There is a new girl on the block in Tallahassee and she goes by the name of Rita. Although Rita’s is originally from Pennsylvania, storeowner Dorsey Hairston II has brought the tradition that comes along with Rita’s Italian Ice to the Tallahassee community.
“Having a Rita’s in Tallahassee is absolutely awesome,” said Bryan Gayne 20, a sophomore exercise student from Clearwater at Florida State. “When I came out of the womb, I craved Rita’s.”
Located in the University Shopping Center on Pensacola Street, walking into Rita’s is like stepping into a blast from the past. The red, white and blue tiles, chairs, tables and walls, as well as the old fashioned mixing machines are reminiscent of the 1950s.
Rita’s is best known throughout the northeast and various cities in the southern states for its Italian ice and other pleasing treats.
The difference between Rita’s Italian ice and any other ICEE or shaved ice is Rita’s is made with fresh fruit on a regular basis in order to ensure freshness.
It may be surprising that Rita’s menu is short, sweet and to the point. But when you look down into the glass case at the smooth containers of hot pink strawberry, clear-water-blue blueberry, bright orange mango and the other colorful water ice flavors, choosing just one may be a problem.
But the “cheerful treat” team has come up with unique solutions to the customer’s dilemma.
One delicious solution is the Sunrise. The Sunrise, a layered combination of mango and passion fruit, is a fruit lover’s dream and is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Italian Ice isn’t the only tasty, cold treat on the menu at Rita’s. The Misto is a combination of Rita’s old fashioned, rich custard and a flavored ice – or cream ice – blended to perfection to create a shake.
The velvety cream ice flavors such as Mint Chocolate Chip are also very popular among the customers.
Rita’s also offers a Blendini, which is a combination of frozen custard and Oreo cookies, Nilla Wafers or your favorite Italian Ice eaten with a spoon.
Every flavor, combination and item on the menu is a hit among customers, but the winner by far is Gelati.
The customer chooses one flavor of the smooth Italian ice and it is layered and topped off with any flavor from Rita’s infamous creamy frozen custard.
Not only are Rita’s frozen treats a crowd pleaser for people of all ages, but Hairston also intends on making Rita’s a stable fixture as well as an asset to the Tallahassee community.
“I want Rita’s to be apart of the community,” Hairston said, “but I’m also all about the college students. I wanted to do this for the students.”
The best thing about Rita’s is its frosty treats are affordable, guaranteed fresh and the perfect remedy to a hot day.
You can visit Monday through Wednesday from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.; and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
For more information on Rita’s or their monthly specials visit http://www.ritasicetallahassee.com.