It was a hot day in Dallas (like those are hard to come by). I had spent minute after sweltering minute wandering Klyde Warren Park aimlessly, going from booth to booth tasting and photographing and smiling and eating and searching and chatting, and all I wanted to do was dunk my head into the giant plastic ice tanks that held the free bottled water, still and sparkling. This is Dallas, after all. But it was for that very reason I couldn't do that. I marched on, sweaty and buzzed on cocktails and gourmet bites, until I saw it. The ice-cold light at the end of a hot, hot tunnel. Fall? Is that you? No. Not yet. It was only October, silly. But it was the PopStar Handcrafted Popsicles stand, where Jen (newly Mrs.) Doumas stood. The clouds parted as she offered me a frozen treat. She recommended the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, in fact. "With Herman Marshall whiskey in it," she added. SOLD.
I am not a whiskey man. I'm not a man at all, but no matter. I don't care for the stuff, generally. But damn if that pop didn't do things to me that made me wish I was a whiskey man. There's something about the vanilla and bourbon that just kills it in the caramelization-of-flavors department. I didn't even care how it looked to staring passersby; I moaned and licked and ate that thing up in about a minute flat so as not to miss a drop of that bourbony, frozen goodness. In that moment, I knew: PopStar wins the Dallas popsicle stick battle for my heart. It's a quality over quantity thing, a taste thing, and it doesn't hurt that the "handcrafters" themselves are also really nice folks. And I'm just guessing, but I bet they'd never put gluten-free brownies in their pops. That's just plain unnecessary.
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PopStar Handcrafted Popsicles sell locally at spots like Luscher's, Unleavened, Green Grocer, freshii and Dallas newcomer Royal Blue Grocery, or you can find them at a few of the local farmers markets.