HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
What's your latest food project? Share your adventure
TELL US

Real Water Ice

g
gwebber May 23, 2012 11:31 AM

Where can I find really good water ice? I really don't like Rita's :(

  1. b
    Buckethead May 23, 2012 11:39 AM

    Mancuso's on E Passyunk Ave (I like the lemon best there), also John's Water Ice at 7th and Christian.

    1. p
      Philly Ray May 23, 2012 01:04 PM

      Does anyone over age 12 actually like Rita's? I agree with Buckethead, especially on John's. Mancuso's is good too, but it is an Italian grocery store, so their evening hours are limited.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Philly Ray
        g
        gwebber May 23, 2012 01:30 PM

        I don't get why Rita's is so stupid popular. It's kind of gross. I'm definitely going to try John's, I've heard people talk about it but never knew where it was. Mancuso's is on the list too, but if they're not open at night that'll be a little harder to do.

        1. re: gwebber
          Mawrter Aug 11, 2012 10:38 PM

          Rita's success is more about supply that demand. Agree re: John's.

      2. b
        barryg May 23, 2012 01:36 PM

        Does Mancuso's make their own?

        I know there are some other shops in deep South Philly, like below Snyder... I've heard of Pops and I think another one on Jackson or Ritner... anyone know about these places?

        6 Replies
        1. re: barryg
          g
          gwebber May 23, 2012 01:40 PM

          I used to go to Pop's when I was a kid, but I went again a few years ago and it wasn't as good as I remembered. Could be I just had different tastebuds as a kid, but I had heard Pop's had been sold to someone else and I chalked it up to that. Seems like water ice (and pretzels for that matter) is going away and being replaced by cheap imitations. Or maybe that's just nostalgia talking?

          1. re: gwebber
            b
            barryg May 23, 2012 01:48 PM

            That reminds me--I also seem to remember hearing that one of the South Philly water ice shops bakes their own soft pretzels. Would love to know about that too.

            I never liked water ice much but pretzels... there are still some good pretzels around but some truly awful ones, like the ones at Wawa and 7-11. Who eats those?!

            1. re: barryg
              p
              Philly Ray May 23, 2012 01:51 PM

              According to Holly Moore, that's Italiano's. I had one last week and it was good (better than Philadelphia Pretzel Co).

              1. re: Philly Ray
                b
                barryg May 25, 2012 05:54 AM

                Do you mean Center City Pretzel Co, the one on Washington Ave or Philadelphia Pretzel Factory, the chain? The latter is not hard to beat...

                1. re: barryg
                  p
                  Philly Ray May 25, 2012 08:01 AM

                  The latter. I think CC Pretzel is crustier than Italiano's.

          2. re: barryg
            p
            Philly Ray May 23, 2012 01:49 PM

            The other well known one is Italiano's on 12th & Shunk. Pop's and Italiano's are definitely better than Rita's, but I still prefer John's.

          3. l
            lawgirl3278 May 24, 2012 11:35 AM

            John's pineapple is the best.

            4 Replies
            1. re: lawgirl3278
              Delucacheesemonger May 24, 2012 02:37 PM

              Tru dat, lemon isn't shabby either.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                b
                Bigley9 May 31, 2012 11:09 AM

                I'll have to try the pineapple - the lemon makes a lovely summer cocktail!

              2. re: lawgirl3278
                m
                mmgth May 24, 2012 09:49 PM

                Is there anyone else old enough to remember John's water ice trucks coming around to the neighborhoods?

                1. re: lawgirl3278
                  l
                  lone369 May 30, 2012 03:05 PM

                  Lawgirl hit it right on the head! John's pineapple water ice the the best. PERIOD. It is very subtile.

                2. b
                  Bob Loblaw May 27, 2012 11:42 AM

                  I'm just not sure what "real" means when it comes to water ice. I love the stuff, and eat a ton of it during the summer, but to me eating water ice means a willingness to embrace the artificiality.
                  Last summer I found a lemon seed in a lemon water ice from Rocco's and thought, 'hunh. what's *that* doing here?'
                  I do like John's, and do avoid Rita's, but for me water ice - like soft pretzels and cheese steaks - isn't something that I think of as a destination food.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Bob Loblaw
                    t
                    teddybare May 28, 2012 02:23 PM

                    Lemon Ice King of Corona - Queens, NY!

                    1. re: Bob Loblaw
                      g
                      gwebber May 29, 2012 08:17 AM

                      "Real" for me means actual pieces of fruit, nothing neon and nothing that turns your tongue a color. When I was growing up my water ice had chunks of lemon peel or watermelon in it. Today you find root beer flavor or caramel corn or cotton candy water ice. NOT what I mean :)

                      Coincidentally my pretzels were hot, crusty and salty, not too long out of the oven, and ridiculously delicious.

                      1. re: gwebber
                        b
                        Bob Loblaw May 30, 2012 05:32 AM

                        I'm with you on the crazy 'new' flavors, but not on the actual pieces of fruit.
                        when i was growing up in the 70s, the general rule was that if there was one flavor, there was lemon; if there was a 2nd flavor, it was cherry. neither was particularly natural, esp. the cherry, which was always a bright red.

                    2. m
                      mary0201 Aug 18, 2012 05:06 AM

                      Yardley Ice House. I know Bucks county is the hinterlands to many people but yardley is a pretty town to walk in with a gelatti or water ice in hand.

                      1. c
                        Clams047 Aug 18, 2012 05:27 AM

                        When you reference water ice, are you referring to the colored sugar syrup poured over shaved ice? That's an item I'll never understand.

                        As for Rita's, we find it to be enjoyable when we are traveling in areas that don't have an actual Italian ice (primarily areas outside of NY, CT, RI).

                        Show Hidden Posts