After a hearty New Orleans-style Italian dinner, it was only right we end the evening with some killer gelato. Angelo Brocato's Italian Ice Cream Parlor is just a little ways down from Liuzza's, and even though it was almost 10 p.m., we found the place full of other late-night ice creamers, talking and laughing loudly over multi-colored scoops.
Angelo Brocato, a Sicilian immigrant, opened the New Orleans shop more than a century ago in 1905, as one of the city's first sit-down parlors. Now in its third generation of the Brocato family, Angelo's original recipes are used to this day.
Along with several flavors of gelato and fruit ice, Angelo Brocato also makes all kinds of other Italian sweets like biscotti and cannolis. Getting in the Halloween spirit, they set aside one case for special cookies dipped in chocolate and rolled in orange sprinkles, cut into spooky shapes, or otherwise festively decorated. Bags of their packaged biscotti are available directly at the store and also around town—you can find them on the shelf at Central Grocery.
We scanned the gelato counter intently and each ordered a duo of flavors. Pableaux picked pistachio almond and praline, which he insisted I pronounce "praw-leen." Despite being in New Orleans and totally being down with the whole "when in Rome" thing, this "pray-leen" eatin' Texas girl just couldn't help giggling every time he said it. Forget about the "puh-CON" vs. "PEA-can" debate. What really matters is that the two flavors meshed perfectly, and the chunks of praline, however you want to say it, gave it a nice, nutty crunch.
I opted for a scoop of baci (chocolate hazelnut with an "Italian kiss" that I have to guess was Frangelico) and a scoop of coconut. The combination almost reminded me of a hazelnut spin on an Almond Joy. I might've liked a few strands of shredded coconut in the mix, but the perfectly smooth creaminess worked just fine.
My dad chose St. Joseph's chocolate almond, named after the family's patron saint, and dulce de leche, which was also a yummy combo. All in all, it was a sweet finish to a long day.
We took our last bites, bid Pableaux adieu, and headed back to our hotel with dreams of breakfast swirling in the back of our minds.
Angelo Brocato's Italian Ice Cream Parlor
About the author: Katie Walsh is a native Austin writer passionate about food and all things cultural. She holds a degree in sociology and Spanish from UT Austin and is both a columnist and senior editor for multicultural publication TODO Austin.