IceRobot: Homemade Ice-Cream
Am Altenhof 8
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11:00-20:00
A new player from an established restaurant has entered the ice cream scene in Kaiserslautern. IceRobot, an offshoot of Urban Vital restaurant (I reviewed it here and here), recently opened a few doors down from the original restaurant. It is a robotic ice cream store.
What exactly does that entail? The customer walks in on the right hand side of the store and approaches several touchscreen displays. The first choice is how the ice cream will arrive: Becher (in a cup) or waffelbecher (in a waffle cup).
Then one must choose the flavors. I remember seeing vanilla, chocolate, mango, strawberry, raspberry, peach, as well as other options, but the flavors change often. Touch the desired flavors on the screen, hit the green check mark, and a plastic card and a receipt pop out.
Proceed to the back of the store. There are three queues where one may approach and drop the card into a slot at the counter. The order is then processed and the ice cream proceeds down a conveyor belt to a small roll-up door at the queue. This takes a while as the belt is rather slow. Maybe the robot to the left will do a little dance for you while you wait.
Continue to the other side of the store and add any wanted toppings. After adding toppings, visit the cashier stand to pay. The ice cream is weighed and the price is calculated.
The ice cream is made by Urban Vital restaurant. It's delicious hard serve cream that has very fresh ingredients with brilliant flavors. For example, the mango and peach scoops I had tasted like eating the fresh fruit. I've never been disappointed with Urban's ice cream, having eaten it before at the original restaurant. I added a warm raspberry topping and that was delicious too. My concoction with two small scoops of ice cream and the topping was 2,80 euros, which is very much in line for ice cream prices.
There is also coffee to go. The machine is located at the front of the store on the left side.
The store is small and does not offer any seating at all. Outside are some tall tables where one may stand and eat the ice cream.
How did I find the experience? Well, I'll be honest: for an odd reason, I was feeling grumpy and impatient when I stopped by. It had nothing to do with the ice cream store itself; I was just flustered after running around, madly finishing errands after work. So, when it took forever to first pick the ice cream then wait for it to make its ridiculously slow arrival on the conveyor belt, I was just not feeling it. I think it would be far faster just to visit a regular ice cream shop, even if there is a line. I think that an employee scooping out ice cream is far faster and more efficient. However, if one enjoys novelties or has some patient kids who'd like to try something new, it could be a fun visit. The ice cream, after all, is just lovely.