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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Ice cream
Counter service

Mon–Thu 11:30am–11:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:30am–midnight

Features Date-friendly, kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC


Upper Kirby
3816 Farnham St.
Houston, TX
(713) 526-2697
Amy’s Ice Cream
This worthy Austin dessert empire cuts a silky, creamy swath through Texas

Amy’s exuberant brand of ice cream shops is making its funky, cow-printed way throughout Texas, providing some much-needed levity against the serious and icy face of the healthier (depending on your toppings, of course) frozen yogurt legion. At 14% butterfat, Amy’s ice cream is unapologetically rich, and the rotating flavors are pure and intense. Another of the main attractions is the friendly “scoopers” with eclectic headgear and behind-the-counter antics. They perform circus-like feats with “crush-ins”—candy, fruit, cookie dough, and dozens of other treats that are ruthlessly whacked and beaten into submission (and into your ice cream) in a spectacular scoop-flipping display that rivals the knife-throwing chefs at those Japanese teppanyaki steakhouses.

The technique was invented in 1970s Massachusetts, by Steve Herrell (of Steve’s, where Amy once worked). But it’s been since co-opted by sterile, cost-analysis-obsessed chains; Amy’s quality and “weird” vibe, on the other hand, inspire a possessive pride, particularly in the shop’s native Austin. You’ll find her sweetly cinnamony “Mexican Vanilla” in shakes and desserts all over town. Sweet cream is more ideal as a simpler base for crush-ins. Fruit ice creams taste like actual fruit. Kahlua, rum, Shiner, and Guinness show up frequently as buttery, decadent flavors with a grown-up fermented edge to them. Because adults, too, scream for ice cream.

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