Pelican’s SnoBalls, a North Carolina chain specializing in New Orleans-style shaved ice, has found its way to Long Island, boasting a color scheme as fanciful as its flavors and as fun as Mardi Gras.
Alycia Benjamin-Peebles and her cousin Derek Johnson recently opened New York’s first Pelican’s in a small strip mall on Rockaway Parkway in Valley Stream, just steps away from Wheeler Avenue school and next door to Parkway Market.
Johnson’s brother, who lives in North Carolina, initially discovered the franchise and encouraged the family to check it out. “When we went to visit, we loved it. We experienced the experience and we saw the culture of the franchise. We all were excited. We were like ‘how do we bring this to New York?’” Benjamin-Peebles said.
And finally, after nearly 20 years and more than 175 locations in states including Florida, California, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Long Island’s getting a taste of Pelican’s more-than-100 flavors of snoballs, which, according to its website, is “a soft, fluffy shaved ice” as opposed to a snocone, “the crunchy mess you get at a fair.”
As you can imagine, 100 flavors to choose from is overwhelming; there’s a flavor for every palate, for “all of your taste buds and heart’s desires,” Benjamin-Peebles said.
The more popular ones include Shark Attack (signature sour flavor with coconut and a strawberry undertone) and Tigers Blood (coconut and strawberry). Some of the more unique flavors include toothpaste, dill pickle and egg custard.
The menu also features traditional flavors such as banana, mango, lemon, French vanilla, praline, tropical punch and pink bubble gum, plus nine signature flavors ranging from Pretty Princess (grape and cotton candy) to Unicorn (pink cotton candy and skylite topped with whipped cream and fairy dust) to Super Hero (blue raspberry and cherry).
Toppings — sour spray, gummies, candy, marshmallows and more — can be added to any snoball for an additional .50 each. There are four sizes available: a "kiddie," $4, regular, $5, large, $6, and avalanche, $7.50. Fair warning: Portions are large.
Pets are welcome here--pup cups cost $2.
Pelican’s Snoballs is at 254 Rockaway Parkway in Valley Stream. It’s open daily from noon to 9 p.m. 516-882-4524. pelicanssnoballs.com