Sweet Charlie’s brings Thai-style rolled ice cream to Philly

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Ryan Donnell

If you live near Washington Square, you know that the neighborhood is a bit sleepy compared to the hustle and bustle of Rittenhouse. However, there’s a new ice cream shop that is giving Philly residents and tourists a much welcome sugar rush — Sweet Charlie’s.

Since opening, it’s been pretty hard to miss, especially given that there’s always a long line of repeat customers down the sidewalk.

So what’s so special about hand-rolledice cream? For one, it’s more natural. Popularized in Thailand, each ice cream is freshly prepared on a granite surface with a temperature below 20 degrees. Since it’s eaten right away, it removes the need for preservatives and emulsifiers. The liquid ice cream base is poured onto the cold surface with flavor elements being added on top. Once it solidifies, the mixture is then rolled into roselike wraps of ice cold yumminess.

As far as flavors go, there are so many options. Chatting it up with fellow patrons waiting in line, the most popular recommendation was Namaste — made of pound cake and fresh strawberries. Did I mention you get to add toppings, too?

I ended up going for the Namaste sans toppings and later returned for the S’More Please, which contained graham cracker, Hershey’s chocolate and toasted marshmallow.

The verdict? Both were delicious and surprisingly light. However, given the ice cream is so pure, it tends to melt more quickly than traditional ice cream in the sun, so be sure to grab napkins on your way out.