Columnist Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and a Movie

Science at Work at Nite Creamery

By Teri Bayus

It’s hard to believe that everything imaginable to eat has not already been tried and turned into a “fusion meal.” But as a big game hunter of food and restaurants, now and then my mind is blown when some culinary genius comes up with a new way to enjoy sustenance.

I am pleased to say that we currently have a “better mousetrap” in Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo called, “Nite Creamery.” The name is a play on nitrogen, as this ice cream parlor offers a new way to enjoy frozen cream and all the things that enhance it to a delight.

Typically, ice cream gets put in a freezer after being made, and over time forms ice crystals resulting in a grainy texture and sometimes an unpleasant freezer taste. At Nite Creamery, the ice cream is made in front of you, as ordered.

They use liquid nitrogen to freeze the all-natural premium cream instantly creating a smoother, creamier, better scoop of ice cream. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold, odorless, and completely safe to use, and as soon as liquid nitrogen touches the cream, it vaporizes into the air leaving behind a superior product along with a cool show that will make you squeal.

Each store has seven monthly flavors to choose from including one that is lactose and gluten free. Here is how you order:

1. Pick your flavor from the menu;

2. Decide if it comes in a cup, Puff or waffle cone; and,

3. Sit back and watch the magic happen.

This is the cool part, this ice cream does not melt at the rate of others, and so you can take a cone to-go. The first time, Gary ate his way through the entire menu, as the flavor palate is vast and varied.

He started with the salted caramel crunch, with salty-sweet cream, pretzels and a caramel drizzle.

The frozen baristas take your order and pour a sweet cream base into a bowl. Then they add the ingredients to be mixed in and put it into a blender. Once thoroughly blended, they move it into a steel bowl under the nitrogen spout, which turns the cream into a flawless ice ball.

They transfer that to a paper bowl or puff cone and top with delicacies.

It’s incredibly creative and amazing.

I had the pineapple picante with pineapple sorbet, tajin chili power, and chamoy sauce. It was sweet, hot and marvelous, and while I rarely finish sweets, I inhaled this.

Gary went back for the “Flintstones,” a pure vanilla ice cream with Fruit Pebbles. He loved this blast from the past. His second favorite was the Central Coast crunch made with vanilla ice cream, brownie bits, praline almonds and caramel drizzle.

We talk to the owners, Nino Eng and wife Cheryl, and they told us of their desire to bring a new dessert to the Central Coast. Currently, they have stores in Santa Maria and SLO, but they are looking to expand into Paso Robles and Santa Barbara.

The idea of making ice cream by freezing it with liquid nitrogen came from a place in Long Beach, but the flavor palate is all theirs.

I asked them about the idea, and as a master magician of sweets, he answered, “When the liquid nitrogen comes in contact with our ice cream base that’s when the magic happens. Clouds of vaporized nitrogen form around the bowl and boom; your ice cream is made. Science is sweet!

“We want to make sure everything we do creates an experience that brings you back and leaves you happy. A lot of thought has been put into every aspect of Nite Creamery, so come on over and treat a scoop of happiness.”

Their most popular flavors are strawberry, using local strawberries and The Red Woman, featuring red velvet ice cream and red crumbles.

We took our grands to try it, and the Cin-A-Bunch was a hit with vanilla ice cream and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal on top, as was the S’more with a large, toasted marshmallow on top and bits of graham cracker and chocolate throughout.

It’s as much fun to watch it being created as to eat. The cloud of hot ice comes billowing out as the ice cream is frozen and the toppings and sweet nature of the staff, make this a destination place as well as carnal pleasure.

Nite Creamery is open daily from 3-10:30 p.m. and located at 2003 S. Miller St., Santa Maria and at 570 Higuera St., Ste. 103 in SLO. Go see it in person, or check it out at: www.nitecreamery.com.

 

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ — Breathtaking But Silly

Cloudy with a chance of dinosaurs is the current forecast in California, if you believe the Jurassic lore.

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” is the third in the current series, and sixth in the celluloid incarnation of the Jurassic series that have all palled compared to the book by Michael Crichton.

I know, dinosaurs are cool, but Chris Pratt is even cooler, so we all go to see this movie. But, it is pure drivel.

Scary for kids in a way that is not necessary and does the tired and sickening, “Let’s weaponize everything that is menacing,” a cheap trick that less-imaginative screenwriters take.

This whole film is a shortcut in creativity to make them scary for kids and a weapon. Here is what I am begging of Hollywood, when a franchise has run out of new ideas, please just lay it to rest. Don’t cash those advance checks and call it in, have some damn integrity and say “No.” And, yes, I hated it that much.

The plot: four years after the Jurassic World theme park was closed down, Owen and Claire return to Isla Nublar to save the dinosaurs when they learn that a once dormant volcano on the island is active and is threatening to extinguish all life there.

Along the way, Owen sets out to find Blue, his lead raptor, and discovers a conspiracy that could disrupt the natural order of the entire planet. Life has found a way, again.

In comparison to other Jurassic Park movies, this one was awful. It was the same thing that has been done in every other installment, PLUS so many plot holes, the theater smelled of Swiss cheese.

When it comes to gigantic, blockbuster franchises, the law of diminishing returns typically applies. Each new film somehow manages to be bigger and dumber, while also offering audiences pretty much the same experience that raked in the box-office bucks in the first place.

That’s why Fallen Kingdom comes as a pleasant surprise. It’s far from perfect, with a screenplay that veers between breathtaking and breathtakingly silly.

But there’s a lot of thought and quite a bit of bravery invested in everything on display — from story, character and thematic development, to where this dino-driven series can go in the future.

Teri Bayus is the Host of Taste Buds, shown on KSBY and the CW, Charter 2 and on You Tube on the Taste Buds Channel. Teri’s Culinary Erotic Book, Consumed is available on Amazon and IBOOKS. Dinner and a Movie is a regular Feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.

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