Vol. LXV, No. 31
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
SUMMER SWEETS: Our Italian ice tastes good and is good for you. Its the most refreshing dessert you can have without lots of calories. Shown at the popular Uncle Louie G Gourmet Italian ice emporium are left to right: staff members Olivia Ray and Elliott Casparian, and enthusiastic guests Alexa Catalano, Nicolette Guida, and in the foreground, Larissa Guida.
How sweet it is! A new opportunity to satisfy that all-important sweet tooth has arisen on Nassau Street. Uncle Louie G Gourmet Italian Ice opened in June with a full complement of Italian ice, ice cream (including soft serve), milk shakes, sundaes, slushies, smoothies, egg creams, and more.
An independently-owned franchise, it is one of more than 100 Uncle Louie G franchises in New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Florida. Begun in 1998 on Coney Island in Brooklyn, it has had remarkable success.
We have more than 80 flavors with new ones being developed all the time. They are all home-made in our Staten Island plant, says Princeton owner John Guida, who has also owned an Uncle Louie G franchise in Staten Island for four years. Our Italian ice is different from sherbert and other ices because of the way it is mixed, and the temperature it is frozen at is different. Its very high quality. Our ice is frozen at zero degrees. We also have a gelato-type product, which is frozen at 10 and 15 degrees, and includes skim milk. The sugar we use is all cane sugar, and our fruit Italian ices are dairy-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and kosher.
The ices have been a boon this hot summer, with customers lining up to sample a great-tasting ice in its traditional squeezie cup. Some people have never had Italian ice before, says Mr. Guida, and they quickly become fans.
Mango, with a uniquely delicious tang, is the big favorite in Princeton, and lemon, cappuccino breeze, honeydoo, passion fruit, peach, and cherry are in demand too.
Popular ice cream flavors include chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, birthday cake (especially with kids), and cappuccino chunk. More than one flavor can be included in a cup or cone, according to the customers taste.
We encourage people to come in and taste, notes Mr. Guida. Theyll soon find their favorite.
I love it here, adds a young customer, who was recently buying treats for herself and her brother. Everyone is so friendly, and everything is delicious.
Uncle Louie G offers a very customer-friendly atmosphere, and Mr. Guida works hard to see that it stays that way. A friendly and knowledgeable staff is always willing to answer questions, and Mr. Guida is very hands-on. I am here every day and make sure that everything is consistent. If something is not right, we fix it right away. The response has been great. We were extremely busy on the Fourth of July, and were getting lots of local people and also many tourists. Also, kids from camp are coming in. We get all ages of customers moms, dads, kids, and grandparents. They all feel at home.
I am very happy with the response and with the area. I knew that the quality of our product was good, and felt sure that people would appreciate it.
Smoothies and Slushies
They seem to like everything, he adds, with ices a little more popular on the hottest days. Ice cream, milk shakes (available in all flavors), sundaes, smoothies, slushies, and root beer floats all have their fans, and the famous New York egg cream has also found new enthusiasts.
Every kind of topping is offered, from hot fudge and whipped cream to crushed pineapple, strawberries, nuts, and sprinkles. Ices are typically served in the squeezie cups, but regular cups and cones (sugar, waffle, and cake) are also popular.
Sugar-free ices are available in cherry, chocolate, lemon, and rainbow flavors, and no sugar-added for chocolate, vanilla, and butter pecan ice cream.
Ices start at $2.50 for small, $3.50 for large, and ice cream starts at $3.00. Portions are very generous. Pints and quarts are also popular to take home. Special punch cards offer a free ice or ice cream after purchase of 10, and gift cards are also available. Most people take out, but there are five tables inside and currently seating for six outdoors.
I have always wanted to have my own business, says Mr. Guida, and this one is great. It actually happened by chance. I was visiting in Princeton, and as I was passing here, I saw a moving van, and people were moving out. I contacted the landlord, and we worked it out. I think this is a great location, and I love being in Princeton. We have had a very warm welcome from the customers and also the merchants. They have been very friendly and come in to say hello.
I love having this business, he continues. Being able to make customers happy is my biggest pleasure.
Uncle Louie G is open seven days: Monday through Thursday noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 11 p.m., Sunday noon to 9. Website: www.unclelouiegee.com.
Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton McCaffreys, Coxs, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszers (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell Village Express; Rocky Hill Wawa (Route 518); Pennington Pennington Market.
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