Morelli's Gourmet Ice Cream (749 Moreland Ave., 404-622-0210, www.morellisicecream.com), could not have opened its doors at a better time. As the stifling summer heat approaches, this mom-and-pop ice cream stand in Ormewood Square is already drawing raves for its interesting spectrum of flavors and the thick and creamy ice cream made in a style similar to Italian gelato. Owners Donald Sargent and his wife, Clarissa Morelli, are always trying out new experiments based on customer feedback, and invite inspiration from anyone.
Whether you're craving one scoop or three, all the flavors come in your choice of a cup, sugar cone or waffle cone ($2.69-$6.99). Traditional flavors such as strawberry and chocolate are perfection, but the addictively bitter quality of the sticky "black walnut" is a masterful departure from your average scoop. Another standout, the "sweet corn," is studded with large, frozen kernels that add a naturally sugared dimension. If savory sweets are more your fancy, the "coconut jalapeño" – flecked with bright green pieces of fresh peppers and packed with shreds of coconut – will wow you with its picante finish and chewy texture.
While this is a self-proclaimed "gourmet" ice cream stand, kids won't feel left out. The whimsical "dirt n' worms" sundae ($2.65) combines a cup of ice cream with Oreo cookie crumbles and gummy worms. If you're indulging with a crowd, use it as an excuse to order the "Morelli's Big Family" sundae ($16) complete with eight scoops of ice cream and a smorgasbord of toppings.
The slightly spicy, cinnamon-laced "Mexican malted milk shake" ($3.89-$4.15) is a delicious spin on the American classic. Made-to-order crepes ($2.50-$6.50) come filled with a savory mix of ham and gooey cheese or the addictive combination of Nutella and fresh strawberries. If you're feeling especially sinful – a given if you've made the trip – a scoop of ice cream can be added for $1.61.