For July and August, we're bringing Chilled to Go: weekly posts on the best things you can get for takeout to beat the heat.
There are so many times I eat something good and instantly want to write about it. Less often, there’s something worth writing about, then when that time comes, all I want to do is eat it again.
That’s the case for the chocolate-dipped strawberry kulfi at Dude, Sweet Chocolate.
Chef Katherine Clapner has been creating these push-pop-like sweets this summer, giving Dallas a new flavor seemingly weekly. Last week, she took East Texas strawberries and made one that’s nothing short of phenomenal.
The kulfi is meant to be dipped — get this one with chocolate pearls and chocolate. Though baklava is an option in place of those perfect pearls, if you taste the pearls on your own you’ll find a pronounced flavor for such tiny bites.
The strawberry ice cream itself is delectable: super creamy and full of strawberry flavor throughout.
“It’s like this unknown hero of fucking frozen stuff,” Clapner says. “It doesn’t melt so fast because of all the fat, and the fat makes it taste good.”
That fat comes in the form of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. Don’t focus too much on your macro count with this treat; it’s fully worth letting go and enjoying it.
The strawberry ice cream doesn’t need anything else, but the chocolate — not your average dipping chocolate — is so good, all I can say about the combination is it will blow your mind as you stand there on Eighth Street tasting it for the first time.
“The magic shells, a lot of time they have coconut oil, they have this kind of greasy weird texture that slides off the ice cream,” Clapner says.
But we’re at Dude, Sweet. The chocolate — whether it’s in fudge form or for kulfi dipping — is quality.
Dude, Sweet’s Bishop Arts location has a little seating area outside, vibrant red benches and a table you can’t miss. Your kulfi will be handed to you upside down in a cup to go. Take it out and shine it in the sun to brag to passers-by that you have a superior treat in your hands.
And if you’re like me, have no shame in walking through the neighborhood, tipping your head to the side to make sure no bit of chocolate hazardously falls to the ground beneath you. Succumb to putting it in the cup and using the provided spoon, if you must.
While tasting this kulfi can help you escape realities of 2020 for a bit, they’re unforgettable for Dallas establishments. But while you walk around North Bishop Avenue, you feel there are enough people to keep things alive.
“Nothing’s selling really well because I don’t have enough people,” Clapner says. “They keep having events all down Bishop and they forget about Eighth Street and Seventh Street. We’re like the bastard children who have been here for 11 years. We’ve experienced this for years.”
But for now, she creates on, using this time to take a step back. After all, if you’ve followed Dude, Sweet for a while, these push-pops may make you think of what they were up to years ago.
“We’ve done ice cream a thousand different ways from Sunday. I get on a kick and I go down that rabbit hole, it’s whatever I'm jiving on … When we first opened, we’d have 20 different flavors of pops at any different time.
“We have so many ingredients around, it allows us to make stuff up. There may be two of one kind in the freezer and 10 of the other; it’s always good to ask what other flavors there are.”
One of Clapner’s favorite flavors is the lemon-violet, which she says is best when not dipped.
“Christmas [product] is the same thing; everything I’m doing right now is experiments from the beginning, who we were before I had a partner that kind of vanilla-ed the stuff. It’s not a dig on him, but I’m not a vanilla chef, so it’s kind of exciting and be able to do that, look at the freezer, look at the pantry and see what we're going to make this week and we just off and go,” Clapner says.
“Everything about Dude, Sweet right now is going back to the beginning.”
Dude, Sweet Chocolate, 408 W. Eighth St., No. 102 (Bishop Arts District).
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