Hans' Homemade Ice Cream - Santa Ana
One Friday, a few weeks ago, I was at The Chippy for my weekly dose of fish. Yes, it was fish and chips, because what better way is there to get your essential omega-3 fatty acids than having it battered, fried, and crunchy, served atop french fries?
Then I found the answer: a dessert of banana ice cream as chaser.
Even better: I didn't have to pay for it. Next to the order line was a sign scribbled on a dry erase board, which proclaimed: "Today's Special: Free Banana Ice Cream With Every Combo Purchase."
So after my oh-so nutritious lunch, I claimed my complimentary scoop -- a fluffy, whipped-up-with-air, frozen amalgam of sugar, milk, and cream packed with so much banana flavor it can be classified as a monkey narcotic.
"How'd you like the ice cream," the Chippy guy asked later.
"Awesome," I said, "did you make it?"
"Oh no. It's from this little place I like in Santa Ana."
"Ah, Hans' Homemade," I said, obviously very satisfied with myself.
"Yes!" he said surprised, "You know it?"
"Yup, but I had no idea they had banana."
So after a long time away, I made my way back to the source of this divine dessert. Partly because The Chippy wasn't going to offer it every Friday and partly because I couldn't wait until Friday even if they did.
I found Hans' the same way I left it almost a decade ago. It is just as it always was: an ice cream parlor caught in a time warp. The place oozed old-time parlor nostalgia -- it looks cribbed from a Norman Rockwell scene of Main Street U.S.A. circa 1945. A bar area is still equipped with cushy stools and phosphates are still on the menu.
Unfortunately, the banana ice cream was not. Not that day, at least. So instead, I took their green tea ice cream ($3.50 a scoop) as a substitute.
Though it possessed Hans' characteristic fluffiness, the flavor was unlike any green tea ice cream I've ever had before: too sweet and strangely minty...too minty. It was so minty, in fact, that I wondered whether the peppermint stick flavor in the tub adjacent to it had seeped in by osmosis.
Whatever it was, I didn't like it. Of the 55 flavors that Hans puts on the roster, this wouldn't be one I'd vote to keep, especially if he's making it instead of that amazing banana!
Hans' Homemade Ice Cream
3640 S Bristol St
Santa Ana, CA 92704
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