If this ungodly summer heatwave makes you want to scream, look no further than I Scream Ice Cream. Burque's newest ice cream shop is super kid-friendly with spill-indifferent concrete floors and tons of nostalgic fun for everyone. Kids are encouraged to adorn their ice cream with the help of "topping tokens," which they can pump into low-set gumball machines filled with fixings like crushed Oreo's, Jelly Bellies and Fruity Pebbles. It's even fun for grown-ups. The "ISIC Wall of Sound," for example, is an impressive wall-mounted collection of records from the '50s and '60s with everything from Hank Williams, Sr., to British invasion imports. Doodads aside, the coolest thing about the shop has got to be the ice cream. All 33 of their hard-packed flavors are made by Creamland, right here in New Mexico. We tried two of them (lime sherbet and butter-pecan), and they tasted remarkably fresh and sweet. ISIC also serves up shakes, splits and other specialty treats to order, and most are between $1 and $5. Cheap! ISIC is located in The Shops at Carlisle (at the intersection of Claremont and Carlisle, just north of the Super Wal-Mart). Call 888-9420 for hours.
Rather than suffer through another day without sausage and peppers, native Chicagoans Frank and CeCe Bellino opened Sweet Peppers 12 years ago, and a Downtown tradition was born. Frank and CeCe recently sold the business to longtime customers and friends Tia and Bill Howley, and are excited to move closer to their son in Austin, Texas. Mr. Bellino took some time out from his last day at the shop to talk to the Alibi about the legacy of Sweet Peppers.
Nightshade vegetables are coming into season; it's the perfect time to make eggplant caponata. Actually, any time is perfect for this light but robust Sicilian vegetarian condiment. It's most often served as an antipasti (before the pasta) course. I often enjoy it as a snack on garlic rounds or good fresh bread, but it also makes a great pizza topping for pita pizzas or filling for an omelet, too. You can dress it up and trot it out as an entrée with the addition of fresh grilled shrimp. I've even thrown together a quick pasta sauce using this versatile little gem of Sicilian cuisine. Be sure to choose smooth-skinned, blemish-free eggplants. Raisins, currants, pine nuts and fresh basil are often added to the dish but I prefer it straight up and simple. Because of the acid content, it keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to use good quality vinegars or you might ruin the dish.