Over the last few weeks we've been talking about some of the places to eat and snack around Old Town that, in our opinion, make Old Town totally awesome. We mentioned Pops for old fashioned ice cream, and quite honestly there are probably four or five other places where you can pick up your choice of hand dipped, soft serve, yogurt (either tangy or sweet), custard, or sundaes. However, Wendy and I have long been saddened by the lack of one of our most favorite things...gelato!

Flash back to THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND (said in Conan O'Brien style) with me. Wendy and I took a trip with my parents to Rome, Venice, and Sardinia. I had been to Rome once prior to that, and had talked non-stop to Wendy about the wonders of Italian gelato. When she went back with me, I introduced her to my foreign friend and it's creamy and sweet goodness, and she too was hooked. We ate gelato three, and sometimes four meals per day. We were known to skip dinner to just eat gelato. No joke! We even had some at Tres Scalini in Rome's Piazza Navona, supposedly the best place in the world to get it. In our opinion it was just as good as anywhere else, but they wouldn't let us sit in their outdoor seating. Eh? Italians, what are ya gonna do?

Anyhow, we're obsessed with gelato. Get the drift?

Well, there is this building on King St. that was once a hair salon, then had a fire a few years ago, and then sat vacant for a very long time. A few months back I started to notice some construction taking place to get the building in shape. I had high hopes, and those hopes were realized back in April when I learned that Boccato Gelato would be opening in that location. 

Boccato Gelato & Espresso is an Arlington, VA based shop that is well known and well liked by the locals and has been expanding a bit recently. Obviously my interest is in their gelato choices, but they are also an espresso bar and hang out area. Their name pretty much says it all.

Much to my excitement, Boccato officially opened it doors two days ago, amidst the Heatpocalypse of 2011. 

I was walking down King St. on the way home from work today, suffering from the 104 degree but feels like 120 degree weather and thought to myself "You know, this is a perfect time for a quick sampling of Old Town's newest sweet offering." Though the exterior is yet to receive its signage (I'm sure it's coming, just getting city approval), the building itself is quite fun and inviting. However, the real treat is when you walk in the front door and are greeted by the glass case of colorful and decorated gelato.

Being my first time, but knowing my favorite flavors from Italy, I ordered one scoop of strawberry and one of blood orange. At $4.75 for two scoops it isn't the cheapest place in town for a ice cream fix, but it is the only place in town to get your gelato fix.

My first bite was creamy, sweet, sour, and smooth, and I was right back into my obsession with gelato, like I had never left Italy.

I decided to continue my trip home through the sweltering heat and realized about five seconds out of the front door of the shop that I had almost forgotten to take a photo again. Ice Cream Gelato does this to me. Here is what it looked like after being in 104 degrees for five seconds.

Yep, already melting. I had to really get to work to enjoy it. You may be wondering how long ice cream will last in 104 degree heat. My assessment...

About three blocks (which incidentally is about the same as it would probably last in 75 degree or 60 degree weather).

If you're in Alexandria and are looking for a good place to get gelato, look no further than the 1000 block of King St. in Historic Old Town. If you share the same obsession as me, I'm pretty sure I might run into you later this weekend. I already know Wendy and I will be headed that way for desert after we go out for dinner tonight. :-)


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