Summer treats: Linz and Vail

Summer treats: Linz and Vail

Read the story at the Evanston Now website

Tuesday, August 24, 2010, at 6:33 am by Kelsey Collister

It’s been really hot this summer — and that means Evanstonians have had lots of reasons to check out the city’s ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato and frozen custard shops. So now it’s time to share your thoughts about who’s got the best frozen treats in town.

Linz and Vail, the gelato café and coffee shop at 2012 Central St., has been open for three years now. What makes it irresistable? Perhaps it’s the pink and brown décor, or the artistic display of gelato, or the amiable owner Susan Dejanovic.

“My husband is from Europe and people in Evanston are educated in other cultures,” said Dejanovic, and she wanted to bring the sensibility of a European cafe to Evanston.

Originally, Dejanovic intended to sell gelato by itself. She added coffee beverages, panini sandwiches, soups, pastries and smoothies to the menu attract more customers.

“Linz and Vail is a welcoming community base that offers diverse products” said Dejanovic. “We want to sell the best of everything” including Intelligentsia coffee.

Sixteen flavors of gelato and sorbetto are available every day at Linz and Vail — including exotic ones like “Christmas in July” and “Violet Sorbetto” and even “Olive Oil and Pepper.”

“Chocolate” and “Cupcake” are the most popular gelato flavors at Linz and Vail this summer.

Gelato contains five percent milkfat, where as ice cream contains at least 10 percent fat. “Gelato has less calories and contains real ingredients” said Dejanovic.

The milk base for the gelato is purchased from a dairy farm in Wisconsin. The flavoring is purchased from Prodottistella, a company based in Altavilla Vicentina, Italy that supplies gelato goods to pastry chefs. The gelato is prepared in the store by Linz and Vail employees daily.

Customers who are torn between espresso and gelato can enjoy both with affogato. Affogato is gelato smothered in a doubleshot of espresso.