Oak Cliff's authentic New Orleans-style sno-cone stand is on the move. NOLA Snoballs, previously located at 345 W. Jefferson Blvd., will move a couple doors down to a new storefront at 349 W. Jefferson, where it will open in the fall.
Their previous storefront, which they had occupied since 2017, was actually half a space, which they shared with a tattoo shop.
"I was there until May 2021, but my lease was up and someone else wanted the entire space," says NOLA owner Maureen Ehrlicher. "Landlord Jim Lake was nice enough to let me take another spot two doors down, which we got ready and now we are just waiting on the city of Dallas."
With Dallas' permitting situation currently facing a backlog, it's hard to predict when she might reopen but she expects it'll be sometime in the fall.
A New Orleans native, Ehrlicher knows the sno-cone/snoball category inside out.
"New Orleans-style snocones are known for being creamy," she says. "With regular sno-cones, you combine ice with concentrate and simple syrup, but with the New Orleans style, you add evaporated milk into the syrup. We do the big seller from New Orleans, which is chocolate made with Hershey's chocolate syrup. You don't see it often around here."
"The main thing is that you have to get the consistency of the ice right," she says. "It's not a sno-cone — it's not that crunchy ice, where they shave it and it sits in the machine and clumps up. This is soft shaved ice. I have a Southern Snow machine imported from New Orleans. I also add a little more syrup than what is recommended because I like the flavor to last to the bottom of the cup."
Ehrlicher first launched NOLA in 2016 as a temporary stand at Texas Discovery Gardens, where she sets up in the lobby during the State Fair of Texas as well as spring break and holidays. She'll be there during the duration of the 2021 State Fair.
She and her husband David are committed to Oak Cliff, having lived in the Winnetka Heights neighborhood for nearly 30 years, way before it was cool to live in Oak Cliff. Although her shop definitely has NOLA DNA, she's also incorporated influences from the neighborhood.
"We do 'knockouts,' that's what they call it when you put ice cream inside your snowball, and we also do a cheesecake-stuffed snowball where you freeze cheesecake without the crust and add chunks — it's so good," she says. "But we also do sno-cones with chamoy, the sweet-sour-salty-spicy Mexican sauce. We added that in response to local demand. You don't see a lot of people putting chamoy on top of a snowball in New Orleans."