Wheeler’s Opens (Sort Of)


As the intrepid Amy Traverso reported back in April, Boston’s got a new ice-cream bigwig. And it’s not just any ice cream—it’s vegan ice cream. Adventurous flavors like dragonfruit and Mexican chocolate are Wheeler del Torro’s trademark, and he churns out new recipes faster than local chefs can dish out beet salads.

Somehow, I can’t seem to psych myself up for dairy-free desserts. It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve sampled Tofutti Cuties, endured a bowlful of Rice Dream dessert, and suffered through a Soy Delicious ice cream taste test. All those experiences led me to believe that you can’t make good ice cream without, well, cream.

And yet, upon hearing that Wheeler’s had finally opened its doors, I headed to the new Mass. Ave. store hoping to find soy-based salvation. Instead, I found an open door, an empty shop, bare walls, no menu, and no ice cream products in sight. (I did notice, however, that the sign calls it “Wheeler’s Frozen Desserts,” thereby taking the whole “cream” issue out of the equation.)

Befuddled, I left. Had I missed something? According to Wheeler’s web site, they’re keeping somewhat wacky hours while they ramp up. But come on—where are the tables and chairs? The employees? And the freaking ice cream?

I’ll take today’s episode as further proof that good vegan ice cream fails to exist. But if you’ve tried Wheeler’s stuff, tell us what you thought. And if there’s a different vegan ice cream I should try, tell me where to get it. Don’t bother recommending anything that’s “good for being vegan.” Good is good, people.

Oh, and by the way: Starting next week, Wheeler’s has announced that they’ll be baking up 10 kinds of vegan, gluten-free cupcakes, too. That oughta give Fiore’s a run for its money. Me, I’ll stick to lemon cupcakes from Sweet.