How to beat the August heat for just $1

Snowball stands are like bars; everyone should have a comfortable neighborhood favorite.  My hometown favorite is Elaine’s, located just off of LA 1 north in Larose, next to the intracoastal canal bridge.

Elaine’s is a basic box of a place, fitting the rural snowball stand archetype:  white painted exterior, cement benches out front, small porch to shield customers from an afternoon thunderstorm, hand-written, misspelled menu of flavors.  There really is an Elaine; she’s the nice lady who takes your order, makes your snowball, and counts the money.  In my 30+ years as a patron, I’ve never seen anyone else operate her Sno-Wizard machine.

My almond joy (coconut, almond, and chocolate) snowball cost $1, a veritable bargain by urban snowball standards.  What separates Elaine’s from the rest, aside from longevity, is the velvety soft texture of the ice.  No chunks or chips here.  Just fluffy snow, approaching the texture of a Hansen’s sno-bliz.  Elaine doesn’t know why her ice is so fluffy–she says that the blade isn’t new.  I think it’s her technique, and perhaps the temperature of the ice she uses (not too cold).  Anyway, if you find yourself driving along Bayou Lafourche, stop and drop a buck at Elaine’s.

As I slurped my sweet treat, I had the same thought I always do:  man, I should buy a Sno-Wizard snowball machine and move to Key West or Miami Beach.  That sorry shave-ice stuff sold to tourists in most beach towns is so inferior to a properly made snowball that I could make a killing in a beach town.  The Sno-Wizard machine is only $1,800, with a lifetime warranty…..and Sno-Wizard’s in-house flavors have gone upscale:  think tiramisu, chai latte, vanilla malt, guava, and cherimoya.

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