Danny Serfer cruised down the heart of Wynwood’s Northeast 2nd Avenue, the wind in his hair, on a motorcycle that made the gear heads at nearby Ducatti gawk.
“They think it’s awesome,” he said.
And that was before they stopped it for ice cream.
Whizzing by at 12 mph with an electric whine, Serfer’s three-wheeled motorized ice cream cart zips along with a flourish of colors. Adults, made children by nostalgia, chase it with cash in hand (yes, they also take credit), their minds flooded with memories.
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And when they reach it — these days parked behind Wynwood’s Boxelder craft beer bar on Friday nights — they find Serfer’s wunderkind pastry chef, Devin Braddock, scooping reimagined retro treats from their youth. That’s the heart of their new venture, Tricyle Ice Cream.
“The whole thing is about fun,” Serfer said. “It’s grounded in childhood nostalgia and whimsy.”
Her choco tacos with handmade waffle shells are stuffed with chocolate-covered peanut butter ice cream and topped with her own Heath bar crisps. The chocolate-draped Drumstick look-a-likes have rosemary ice cream at their center. Her twists on Twix and Snickers candy bars are finger-licking. And the cake she bakes every week is made to look like a giant rainbow cookie with the entire color spectrum inside.
It’s childhood favorites all grown up.
Nostalgia is served
On a recent humid night, the buzz at the popular bar was out back, where a line formed for Braddock’s creations.
“The first time I had the rosemary ice cream and it was delicious,” said one customer, Mario Luna.
“So we had to come back for the choco taco,” his friend Michelle San Miguel added.
The whole thing started as a way for Surfer to keep his talented young sweets queen at his restaurants Blue Collar and Mignonette curious. Braddock, 27, who moved from Tampa in her $2,000 Mercury Sable with $80 in her pocket to attend Johnson & Wales, ended up baking at some of Miami’s most elite restaurants.
She learned elevated comfort classics alongside the James Beard award-nominated pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith at Michael’s Genuine, then beautifully styled artwork at Alter, the playground of chef Brad Kilgore, recently a finalist for the Beard award in the South.
“I was hungry to make food that made people feel good — desserts that were so good it made people feel like, ‘I shouldn’t have eaten that,’” she joked.
She found that at Serfer’s Blue Collar, where she mastered his favorite Heath bar bread pudding, and then struck out with her own creations.
In between preparing more than 175 desserts a day for both restaurants, she started developing recipes for their taste of sweet nostalgia on wheels.
“We told her, ‘Grown up version of childhood novelties,’ and she just ran with it,” Serfer said.
A twist on childhood treats
Braddock delivered. She made what she calls Cap’n Crunch ice cream — sweet corn is used in the base — and tops it with her own homage to Crunch Berries made with crunchy, sweet icing. Even her cookies, soft baked with three kinds of French Valrhona chocolate, are elevated.
And the first time Serfer bit into Braddock’s choco taco, he was done with store bought ice cream. “I used to eat stuff from the store and I just can’t anymore,” Serfer said on a recent night as the two served ice cream to expectant hipsters.
For three weekends in a row, Daryl Nuncio has waited in the parking lot behind the bar in Wynwood for the ice cream cart.
On this night, she waited in the dark for another slice of rainbow cake. She showed off a photo she posted of it as if it were a baby picture.
“It’s one thing to be a novelty and be Instagrammable, but you taste it and it just tastes great,” Nuncio said. “Oh my God, they sing together, those flavors.”
Tricycle Ice Cream
For up-to-date information and menus: Instagram.com/TricycleMIA