Opened in October of 2015 by a Florida native, Sno Beach is a great way to cool down from the Florida sun; they offer Hawaiian shaved ice to chase away the heat. It’s a cute little shop on Main Street in downtown Safety Harbor, full of beach tones, like aqua blues and whites, that mellow you out and entice you to stay. There are a few seats available at a counter top near the window or at a side table and there is also a miniature table with like-sized chairs for the little ones. The décor and friendly smile on the guy’s face at the counter (who was also featured on a nearby plaque as being their star employee) gave me an optimistic feeling about the place. And it’s always a good sign when parents are asking their children if they would like “the usual” as it means they’re happy enough to give repeat business.
Sno Beach offers a pile of flavors, over 30, and a bunch of preset combos you can pick from. You can also mix and match your own combos of up to three flavors, plus you can have them put in a scoop of vanilla ice cream and add some toppings, such as sweet cream, caramel, or chocolate syrup. How fun is that?!
Laura and I absolutely had to design our own. I decided to get a scoop of vanilla in mine as I’m a self-proclaimed ice creamaholic. I went with Granny Smith Apple, Peach, and Chocolate. I added sweet cream to the top. I wasn’t sure if I liked sweet cream or not, so I took a chance. It was right up my alley! It’s condensed milk (hence the cream part of the name,) and it is, indeed, very sweet, making it a good match for shaved ice. It came piled high above the top of the cup, which is very generous of them as a lot of places smooth it off at the top or go just a tad over (just keep in mind, these things melt and it will run over the edge quickly, so scoop away without delay!) Another wonderful thing I noticed is they didn’t skimp on the flavor juice (it’s a technical term) that they brew in house, so I didn’t end up with a tiny bit of syrup at the bottom of the cup and a lot of leftover white ice in the middle. The Chocolate was a mild chocolate flavor, reminiscent of a Tootsie Roll, gently rolling along the tongue. My Peach wasn’t very peachy (I kind of wonder if he grabbed the wrong bottle by accident as there are a lot of red sauces) but whatever it was, it was still pretty good! My favorite by far was the Granny Smith Apple, which was the strongest and partially sour. To me, it was the taste of autumn. I love autumn.
Laura was a purist and went sans ice cream. She got Granny Smith Apple, Pineapple, and Coconut with caramel on top. Again, the Granny Smith Apple was a delicious choice and was perfect with the caramel. It’s apple and caramel, what better pairing can you imagine? Likewise, the Pineapple had a good, strong fruit flavor. (Pineapple is one of Laura’s favorite foods, so she was VERY pleased.) The coconut had a good, tropical feel, and where the pineapple and coconut made contact it almost became a piña colada shaved ice. Oh, the combinations we can choose!
Sno Beach is a creative way to beat the blaze outside. Whoever told you not to play with your food was probably a bit stuffy and boring at dinner time. Food is supposed to be nourishing, yes, but it can also be an opportunity for fun, to explore your imagination. You can become your very own mad scientist, concocting who knows what in your attempts at world (well, taste bud) domination. Just keep the mad laughter to a minimum….it scares the staff.
310 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL 34695