If the modern-meets-retro design of Parlor Deluxe in Charleston, SC, doesn't stop you dead in your tracks as you walk down Spring Street, the tempting words on the window might: "Dogs, Tots, Waffles, Ice Cream."
Sean Casey, Parlor Deluxe's culinary manager, describes the shop's concept almost as a guilty pleasure. "The chef and owners wanted to offer dishes you wouldn't normally find at a nice restaurant, but do them really, really well," explains Casey. Take tater tots, for example. With chef Emily Hahn helming the kitchen, the nostalgic childhood favorite is interpreted as poutine covered in ham gravy, brown ale beer cheese, local chevre, pickled peppers, and scallions.
Among the other things we highly recommend at Parlor Deluxe—and there are many—are the boozy floats. One is made with malty porter, ancho chile and orange syrup, and creamy vanilla ice cream; the other is a spritzer with seasonal fruit sorbet and dry cava. Both are the perfect marriage of ice cream and liquor.
While you may not be able to board a plane to Charleston this afternoon and sip on one of these frosty, spiked floats at Parlor Deluxe, creating a boozy float at home is surprisingly straightforward. Casey's biggest tip is to keep things simple. "You have to be careful as far as the flavors you're trying to combine," he recommends. "You might not want to get too weird with ice cream flavors you try." But this doesn't mean you have to tame your culinary imagination; Casey suggests getting creative with the simple syrup to guide the flavor in fun directions.
For more on Parlor Deluxe, see parlordeluxe.com.