Most ice cream shops will grab you a scoop and add some sprinkles, but at The Rainbow Rolls, Richard and Evelyn Morales are hand-rolling soft-serve into "tacos" and finishing them with unlimited toppings. The 20-somethings have taken over the old Daily Grind Cafe in Center Moriches, following the same model as like-minded ice cream parlors such as Sweet Charlie’s in New Hyde Park and Fresh Frozen in Hicksville.
A liquid soft-serve ice cream (available in chocolate, vanilla or vegan coconut) and mix-ins (cereal, fruit, cookies or candies) are poured over a cold plate that’s set to negative 20 degrees. Scrapers are used to form and roll the ice cream, which hardens as it's on the plate. From there, it goes into an oversized hard waffle taco shell (create your own; $8.50) or a cup (create your own; $8.10). Move down the line to finish your creation with toppings and drizzles.
Outside of its create-your-own selections, customers can indulge in one of its 15 signature combinations. To date, the most popular have been Cookie Monster, The Unicorn, Cookies and Cream and Emmy’s Coffee. Signature cups ($7.80) and tacos ($8.31) include unlimited toppings.
The Morales’ said they recently left their nine-to-five jobs, he as a real estate paralegal and she as a nanny, to start Rainbow Rolls after being inspired by vacations to Florida where they often had hand-rolled ice cream, and a recent trip to Las Vegas, where they discovered the waffle taco.
Aside from helping run the family business, an off-premise catering company called El Che Argentinian BBQ, the couple said they had no prior experience in the hospitality business. "We got the space ready in two to three weeks and that’s the same amount of time we had to figure out how to make the ice cream," they said.
They also plan to launch a line of ice cream for dogs inspired by their 4-month-old pup, Pluto.
The Rainbow Rolls is at 333 Main St. in Center Moriches. It’s open Sundays to Thursdays from noon to 10 a.m. and Fridays to Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. More info: 631-909-2372