April 2014: After they winter “break” and opening for one Saturday afternoon/evening, Nana’s sadly announced that they would not reopen the store again due to rising costs and a decrease in sales. I. Am. Devastated. However, the Nana’s truck will still be serving delicious frozen custard around town. Follow them on Facebook to find out where they’ll be.
Nana’s Frozen Custard, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (1) Cold; (2) Creamy; (3) Thick; (4) Amazing flavors; (5) Interesting menu; (6) Close to home. As my friend Chastity says, Nana’s pretty much ruins every other ice cream place. It’s just the best! In case you were wondering, yes, there is a difference between ice cream and frozen custard. Ice cream is made from a base of milk and/or cream, and frozen custard includes eggs to increase. I prefer custard. Nana’s Frozen Custard, to be exact.
You may have noticed that I am posting this a little late. Yep, our last trip to Nana’s was on 9/23. I took pictures but I guess in the busy-ness of work and finishing up my class, I just forgot to post about it. Now, I’m having another Nana’s craving, which made me remember that I needed to do my post.
We aren’t big sweets-eaters around here. It isn’t that we don’t like them, it’s just that I prefer to make things from scratch, so sweets are not always readily available. Ice cream is no exception; from time to time, I will buy some at the grocery store, but it usually results in either the ice cream going bad after we’ve eaten a couple of servings, or us totally eating way too much ice cream in order to avoid the ice cream going bad. Neither is a good thing. Thus, even though it is less cost-effective, we generally buy our ice cream from an ice cream shop. It feels more like a treat that way, anyway. So, Nana’s is a fairly frequent (once every month or two) treat for us.
Nana’s is a walk-up ice cream (excuse me, custard) stand with several picnic tables. They also have a drive-thru window. You can choose a standard, like a cup or cone with varying amounts of any flavor of Nana’s custard, a malt, a shake, a float, a sundae, or a “shiver”, which is similar to a Blizzard…or you can choose a treat off of their extensive original menu. The creations on their menu have interesting names like “Apple Pie Blossom” (a big scoop of vanilla custard melting over apples wrapped in a flaky crust, complimented by warm caramel sauce and brown sugar, “Happy Birthday to You” (Celebration! Cake flavored custard glowing with blue marshmallow frosting and confetti sprinkles, “Frozen Hot Chocolate” (hot cocoa mix blended with vanilla custard, topped by a swirl of marshmallow embedded whipped creme and chocolate sprinkles), and “Chester Frosty” (vanilla custard floating in blue marshmallow creme and Gummi fish, topped with Lifesavers swim “rings” and sprinkled with sandy brown sugar). I always look at the menu and deliberate between the Apple Pie Blossom and Strawberry Shortcake (vanilla custard surrounded by moist pieces of cake, swimming in sweet sliced strawberries and topped with whipped creme), but I always end up getting a cup of custard. Ultimately, I guess I just feel that there is no reason to sully the perfection of Nana’s custard with toppings and mix-ins. There are also a few “food” items on the menu, such as hot dogs, chili, and Frito pie.
The menu of custard flavors available changes on a regular basis. Some flavors are available seasonally (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen pumpkin on the menu, for example). I am not sure if the other flavors change daily, weekly, or what. I assume there is some sort of schedule on which the flavors are available, and, of course, the standards like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are always an option. I pretty much rotate through three flavors: mint chocolate chip, lemon, and birthday cake. On this particular night, I had birthday cake. Now, I love birthday cake ice cream. Mayfield’s has a great version, as does Ben & Jerry’s….but Nana’s is the best. I mean, the best. It has actual smashed-up cake in it. I haven’t asked for confirmation on this (I’ll have to next time I’m there) but I think it is Federal Bake Shop cake. At least it tastes like it is. I haven’t done a Federal Bake Shop post yet…..but tasting like it has Federal Bake Shop cake in it is a very good thing. It’s always difficult for me to decide which route to go, though. I love every flavor I’ve tried.
Philip always, I repeat always gets the chocolate malt. According to him, Nana’s and Kay’s Kastle are the only places that know how to mix a malt. Usually, the malt powder is clumpy or all stuck at the bottom. At Nana’s, though, the malts are always perfect. Perfectly blended, with just the right amount of malt powder. The malts are the perfect thickness, topped with whipped cream and a malted milk ball (which, oddly enough, Philip hates, even though he loves malts). He is never disappointed (well, except for the time that the “new guy” mixed his malt. But those things happen sometimes).
Let me just lay this out here, though. Nana’s ain’t cheap. It usually costs around $8-$10 for Philip and me to go there, depending on whether I am being prudent and eating a small custard or being “decadent” and eating a medium. I have accepted the expense, though. There’s no waste, and it’s the best ice cream….er, custard….in town. I’m willing to spend a few bucks from time to time to have the best.
There is one downside, though. I don’t post negative reviews about food, because I figure that maybe it’s just me and everyone has their own tastes….but I’m going to comment on the service. I am not crazy about the customer service. I am not the only one that feels this way….when I told people that I was doing a Nana’s post, other people commented that while they loved Nana’s custard, their service needed some work. Nana’s is staffed mainly by teenagers, and it just seems to me that unless good customer service is really stressed to teenagers, they will not deliver. It’s not that they are unfriendly, they just don’t seem too excited to have to open the window and talk to customers. Last time we went, we could see the girl mentally drawing straws to decide who was going to wait on us. Once they open the window, they’re fine….not enthusiastic, but friendly enough. Since they aren’t rude, and the custard is out-of-this-world, I am willing to let it slide….but Nana’s, if you guys are reading this…kick it up a notch!
Nana’s Frozen Custard is located at 6707 Hixson Pike, Hixson, TN 37343. You can call them at 423-842-3003. Check out their website or check them out on Facebook or Twitter.
Kathleen Rutherford says
Lisa G says