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Tito's Ice-Cream & More

603 E. Sixth St.

STAFF PICK: Open about five months in what's been a revolving space on the corner of Sixth Street and Second Avenue, Tito's immediately draws you in with steel window dressings welded into the shape of an inverted, melting ice-cream cone. Cool, mint-colored paint dresses up an immaculate if spare parlor, with a couple of tables and a simple wooden counter next to a grill that's open for business from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's a great room -- lots of natural light from the picture window facing onto sometimes-busy Sixth Street, and some Mexican poster art on the walls. It has an authentically old-fashioned feel; none of that 1950s Americana shlock that seems unavoidable at soda fountains these days. A modest ice-cream counter to the right serves six flavors of the fabulous Blue Bunny brand, and assorted frozen novelties. We have to admit -- we were skeptical. But these thick, creamy flavors taste better than any store-bought ice cream ought to (and in fact, their web site says they're a family farm). Chunks of frozen fruit adorn the strawberry (with none of that cloying, artificial sweetness); the vanilla tastes like the real bean; the chocolate and mint-chip are generously peppered with crunchy, semi-sweet shavings; and a satisfying butter pecan has whole, roasted nuts. This is pure, real cream pleasure -- no gummy worms, Play-Doh colors or long lists of ingredients. The fanciest thing going is a very recognizable Oreo cookies-and-cream. Each of four sizes are served in a Styrofoam cup, for about 99 cents per generous scoop.

Located across the street from lovely, historic Roskruge Elementary, it makes a great stop for a scoop, a milkshake, or one of Tito's tacos, combo plates, or Mexican sub sandwiches. Early risers can't beat the breakfast special: two eggs, hash browns and toast for $1.99. We hope this sweet, family-owned shop becomes a neighborhood hub.

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