By Barbara King
Treat yourself to a one-of-kind taste treat at Gabby Z’s Ice Cream Dreams. The funky store is an offshoot of the Burger Grind restaurant on Old Jacksonville and features ice cream that is out of this world.
Gabby’s is named after owner Brandon Zarecor’s young daughter, and it’s a great place to relax with family and friends for dessert after your burger. The ice cream side of things opened in June and has been really busy over the summer months as a place to beat the heat.
The ice cream is rich, creamy, and really unique. You won’t find anything like it in Tyler, as it comes straight out of Michigan. Ashby’s Sterling flavors are ordered fresh every week, and you will find new selections ranging from more than 70 available flavors. The ice cream parlor regularly features 12 original flavors every week.
Originating in Michigan in 1984, the award-winning ice cream, created by the Davis family “tastes as good as it looks.” Their claim to fame is that the flavors are created, not copied, with unique names that reflect their goodness.
On my recent visit, flavors included Cool Mint Cookie (mint ice cream with chocolate covered mint cookie balls and a chocolate cookie fudge swirl), Michigan Pothole (thick, black-tar fudge in chocolate ice cream with chunks of chocolate asphalt), Nana’s Banana Pudding (banana pudding ice cream swirled with marshmallow crème and vanilla cookies), NSA Country Apple Pie (no sugar added pie chips and apple pie ribbon in no sugar added apple ice cream).
Manager Angel Garza explains “the banana pudding ice cream has real bits of banana pudding in it, and so does the apple pie ice cream; it’s incredibly rich and true to taste.”
Stan and Sharon Sobotka from Flint, dropped by to check out the ice cream, choosing Sangria Sherbet with chunky pineapple and Michigan Pothole, the decadent chocolate selection of the week.
“Stan never orders chocolate, but he got a sample, and he devoured it,” said Sharon. “The ice cream is better than any I’ve ever had, and the prices and selection are great,” she said.
Prices are very reasonable: $2.49 for one scoop, two scoops for $4.39, with a waffle cone for an additional $.75. Also on the menu are chocolate dipped cones, shakes and malts, tye die shakes, floats, banana splits, and specialty sundaes. Sundaes feature brownies, peanut butter cup, chocolate chip cookie, double oreos, or s’mores.
The Burger Grind and Gabby Z’s are a great place for students to eat, meet, hang out, and study. Dominique Hawkins, a student at East Texas Christian Academy was grabbing a cookie dough cone and meeting with a friend to study. “I live really close by, and we like to meet here and get a treat,” she said.
The ice cream parlor is not a chain, but locally owned with customer service as their number one priority. “We are getting a lot of repeat customers, and the word is spreading about the quality of our ice cream,” explained Garza.
Visit Gabby Z’s, and treat your sweet tooth to an ice cream of your dreams!
Visit them on Facebook for special drawings and a list of their current flavors at Gabby Z’s Ice Cream Dreams. Gabby Z’s Ice Cream Dreams is located at 15902 CR 165, just off of Old Jacksonville Hwy. in Tyler.