I’m not going to lie. I knew about Las Paletas for a while now, even before I was a Tennessee resident almost two years ago. I distinctly remember when I first read about it on the Internet (Trip Advisor to be exact). I accompanied Haley for a trip to Nashville for a job interview and while interviewing, I tried my hardest to find Las Paletas (which at the time didn’t have a store sign) but I never found it… that is until just a few weeks ago when I ran in the half marathon with Haley. I’m very disappointed in myself for not trying harder.
Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles is a simple shop with a simple menu that serves only one kind of dessert. It is home to a simple dessert, the Latin “ice pop”, more commonly referred to as popsicle to us Americans. If that word brings back memories of those childhood years where everyone enjoyed those cheap frozen liquid desserts from the grocery store freezer, guess again. These are of the gourmet variety and proof is from Las Paletas‘ national exposure by the Food Network not once, but twice. The first was for a battle between American celebrity chef Bobby Flay and Las Paletas in 2008 for Bobby’s Throwdown television program. The second was in 2010 for Kid in a Candy Store hosted by Adam Gertler, a former contestant on The Next Food Network Star.
Paletas are generally categorized as either cream-based or water-based but in Las Paletas, you’ll find them categorized as “Creamy Paletas”, “Fruity Paletas”, or “Other Paletas”. For Creamy Paletas, selections such as Hot Chocolate (as in pepper “hot”), Avocado, Blueberry Chocolate Chips, and Banana Nut are some of the choices available. For Fruity Paletas, some examples are Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Pineapple Blackberry, and Lime. As for the Other Paletas, Hibiscus and Cucumber w/ Hot Peppers are available as well. Whichever you choose, you’ll be set back $2.50 per paleta but don’t let that deter you. You’ll be very sorry if you did.
After my disappointing experience with the next door’s Burger Up, my coworkers Daniel and Jonathan went next door to Las Paletas. Seeing how it was my first time there, I asked for some guidance from one of the staff members. She asked if I wanted to go with common flavors or unique flavors and I said unique. Her recommendation was the avocado “creamy” paleta. I didn’t just settle on one though… for the sake of this review (and myself) I also chose a strawberry “fruity” paleta.
Neatly formed and placed in an open plastic wrapper, I tried the strawberry paleta first. To describe the taste would be like describing the perfectly ripe strawberry. The sweetness was just perfect and there was even a hint of a leafy flavor. It reminded me exactly like eating a fresh strawberry and accidentally biting into one of the upper leaves that adorn the stem. Never before had I ever had a strawberry popsicle that was that good.
Next up was the avocado paleta. With a slightly green hue appearance, I took my first bite. No words could describe how wonderfully delicious it was. I could taste the avocado, which was very light yet a very smooth and creamy. To top it off, it too had the perfect amount of sweetness. The paleta reminded me of the “Sweet Cream” ice cream available at Marble Slab Creamery without the heaviness of the cream and a more subtle sweetness. It instantly became one of my favorites despite my only experience with two paletas.
As I write this, I yearn for the taste of another amazingly delicious paleta. That’s all I could think about this past weekend and even still, I am trying to devise a plan to make it back to 12th Avenue South. If you are visiting Nashville and have time, I suggest that you take the time to visit Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles. It will probably be the best popsicle you’ve ever tasted… but before you do make sure it’s not a Monday (because they are closed on that day) and be sure to bring cash or a check… because they don’t accept plastic.
|Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles
2905 12th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37204
Bill Total: $2.50 per Popsicle