Fashioning an ice cream treat into a reasonable facsimile of a hot dog is as difficult as it is pointless, and yet here we are. A Tall Charlie, they call it. Six inches of Thai-style rolled ice cream stands in for the dog itself, which is cradled by your typical bun, or rather a glazed doughnut masquerading as one. The price: $7.15.
Four years ago, a college freshman from Philadelphia opened the first Sweet Charlie’s, a rolled ice cream parlor named for his dog. At last count, there are now almost 20 of them scattered over several states, with more on the way. New York’s first location opened on Aug. 8 in New Hyde Park.
Like others in its ilk (Bar A Dessert in Patchogue, Fresh Frozen in Hicksville, Let’s Roll in Merrick), the Sweet Charlie’s business model is centered around insanely cold, pizza pan-size metal discs onto which are poured creamy liquid bases (ice cream, frozen yogurt or vegan, in this case) that are combined with myriad mix-ins and then shaped via employees’ quicksilver paddle motions as liquid becomes solid. Add a few toppings and the concoction practically Instagrams itself.
Those without a taste for ice cream might opt instead for Sweet Charlie’s other menu items, to include warm cookies in 8 flavors (snickerdoodles and white chocolate macadamia among them, each $1.80), or warm Belgian waffles ($7.10) that happily provide a foundation for any of a number of creations, with or without ice cream.
Sweet Charlie’s is at 3336 Hillside Ave. N., New Hyde Park, 516-493-9697, sweetcharlies.com. Opening hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.