. The price would probably hinder many families from going frequently.
The wait times also left a lot to be desired. I was speaking with a couple of the employees and they noted that wait times all week long were 1-2 hours long. That hopefully will get better as the staff becomes more experienced at making the ice cream. Also when the ice cream was ready, the staff would announce out a number which caused some issues. Some people would order their ice cream and step outside of the building because it was so packed. Others would forget their number. Fixing that process of customers retrieving their ice cream could use some work.
Our experience at 8 Below Ice Cream was incredible partly because we were able to beat the rush. It took no more than fifteen minutes to order and get our ice cream. That instance became a rarity within minutes after our arrival. Many people I spoke to later who had tried 8 Below gave me their stories of long wait times close to an hour but loved the ice cream.
We will see how 8 Below Ice Cream improves as the summer moves along. With a great product, their process has a lot of room for improvement. If you can try it out without the long wait times, it’s certainly recommended.
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