I recently had the privilege of reviewing one of Dessert Goals vendors, Afters! I visited the Venice Beach location of the famous and trendy ice cream shop, and got a chance to sample some of their most daring and delicious ice cream flavors. Instead of pondering over the many flavors they offered, I decided to let the bubbly manager, Liz, choose the flavors she deemed most worthy. To preface the taste-test, every ice cream that had a dairy base was smooth, creamy and almost custard-like. They all held up their shape and passed the melting test in the 76 degree Autumn weather.
The one ice cream I was excited to try was the famous Cookie Monster. This flavor is both a unique and classic twist on the relationship between ice cream and cookies. The first thing I noticed was the deep blue pigment of the ice cream, resembling none other than the famous muppet it is named after, "The Cookie Monster." The creamy blue ice cream is swirled with not just chocolate chip cookie dough, but also Oreo pieces! Cookie Monster would 100% approve.
I was really excited to find that Afters also had two unique vegan options. The first was a smooth Mango Sorbet. Before I could take a bite, Liz interjected. She said that the best way to consume their Mango Sorbet was with tajin and chamoy. For those who are not familiar with those ingredients, tajin is a seasoning created by the company, Tajin. It consists of dehydrated chile peppers, lime and salt. Whereas chamoy is made from pickled fruit like apricots and plums mixed with chile peppers. Liz topped off my Mango Sorbet with the two seasonings. The flavor was to die for. It tasted like a Mangonada ice pop but creamier. It was not too sweet and had a little tartness to it. I had to stop myself from eating the rest.
The other vegan option was a bit more tame despite the intense name. The Choco Monster consists of vegan chocolate ice cream mixed with vegan chocolate chip cookies, Oreo pieces and vegan chocolate fudge. The crazy thing is the combination of those flavors tasted like an Almond Joy. This flavor was surprisingly refreshing despite the rich flavors from the cookies.
Other fan favorites at Afters are Triple C’s and Cookie Butter. If you have ever eaten a speculaas cookie, then you may be familiar with those delicious cinnamon and ginger flavors. Cookie Butter literally encapsulates those flavors and amplifies them. Every bite was like eating a spoonful of cold Biscoff spread. Triple C’s was a more tame flavor consisting of cookies, caramel and chocolate. It was definitely a turn back to simpler times.
Then came time to indulge in Afters speciality creation, their most popular product that put them on Instagram food-selfie map. It was time to try the Milky Bun. The Milky Bun is a pact, no, a marriage between ice cream lovers and donut enthusiasts. An Afters employee carefully sandwiches any two creamy Afters ice creams of your choice between a warm, fluffy and moist donut that’s been cut in half, similar to the way you would cut a bagel.
When it came to choosing the flavors for my milky bun, I could not contain myself. So instead I asked the lovely manager, Liz, to choose for me. She explained that one of the best flavor combos to have in a milky bun are Churro and Milk and Cereal. To top it off, Liz added sugar frosted cornflakes on top! Biting into my Milky Bun was one of the most heavenly moments of my life. Upon first bite my teeth sunk into the warm, fluffy donut that had a melty glaze. Then, I was met with the creaminess of the Milk and Cereal ice cream which had bits of cornflakes in it. The Churro ice cream did not come to play! Every bite had an explosion of cinnamon and sugar.
(Manager Liz showcasing popular flavors Cookie Monster and Triple C's)
What made my overall experience amazing was the Manager Liz! She explained to me that she takes her job very seriously. All of the flavors you see displayed are thanks to her. She picked the best quality flavors that hold up to the intense heat and demand that comes with being an ice cream shop in Venice. She was willing to explain all of the ice cream flavors and gave me the secret scoop on the best combo ideas. If you are ever in Venice then definitely swing by Afters for some quality ice cream and even better customer service. Make sure to snag your tickets for Dessert Goals and get more information about the event here! And check out our review of Pie Hole, another vendor you can expect to see at the dessert-filled extravaganza!