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Snacks: Palermo Gelato & Sweets fills the sugar rush in a cold, creamy way

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 8:59 p.m.
Several flavors of gelato are offered at Palermo Gelato & Sweets on the South Side Thursday, September 6, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Several flavors of gelato are offered at Palermo Gelato & Sweets on the South Side Thursday, September 6, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)

Tucked on a street that fronts on the bustling urban palazzo of the South Side Works, Palermo Gelato & Sweets doesn't look like Satan's workshop.

But with its dozen delectable flavors of gelato, anyone on a diet should abandon hope upon entry.

The foam-green pistachio, the double-dark chocolate and caramel-color espresso gelato beckon from the behind the glass counter, legal intoxicants that sap willpower.

Prices are $2.50 for one scoop to $5.95 for four scoops. They also serve four sizes of gelato cones ($2.75 for a kid's small cone to $5.50 for a two-scoop waffle cone.)

Gelato is more dense and flavorful than American ice cream.

Because it is churned at a slower rate, it also contains less air. Gelato also has a greater proportion of whole milk to cream, so it generally has less fat than American-style ice cream. The flavor is more intense as a result.

The Affagado ($5.50) is a specialty drink that combines a shot of espresso, whipped cream and your choice of gelato. It's delicious.

Their crepes include the French version, made with sugar and lemon ($3.25). It literally melts in the mouth. Crepes with fillings — Nutella, caramel, strawberries or pecans and sugar, are $3.50.

For those who want to fill a crepe with their choice of gelato, cost is $4.50.

Like any Italian eatery, they also serve espresso ($1.45; $1.75 double shot) and Cafe Americano ($1.75). They have soy available as an option for their drinks.

The interior of Palermo Gelato & Sweets is so small you might have to go outside to change your mind. It features restful blue and greenish tiles with a sea-pebble patina, a drinks cooler and an impressionistic painting of an Italian seascape.

Cafe-style seating is available outside, in the form of two tables and some chairs. It would make for a pleasant visit on a warm Indian summer night, where you can slake your sweet tooth, sit at a table and people watch.

It might not be the Spanish Steps, but it will suffice.

Palermo Gelato & Sweets, 436 S. 27th St., South Side. Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. Sun days through Thursdays, noon to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Details: 412-431-0503.

William Loeffler is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at wloeffler@tribweb.com or 412-320-7986.

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