It’s taken about a year's time, but Brandon Chandler’s mission to bring gourmet popsicles to Orlando is at last accomplished. This new Central Florida location of the Hyppo – a popular oasis that’s called the quaint burg of St. Augustine home for some time – opened downtown earlier this month, in a Central Blvd. location just across the street from Eola Wine Company and steps from the shores of Lake Eola.
Left to right: the Elvis, orange cream, pineapple cilantro. — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Thus far – and not at all surprisingly – the Sunday farmer’s market has brought the Hyppo its best days, cooling off the hordes of shoppers and strollers with flavors both familiar (watermelon, mango) and exotic, like sangria plum, pistachio coconut or the decadent “Elvis,” a combination of peanut butter, banana and honey. All the pops are made from the freshest ingredients – often organic and locally sourced. In fact, says Chandler, they even grow their own herbs for flavors like strawberry basil and my personal favorite, pineapple cilantro.
Owner Brandon Chandler mans the counter at the Hyppo's new downtown digs. — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
The Hyppo’s signature wares are unique in their density. Even outside in the heat, they are distinctly un-watery and don’t quite melt the way store-bought popsicles do. In fact, it's almost as though they don’t melt at all. You may find yourself biting off pieces with unfamiliar confidence; the last bits seem unlikely to fall from the stick, even if you’re being careless.
Check the board (or their Facebook page) for the day's flavors; they change often based on availability. — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Chandler attributes the popsicles’ consistency not only to their special flash-freezing process, but in how the ingredients are blended at the outset. Coming up with flavors is the fun part, of course, but not every combination is a hit. Horchata espresso, he notes with some amusement, was a particular disappointment.
For the adventurous, seasonal flavors like avocado cream or cucumber lemon mint may suit. For the rest, there’s always strawberry.