By Sam Padgett
It only takes hearing a few notes of ubiquitous ice cream truck jingles such as “Turkey in the Straw,” “Pop Goes the Weasel” and “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” to make most people salivate (we know it’s not just us). Although food trucks have evolved beyond their creamy origins to include tacos, barbecue and endless other hand-held creations, Graham Evans, who will roll his Bluegrass Creamery ice cream bus into IX Art Park in mid-April, wants to get back to mobile snacking basics.
Bluegrass Creamery’s soft-serve ice cream is made from the milk of grass-fed cows. Evans calls it a “secret sauce” that gives the ice cream a fuller flavor and a thicker, more custard-like texture.
“My career up until now has been focused on experimentation,” Evans says. “I like the process of understanding the variables that ultimately affect the outcome, and I simply applied that approach to making ice cream.” In the video for Bluegrass Creamery’s Indiegogo campaign, Evans explains that he was compelled to make his own ice cream after having the best ice cream he’d ever tasted, made from—you guessed it—milk from grass-fed cows, in Ireland.
Bluegrass Creamery will also serve vegan ice cream, using coconut cream and cashew milk as a base.
Evans and a team of artist friends have remodeled the bus (previously known as Ladybug Ice) and decorated it to blend into the art park’s eclectic, brightly colored ornamentation. Evans hopes to foster a community through his ice cream; he’s partnered with local businesses such as The Pie Chest and Frolic Chocolate to offer other treats on the bus. Plus, the creamery will employ a sliding scale pricing model, which allows customers to pay however much they can or want within a range ($2-3 for a small up to $5-8 for a large). Evans says he’s “passionate about building community and the social justice component of food. I believe good food should be eaten by everybody.”
Get your drinking shoes on: An authentic beer garden is opening up within walking distance of the Downtown Mall. Augustiner Beer Hall, to be located in the Glass Building beside Paradox Pastry in the former Bebedero space, will open in the coming months. Complete with an outdoor patio, a full-service restaurant and (of course) an extensive selection of local and European beers, the Augustiner Beer Hall could be a great location to clink glasses together and declare “prost!”
In fact, the name Augustiner comes from the name of one of Munich’s oldest breweries: Augustiner-Bräu. Beyond the beer, however, the Augustiner Beer Hall will serve a variety of European and locally inspired food, including schnitzel, ravioli and an array of hamburgers. While owner Oleg Makhayev has had plenty of experience working with beer (in Germany and Cleveland), he says he is looking to the community to refine the Charlottesville part of the menu. “To make local flavor, I have to learn from the locals,” he says. “That’s how I’ll know what people here want.”