From the ashes of one of Dallas’ most iconic and mourned burger joints, rises another, like a blazing, swanky, succulent-filled phoenix. Although hot dogs, patties and Wiener Schnitzels aren’t on the menu this time, Baldo’s Ice Cream and Coffee promises just the same amount of fun and prominence on Hillcrest Ave.
Ice cream is delicious. Coffee is delicious. Ice cream and coffee? Divine. So, with the death of the frozen yogurt trend—one long overdue, in my opinion—Baldo’s strategically opened in the peak of the summer of 2017. With
it came the crowds, eager to experience a new phenomenon: a Scoop Shop Cafe?.
Baldo’s isn’t simply a marriage between Dairy Queen and Starbucks, and don’t expect to find any mundane vanilla ice cream in their freezer. Its owners, three Southern Methodist University graduates, and its chef, Aldo Sandoval, strive to bring quality handmade ice cream with a coffee shop atmosphere, rotating a selection of ice cream, cookie dough, pastries and coffee. From day to night, coffee to ice cream, Baldo’s is becoming a new hot spot in the Highland Park vicinity.
When I arrived around 8 p.m on a Wednesday, the line was practically out the door with SMU students,
older couples on dates and parents with their young ones in tow. Each and every seat was filled with satisfied Dallasites remarking on the room’s modernity, their ample ice cream portions or the handmade waffle cones being crafted right before their avid eyes. I physically had to drag my brother through the crowds, but honestly he would probably endure just about anything with the promise of free ice cream.
As a versed coffee connoisseur with a slight, self-admitted addiction to caffeine, I ordered a 20 ounce latte. I don’t claim to have superior taste buds, but this specific cup hit the spot, much better than its Starbucks alternative. I may have found a new location to fuel my coffee cravings, which I plan to test upon the eve of my upcoming math test.
I ordered my favorite—a single scoop of pistachio on a waffle cone—but was promptly ridiculed by my siblings for embarrassing them and “being 40.” My brother ordered a double scoop of cookies ‘n cream and peppermint bark on a waffle cone, and when I preceded to inquire on the taste he informed me that it tasted “just how you would think,” so I guess we’ll never know.
My ice cream and waffle cone on the other hand was truly delicious, with an equally satisfying price of $4.50. With the still-warm waffle cone in my hand, I chose a free leather, mid-century sofa and examined the dessert’s flavors and the room around me. Every wall was adorned with pieces of modern art, most notably a replica of the England-based street artist, Banksy’s “Balloon Girl.”
With broken down Top 40 hits accompanying me and my ice cream, I felt transported from my seat in Dallas to an alternative, trendy SoHo cafe, surrounded by an appropriate amount of succulents for 2019.
When I fall in love with a new restaurant or Dallas spot, I always claim to return and reshare in its wonder, but in the end, I fail, sliding back into my routine. This might not be the case for Baldo’s Ice Cream and Coffee. The overall mood and superb ice cream and coffee just cannot be beaten, and I am anxiously awaiting my next visit to finally find out what the combo of cookies ‘n cream and peppermint bark tastes like.
Story and photos by Paige Halverson