There's a cool new restaurant concept opening in Denton that surely has to be one-of-a-kind. Called Iconic Vegan Cafe, it'll combine two delicious food groups in one convenient location: vegan sushi and vegan ice cream.
The restaurant will open at 1302 W. Hickory St., hopefully by the end of the year, according to owner Otis Ross.
Iconic is Ross' first brick and mortar restaurant, but he's been doing vegan sushi and vegan ice cream out of two food trucks — called The Vegan Sushi Spot and Earthy Goodness Vegan Ice Cream — since the end of 2018.
With those two trucks, he crosses a wide swath of Texas. He's based in Houston where his trucks can be found at various locations five days a week; but he also makes regularly scheduled pop-up visits to Austin and Denton about once a month.
Ross grew up in New Jersey and has been non-dairy for a few years.
"We started in Houston, and were invited to do an event in Dallas," Ross says. "It got canceled but I was in North Texas with my truck and ended up in Denton. The response was so enthusiastic that I began to make it a regular thing, and have been going to Denton ever since. When I found this little building, I went ahead and signed a lease."
He makes two kinds of vegan ice cream, with coconut milk and a newer option with oat milk, in flavors such as Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Cookies & Cream, Coffee, Lemon, Matcha & Monk Fruit, Blueberry, Lemon, Cookie Dough, Butter Pecan, Purple Yam Cheesecake, Chocolate Cookies & Cream, Banana, Key Lime Pie, Blue Spirulina, Lemon Basil, Banana Pecan, Cherry Garcia, Almond Joy, Rum Raisin, Chocolate Hennessey, and Mint Chocolate Chip.
That's only the tip of the ice cream berg — he also makes ice cream cakes, milkshakes, sundaes, and juices.
"Our signature is called Cone Gone Crazy — it's a stuffed cone laid sideways on the plate and covered with toppings," he says.
For the vegan sushi, he uses a variety of ingredients such as mango, sweet potato, vegan shrimp, vegan spicy tuna, carrots, cucumber, and avocado.
His menu includes specialty rolls such as the "Rock 'N' Roll" with vegan shrimp, vegan cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, sweet potato, and spicy mayo.
"The thing about my vegan sushi is that it tastes as good as it looks," he says.