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Photo of the CP: Ryan Deto

Andy Gauvain at Crave Frozen Desserts

Dravosburg in the Mon Valley might not be at the top of the Pittsburgh area culinary destination list, but a new ice cream shop has some really delicious and interesting flavors of frozen treats.

Crave Frozen Desserts is located in a small mall next to the state legislature’s offices and a photocopy store. It’s so low-key that owner Andrew Gauvain says some local Dravosburg residents still haven’t figured out that the ice cream shop is there, even though it has been open since February.

But don’t be fooled by its unpretentious digs, it offers high-quality, culinary-inspired ice cream. Crave’s exploratory flavors include orange-cardamom, chocolate-merlot, and watermelon-jalapeno.

“I’ve always wanted to do an ice cream shop,” Gauvin said during a recent visit to the shop. “I thought, ‘I went to culinary school. I can follow a recipe. I have a batch freezer.

So Gauvin found a supplier of dairy and flavoring products and started blending his own dairy (and non-dairy) delicacies. He uses 14% fat for his dairy ice cream, which he says is mid-range on the fat scale, but allows his flavors to really shine. They also have some spinning flavors of Italian ice cream.

“No one is going away from here saying this was the best fat ice cream I have ever had. But they will taste the flavor, ”Gauvin said.

Now I’m having cotton candy ice cream!

Posted by Crave Frozen Desserts on Tuesday August 4, 2020

During my visit, I tried the Oreo-Banana, which was a pale yellow with chunky pieces of chocolate cookies stuffed into a banana base. There were pieces of real banana throughout the scoop as well. It was rich, but refreshing.

Gauvin is also a veteran, and he dedicated a special ice cream called Old Glory, which is red, white, and blue, and a blend of vanilla, strawberry, and lemon-blueberry. Sometimes the store also makes an ice cream called Stained Glass, flavored like leftover milk from a bowl of Fruit Loops, and containing gummy candies. Check the Crave Facebook page for up to date flavors.

Crave is also licensed to supply ice cream to local restaurants, and Gauvin says that’s where he hopes the flavors get really interesting.

“I have a desire to make handcrafted things that you might not be able to find if you are a restaurant.” said Gauvin. “I have a wholesale license, if there’s a craft thing you want, like maple-bourbon flavor, with real bourbon, we can do it.”

Click to enlarge Old Glory red, white and blue ice cream - PR PHOTO: RYAN DETO

Photo of the CP: Ryan Deto

Old Glory Red, White & Blue Ice Cream

For customers visiting the Crave storefront, Gauvin said it would pay off to try something you’ve never had before.

“Come and try us, don’t limit yourself to the classics, like vanilla or chocolate,” he said. “Be a little adventurous. Don’t be afraid to try something a little different.

Crave Frozen Desserts is located at 751 Pittsburgh McKeesport Blvd. in Dravosburg. Mon-Sat From 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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