At first, Pops masquerades like any other sort of colorful, fun ice cream store beckoning cheekily on a hot day. But as you scan the menu and land upon the “Churchill,” you soon realize you’re someplace special. As in, a Costa Rican ice cream paradise, the first of two stores in the United States.
The ice cream tastes richer, the flavors more exotic. But that’s not what gets me.
I fell for the Churchill, made with kola champagne ice cream. But I have to admit that, even after devouring it, I still didn’t know how to describe it. It’s bright pink and ridiculously sweet, but not so sweet that you can’t finish the whole thing. It’s blended up like a milkshake and sprinkled with powdered milk. Sounds suspicious, but it works.
The Churchill is the sort of treat created for children – or for your candy-loving inner child.
But what exactly is kola champagne flavor? I asked the manager Roberto Abreu, 25, for help in explaining it.
“The kola champagne is a very popular flavor from Costa Rica,” he said. “It’s like a syrupy taste – the syrup that goes on top of the snow cones that we make on our beaches. So basically it’s the same extract from the syrup made into a creamy ice cream. The shake – the Churchill – is emulating a snow-cone from the beaches of Costa Rica with a more creamy taste. It comes with powdered milk (which) gives a little more thickness to the shake.”
With 90 locations throughout Costa Rica and more than 150 in Central America, Pops has two shops so far in the United States – this one in Singer Island and a recently opened store in Pembroke Pines.
“We try to concentrate in high quality ice cream, so they’re premium ingredients. Not just the traditional flavors that everyone knows but very unique flavors (like) the kola champagne we use in the Churchill, ” Abreu said.
The location is perfect to inspire a walk on the beach, ice cream in tow. The beach is just steps away.
Pops Costa Rica’s Creamery: 2503 N. Ocean Drive, Singer Island; 561-318-6358; open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.