The most Instagram-worthy cones, perfect for the ice cream socials you’ve been craving, are tucked away in the heart of RiNo. The Thai Iced Tea signature flavor is a swirl of pure refreshment available at Melted at 3350 Brighton Blvd. located inside the contemporary-chic Source Hotel, a lifestyle hotel and artisan market hall. A perfect fit for the eclectic, avant-garde neighborhood, Melted is a sweet spot for trendy foodies to flock to as the encore of the evening. The menu offers a seasonal selection of homemade soft serve ice cream and organic cones, including vegan selections like coconut (made with coconut milk) and chocolate (made with oat milk). Order a single flavor or two in a twist. Its iconic black cone is colored with activated charcoal instead of artificial coloring. Owner Bryan Dayton said he is offering “decadent desserts that fit within dietary needs” including accommodations for customers who are on dairy-free, vegan or gluten-free diets
palette,” and his “main goal is to be a fun, different, kitschy, dessert shop,” he said. Melted is pushing the envelope with flavors like the chartreuse, which is served at Christmas.
That’s not all that’s special about the candy-sprinkled cove. The menu contains a Southeast Asian specialty that is seldom seen in the United States, let alone Colorado: Thai buns. Thai buns are a literal take on the ice cream sandwich popular worldwide, meaning scoops of ice cream are served in a bun or slice of regular bread. In Sicily it’s gelato in brioche; Singapore has colored bread around a square of ice cream; in the Philippines, scoops are served in pandesal; in Thailand a hot dog bun is popular; and even the French fill profiteroles with ice cream from time to time. The American cousin is often an ice cream sandwich on a doughnut or a waffle.
Sandwichi-zing soft serve is a tasty way to cool down on the fly. The purpose of the bread is not only for portability, but also for texture. In Thailand, bread is cut and served with ice cream even when it’s not in the form of a street food like a sandwich. The single slice of bread in Melted’s Thai bun is fresh from the neighboring Reunion bakery, which is what truly makes the combo artisan. For Bangkok-style authenticity, the bun is then drizzled with sweetened, condensed milk and topped with a wide variety of toppings of your choosing.
When a cone breaks, it’s crunched up into a topping and when a sprinkle doesn’t stick it’s collected and added to a special mix known as “suicide sprinkles.” This sprinkle medley is only for the adventurous considering it could contain raw sugar, coconut, sprinkles, peppermint, cone bits, chocolate chips, you name it. Customers have even spotted candy-coated sunflower seeds which only adds to the uniqueness of the treat. Melted uses all biodegradable cups and spoons to further support the green initiative.
Dayton is no stranger to the restaurant scene considering he’s been in the business for more than 30 years and his resume includes nationally acclaimed Boulder restaurant Frasca. His sommelier training refined his palette and his extensive background in mixology of cocktails lends itself to his specific expertise in blending bold and seasonal flavors. Melted is expected to join the ranks of Dayton’s other ventures that have topped many “best of” lists including Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, Corrida in Denver and Acorn, which is also located in The Source. Market Hall at The Source is a 45,000 square-foot culinary complex that offers a little of everything including retail, apparel, a florist, a brewery, cocktails, pizza and a barbershop. It is home to a butcher, baker and a candlestick maker all under one roof. Market Hall is the perfect place for a date night or catching up with old friends and making new ones because you can go from drinks to dining to dessert to shopping and repeat. Market Hall is the ideal place to linger and doing so will add a cool factor to those hot summer nights.
STRAWBERRY STREUSEL COOKIES
In addition to its ice cream, Melted also has fresh baked cookies daily. Melted’s consulting pastry chef Jennifer Akina shares the summer favorite Strawberry Streusel Cookie recipe here.
2 sticks butter
23⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 cup dry milk powder
1⁄4 cup sugar, granulated
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, whole
1 tsp vanilla extract1⁄8 cup strawberry preserves
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried strawberries, chopped
1. Melt butter, cool slightly.2. Sift flour, salt, soda, milk powder.
3. Paddle butter and sugars for approximately 2 minutes.
4. Add eggs, vanilla, preserves slowly.
5. Add dry ingredients slowly, scraping down bowl.
6. Fold in white chocolate and dried strawberries.
7. Scoop into portions, press down halfway, and top with streusel.
8. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
9. Bake at 300 degrees on a parchment-lined sheet tray for approximately 5 minutes, rotate pans and then bake for another 5-7 minutes until slightly golden around edges.
10. Cool completely.
1 stick butter, room temp 1⁄2 cup sugar, granulated1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup ground, freeze-dried strawberries
Paddle all ingredients on low until crumbly (like gravel)
At the Source, 3350 Brighton Blvd., #145 Denver, CO 80216
Danielle Yuthas is a Denver native, journalist and marketer who is as hipster as skinny jeans and has an eye for the Instagram-able.
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