I am quite partial to a bowl of frozen goodness whether it be ice cream, custard, or gelato. And like most other things I find that there that there is no beating small batch locally made icy treats. If you think Coldstone is top notch in Wichita, then you need to branch out.
Little Lion Ice Cream has started out small and with very little overhead as they are one of the few pop-up food stands in town. Their small cart shows up at various businesses, events, and markets across town. Following them on social media is the best way to keep track of their movements and current flavors. Typically they offer 3-4 different flavors many of which incorporate locally sourced fruit, vegetables, and products. If you have a need for their ice cream on a day they aren’t out and about, pints are usually available at Reverie and Espresso to Go Go.
We caught up with them at Central Standard Brewing on a Sunday afternoon. I had this date circled for quite some time as an event featuring beer and ice cream is one that I strongly approve of. On this particular day the flavor choices were vanilla, mascarbeet, and one made with CSB’s farmhouse saison, Tawny Dancer. We went with a scoop of all three to share with each other and the kids. Yes we took our kids to a brewery, but on a Sunday afternoon it’s a fairly family friendly place, and there is a park right across the street.
The mascarbeet was a unique combination of mascarpone, citrus zest, and locally grown beets. While beets may sound like an off-putting ingredient, the combination worked nicely. Citrus was the dominate flavor in this refreshing offering, while the beets gave it a stunning purple hue, and mascarpone added a rich creaminess. You could certainly taste the dry citrus notes of Tawny Dancer beer in the ice cream version. It also paired nicely with a Red Cicada sour beer. As it turned out, Little Lion’s vanilla was hands down the best of the three and some of the best vanilla ice cream I have had. The simplicity of the real vanilla flavor and silky smooth creaminess of their ice cream base was a great combination.
Wichita finally has a high end ice cream purveyor in Little Lion. At $3 a scoop it is certainly on the pricey side, but their product is akin to a prime cut of beef, you get what you pay for. So track them down, sit back, and enjoy the rich flavors of real (and oftentimes local) ice cream ingredients.