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Hottest spots for coolest summer treats


Who needs to scream for ice cream? We're lucky to have some of the region's best frozen treats — from root beer floats to gourmet popsicles and paletas — cooling off the county.

We've found some newcomers to the scene and defrosted some old favorites for your summer scooping.

Shave Ice at Ono'z: If you've ever eaten fresh snow, you'll understand why Hawaiians don't appreciate their shave ice being compared to snow cones (which are more like icy slush). Grinding ice into powdery snowballs, Ono'z owner and native islander Jocelyn Nelson does an authentic version with guava or mango syrup. She dolls them up with a scoop of vanilla, passion fruit or coconut-pineapple ice cream and, for purists only, an additional dollop of sweet azuki beans.

She'll also whip up halo-halo for devotees, a Filipino cooler made with evaporated milk, shave ice, ice cream, jackfruit, beans, taro and, well, a host of other tasty tidbits you'll have to have her explain. During lunch hours, they also serve loco moco and Hawaiian barbecue plates. Open 10 am to 5 pm Monday, Wed-Sun. 16218 main St., Guerneville, 604-7150.

Cinnamon Tortilla, Maple Bacon Ice Cream at Frozen Art: The Alcazar family is legendary in making Michoacana-style ice creams. Since opening in 2011 (originally as La Real Michoacana), their lineup of 40-plus flavors has continued to expand and now includes maple bacon, cinnamon tortilla, lemon olive-oil and zinfandel chocolate chip. What's here today, however, may be all scooped up by tomorrow.

But don't worry, Jorge and his dad have plenty more flavors yet to conquer, including Gansito (a Twinkie-like cake popular in Mexico) and champagne.

What's in a name? Like many other local neverias owners, the Alcazars hail from Tocumbo, Mexico's ice-cream-making capital, and sometimes competition among countrymen (and even relatives) can get intense. A recent flap among local businesses calling themselves "Michoacana" ended up in name changes for all but the Sonoma neverias.

The Alcazars' ice cream, however, knows no borders. The family is now making customized flavors for Ono'z and Karla's Ice Cream (27 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg) and do production for Real Cool Frozen Treats. 500 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa.

Also worth a try: Fru-ta (2770 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa, 542-6026); La Michoacano (18495 Highway 12, Sonoma) or Colores (443 Dutton Ave., Santa Rosa, 526-6661).

Gourmet Fruit Pops at Real Cool Frozen Treats: Don't call these popsicles. Chef Maria DeCorpo's frozen ice pops are made with seasonal produce and organic ingredients.

A regular at the Wednesday Downtown Market in Santa Rosa, her ice-cream cart is stocked with flavors like apricot-almond, melon-mint, lemon and key lime, strawberry and Mexican chocolate. Also at the Rohnert Park Farmers' Market on Fridays. facebook.com/realcoolfrozentreats for details on locations and new flavors.

Chinese Five-Spice Salted-Caramel Ice-Cream Sandwiches at Flour Girl: Healdsburg's Shannon Moore hits all the right buttons with this exotic frozen treat. Sweet, salty, spicy and totally cool. She makes each batch from scratch, restocking weekly at The Cheese Shop (423 Center St., Healdsburg, 433-4998).

Beer Floats: Root beer makes a good ice-cream float. Beer makes an excellent ice cream float. The mix of sweet, bitter, hoppy and fizzy is some serious grown-up fun in a glass.

Coconut Porter Ice Cream Float at Sprenger's Tap Room (446 B St. Santa Rosa, 544-8277); Moonlight Float at Flavor Bistro with Death and Taxes black lager (96 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, 573-9600); Imperial Stout ice cream float at Lagunitas Brewing Company Taproom (1280 North McDowell Ave., Petaluma, 778-8776).

Vanilla Maple Bourbon Ice Cream at Glen Ellen Star: Half-pints of house-churned ice cream are available for take-out or as an apres-dinner treat from Chef Ari Weiswassen's new restaurant. Other flavors include malted-milk chocolate, roasted peanut butter and Taylor Maid Farms espresso. 13648 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen, 343-1384.

Campfire Milkshake at Flipside: Toasted marshmallows, vanilla ice cream and a finger of Johnnie Walker Red. Ahhh, camping. 630 Third St., Santa Rosa, 523-1400. Also try: Healdsburg Bar and Grill led the charge on the boozy-shake craze, and still has some of the best (245 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 433-3333). Or if you're more heels than hiking boots, try Petite Syrah's S'Mores with chocolate cake, marshmallows, burnt chocolate and graham-cracker ice cream (205 Fifth St., Santa Rosa, 568-4002).

FroYo, yo: The frozen-yogurt boom feels like the 1980s all over again. Everyone's got a neighborhood favorite where the toppings are fresher, the portions bigger, the flavors tarter. Among the best, Moxie's (8930 Brooks Rd. South, Windsor, 836-1665); Screamin' Yogurt (1620 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa,542-2500), Yogurt Farms (1224 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 576-0737), Tutti Frutti (1425 Fulton Road #301, Santa Rosa, 988-3737), Snowbunny (312 Center St., Healdsburg, 431-7669), Honeymoon Frozen Yogurt (7108 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol, 829-9866).

Pssst ... secret ice cream spot: Petaluma is home to Three Twins ice cream factory, but strangely enough, Sonoma County has only one place where you can buy this highly sought-after ice cream by the scoop: The Petaluma Golf Center. So until we get a scoopery of our own (ahem, Marin and Napa already have them) here's your outlet. 200 Stony Point Road, Petaluma, 778-0696. You can, of course, also get it at area Whole Foods stores.

And of course, no article about frozen treats could ever be written in Sonoma County without a nod to the duchess of desserts, the sultana of summertime and the cream of the creameries — Screaming Mimi's. We salute you. 6902 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol, 823-5902.

(Still hungry? Of course you are. Check out Heather's always-updated food and dining blog at BiteClubEats.com.)