I was just saying the other day that we needed more gourmet popsicles in our area. Ask and ye shall receive. Frios Gourmet Pops recently opened a spot in Fairhope’s Windmill Market. Just in time to help beat the summer heat, the little pop shop that began in Gadsden has expanded as far south and east as Destin, and most recently over to the Eastern Shore.

Kari Benson (above), owner of Frios, a new gourmet pops stand in Fairhope, offers up such flavors as Key Lime Pie and Watermelon.

Kari Benson (above), owner of Frios, a new gourmet pops stand in Fairhope, offers up such flavors as Key Lime Pie and Watermelon.

It is not just the interesting flavors that make Frios Pops so special. It’s the fresh ingredients. Frios works hand in hand with local farmers to produce popsicles from the freshest ingredients possible. What could be better on a hot day than local strawberries and peaches in a frozen treat as you stroll down Bancroft Avenue?

The fruity flavors round out the normal while the creamy flavors get a little more adventurous. Key lime pie, tiramisu, banana pudding, and sea salt caramel are a few that caught my eye. Who knows? At Windmill Market there is seasonal produce hanging from the trees. Maybe at some point we will see fresh figs in these pops. I’m down for that.

Take in the flavor during these times of oppressive heat. South Baldwin County can enjoy these treats at Lulu’s Homeport Marina. Now Fairhope is a much cooler place with Frios as a tenant. Check them out on Facebook or visit friospops.com for the full story.

Sugar Rush Bayou gets new digs

The success of our confection kings known as Sugar Rush has grown the business too big for its Bayou britches. Though the Mobile location remains the same, Sugar Rush’s Bayou La Batre store just moved into a larger storefront. Have no fear, fans to the south. It did not move very far. The new address is just down the street at 13240 N. Wintzell Ave. Plug that into your phone and you’ll be slammed full of donuts in no time.

One employee described the new place as “spacious.” I asked her if there was anything new to the menu, and she assured me that everything was just business as usual. However, their Facebook page says ice cream is coming soon to the Bayou. I wouldn’t mind a hot donut and a cold scoop. Keep the frozen treats headed our way.

Cajun BBQ the “hottest” new flavor at Original Oyster House

So we are crazy about chargrilled oysters. This past year has seen many restaurants set flames to cast iron grates and fire up the bivalves by the dozen. The usual rendition is garlic butter and cheese served with a giant piece of toast to soak up the drippings. I don’t know who started this trend, but he or she deserves a medal.

Our very own Original Oyster House is hopefully starting the next trend in oyster preparation. Imagine the taste of New Orleans with their new Cajun butter barbecued oysters. For me, this was an attention getter. They start by smothering the oysters in garlic butter. Next, the oysters get the special Cajun barbecue sauce treatment. And if anything deserves a huge piece of bread to sop up the aftermath, this is it.

“We wanted to serve oysters with a distinctive bold taste of the Big Easy, which are perfectly seared and sizzling with juices. The Cajun barbecue sauce is an old New Orleans recipe and you really taste the warmth and spices flavoring the oysters,” explained co-owner of the Original Oyster House Joe Roszkowski. “We also have added Cajun butter barbecued shrimp to the menu as well for shrimp lovers.”

Did he say barbecued shrimp? Well, my dad’s are the best, but I’d be more than willing to give these a try. As a matter of fact, when I read this I headed down to the Causeway with fellow oyster, shrimp, and giant toast lover David Rasp for a sampling of the Cajun barbecue specialties. Boy, were we disappointed to discover none of the staff we spoke to had a clue about these potential addictions. This menu offering is only available at the Gulf Shores location. The nerve of these guys.

Write your congressman, send your emails, and do whatever you have to do to get Cajun barbecued oysters and shrimp to the Battleship Parkway location.

KFC takes the high road

It is a shame that people were quick to jump on Kentucky Fried Chicken when a news story broke about three-year-old Victoria Welcher. You’ve no doubt heard the young lady was mauled by three of her grandfather’s pit bulls this past spring in Simpson County, Miss., and according to her grandmother was asked to leave a Jackson area KFC after a doctor’s appointment due to her appearance.

The story is full of holes, but the Kentucky-based fast food giant no doubt suffered from the bad press. After an internal investigation by KFC turned up no discrepancies nor proof of a visit by Victoria and her grandmother Kelly Mullins on May 15, a third party has been hired to perform a separate investigation.

No matter how this turns out (and it isn’t looking good for Mullins) KFC has committed to donating $30,000 to help with the medical bills. From their perspective, it is about helping the child. But in the days leading up to the revelation it was possibly a hoax, Jackson employees have endured threats, had drinks thrown through drive through windows (that’s called “fire in the hole”) and have even taken to changing in and out of their uniforms at work.

Even if it were true, I never understood blaming an entire corporation for the shortcomings of one employee, or even one franchise. It’s not like the CEO did it. It’s not as if the business condones such activity. But what I do understand is that right now I feel compelled to dine at a KFC. However it turns out, they appear to have handled it well so far.

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