By Lauren H. Dowdle
Photos by Morgan Hunt
The words used to describe the dozens of tasty treats at La Sabrosita Ice Cream Shop may vary depending on a person’s native tongue. But, the sweet taste from a mouthful of ice cream or licking a fruity popsicle is the same in every language — no translation needed.
Victor Olivas and his wife, Maria Soto, opened the ice cream shop in 2014. Originally from Mexico, the couple spent their adult lives in Georgia, which is where they realized the popularity of ice cream shops.
So, when they moved to Hoover a decade ago, they knew they wanted to open a similar business with their family. Now, their oldest two daughters, nieces and nephews help out with the Lorna Road shop—making it a true family business.
Their heritage has played a large role in the flavors, dishes, overall atmosphere they’ve created and, of course, the shop’s name. La Sabrosita, which means “little tasty” in Spanish, carries ice cream, water- and cream-based popsicles, rolled ice cream, tapioca drinks, mixed fruit cups, teas, corn on the cob and other dishes you might not find anywhere else in town.
All of their ice creams are homemade, so customers won’t be able to buy the same flavors at a grocery store or other local eatery. They plan to remodel the shop this year so that they can make all of their ice cream in-house, also allowing them to play around with even more flavors. The ice cream is available in milkshakes, banana splits, ice cream bars, crunchy ice cream sandwiches and cones. “You can really tell it’s homemade with the creaminess of the ice cream,” Olivas says.
Their paletas de crema (cream-based popsicles) include flavors like pistachio, pine nut, pecan, coffee, rice, coconut, dried fruit, cheesecake and dried prune. Their water-based popsicles come in lemon, strawberry, tamarind, guava, grape, watermelon, bubblegum and cucumber with chili.
To cool down and liven up taste buds, customers can take a sip of one of their popping bubble teas. Flavors include mango, passionfruit, lemon, strawberry, peach, lychee, pineapple, pomegranate and more.
The welcoming, bright colors found throughout the shop are the perfect match for the fresh, colorful treats that keep customers coming back again and again. Walking into this sweets heaven is truly the dream of every child — or those who are a child at heart.
“My favorite part is seeing new people and meeting new customers,” Olivas says. The shop attracts people of all ages and nationalities.
Some describe the shop like an old-timey ice cream parlor, and customers especially enjoy relaxing in the rustic, handmade wooden booths. The location has nearly 3,000 square feet, giving customers plenty of space to eat their sweet treats. “People can come inside, get their ice cream and relax with their family in one of the booths,” Olivas says. “We also have seating outside where they can enjoy their ice cream.”
For those craving something a bit more on the savory side, try Dorilocos, a bag of Doritos topped with a variety of ingredients. Another especially popular dish is their chicharrones preparado. For this item, they fry a piece of wheat in a 10-by-5-inch square shape, serving it with toppings like cabbage, cheese, sour cream and salsa — sort of like a salad. It’s definitely not the average ice cream shop snack, but once people give it a try, it’s easy to taste why they keep coming back for more.
Their menu is written in both English and Spanish with plenty of images, and the team is more than happy to answer any questions about the items — as long as customers are ready to have their mouths water.
La Sabrosita also has an ice cream truck the family takes to events, offering popular ice pop flavors like watermelon, Neapolitan, strawberry cheesecake, chocolate, lemon, strawberry, kiwi strawberry mango, bubblegum, pineapple strawberry, and esquimales with nuts and yogurt.
For those looking for authentic, international tastes without leaving the city limits, they won’t want to miss out on the expansive menu of treats La Sabrosita has to offer.
“Come and give us a try,” he says. “There’s something for everyone.”
La Sabrosita Ice Cream is located at 3702 Lorna Road in in the River Oaks Village shopping center. During the summer months, La Sabrosita is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Top Flavors to Try
With 28 flavors of ice cream available at any given time — not to mention all of their other menu items — the variety alone sets La Sabrosita Ice Cream Shop apart.
Their cheese-flavored ice creams like queso con fresa (strawberry cheesecake) are especially popular. Other must-try flavors include pecan, lemon and mango with chili powder. Owner Victor Olivas’s personal favorite flavor is their rum raisin.
“We definitely have flavors that people have never heard of,” he says. “We try to get away from flavors like vanilla and chocolate and try different flavors they can’t get anywhere else.”