Paletas Betty (Chandler and Tempe)
Did I really hit up Paletas Betty three times in three days? Yes, I did. And the popsicle count reached five.
Based in Mesa this recent trip, I swung wide down to Chandler from the airport before heading to my hotel. Though I was delighted to read about the new Tempe location on this board, this was my chance to check out the original location of Paletas Betty. Glad I did, the real Betty waited on me.
Betty explained that everything’s made in small batches from scratch in-house. This display shows off some of whole spices she uses.
The case has just a few flavors on display. Maybe this helps ensure good rate of turnover and freshness.
Also on display at the beginning of December were sugar pie pumpkins, big and small. Maybe subliminal suggestion at work, I had to taste that seasonal flavor, Calabaza. Also called Creamy pumpkin pie, Betty said she roasted and scooped out sugar pie pumpkins, then blended the pulp with some cream and pumpkin pie spices.
After the competition on Sunday and quick nap, I swung by the Mesa Arts Festival to see more of the town. And well, because Paletas Betty had tweeted that they'd be selling there. At first a letdown when the cart was not to be found among the other food vendors. But then I spotted Mr. Hong, Betty’s husband and co-proprietor, in the crowd and he told me where to find them. Think I freaked him out a little when I said I recognized him from the newspaper article photos. He said that has never happened before.
My next paleta flavor was Mexican chocolate, a little spicy and milky with not as much richness as the pumpkin.
Two-for-one coupons valid at the new Tempe store were handed out at the festival. I made the time to check out the new branch on my way to the airport.
Mr. Hong had just returned from the Mesa Art Festival with the cart.
I only had time and tummy space for one and picked the Zarzamora paleta - blackberry and lavender. Tart yet good flavor with just a whisper of lavender, but I didn't like the hard seeds, and decided to cash in my coupon after a bite.
Knowing I had to make the next one count, I asked the young woman working behind the counter for her favorites. She pointed to the Limon paleta - Key lime cheesecake with graham cracker crust, and warned me that it also was on the sour side. Yep, limon was quite tart but also intensely bright in flavor and non-sugary. The cream cheese-y richness helped take the edge off the tartness. From presentation to the taste and contrasting textures, this one’s brilliant, just brilliant.
Since I didn’t like the zarzamora, the owner insisted that I choose another. My last chance, I went for one of my favorite flavors on the Mexi-charts, Nuez. Instead of ground nuts throughout the base, this version of Pecan ice cream featured large pieces and halves embedded on one side. I liked the generous hand with the pecan. This was very good also. Note the brand burned into the popsicle stick.
The decals on the wrappers of Betty’s paletas are stickers of her logo. They’re plastered on this wall of the Chandler store, and she encourages her customers to spread them around the globe. I’ve held onto one to play this game, haven’t decided where to paste it yet.
96 W Boston St, Chandler, AZ 85225
Paletas Betty (Tempe Mill Avenue
)425 S Mill Ave #109, Tempe, AZ 85281
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Paletas Betty.
We stopped by the Tempe store yesterday. Really wanted the Nuez but they were out. DH had the Melones (mix of fresh cantaloup and honeydew) and Platano (like bananas foster) and really enjoyed them both. Limon for me - loved the tart true fruit flavor and graham cracker-like crumbs, rich but still refreshing.
Will stop by the Chandler store later today - hope they have Nuez!
re: Melanie Wong
Oh, I don't know about that. The five Michoacan-style paleterias in Sonoma County are doing some great work with local ingredients. And the place out in Brentwood is excellent too using organic ingredients. But I've not seen a nuez with big pecan halves embedded in it like Betty's.