We all scream for ice cream. In the blazing, humid dog days of summer in the South, nothing hits the spot quite like a cold, creamy bowl of ice cream. Alpharetta has had a lack of ice cream sources. We’ve got cakes, cupcakes and French pastries but the only place to get ice cream was Dairy Queen or Brusters. Frankly, that’s sad. We deserve better.
That’s what owner Robyn Rowles thought when a small house on North Main Street became available. The Oregon native and owner of Tin Roof Kitchen really had no ice cream experience save for making an occasional batch at home. That sounds scary but what she lacks in experience she makes up for with passion, drive and dream.
Robyn opened Tin Roof Kitchen last year. A mecca for gluten free diners, it has become a success. The main reason for the gluten free menu is Robyn and two of her four kids have Celiac Disease. Helping people with Celiac Disease or food allergies have a place where they have a wide range of safe food options is extremely important to Robyn. Much of this effort is carried over to Four Fat Cows. Gluten free cones are available and coconut milk-based ice creams are there for those with dairy problems.
The space has a quaint, small town feel. The ice cream takes center stage of course but there are toys, puzzles, games, balls, stuffed animals, soaps and bath products, snacks and Georgia sourced jams, jellies and honey to occupy you while you consume your frozen treat. The idea is to have people just hang out and have fun not just grab and go. There’s something special when neighbors get together while the kids play, all hopped up on sugar. It reminded me of a time long gone. It’s great to see it in Alpharetta. But browsing is pretty much all I did as the prices are steep on some of the items.
Look as hard as you can, but you will find no ice cream machines in house. While Four Fat Cows uses their own recipes, they leave the heavy churning to Greenwood’s Ice Cream on Peachtree Industrial. They supply ice cream to many of Atlanta’s finest restaurants. Four Fat Cows uses a higher fat content and lower sugar content, which gives the ice cream a fuller, creamier, thicker mouth feel. There’s not a lot of air, so the ice cream tends to stick around longer to let you absorb the flavor.
And speaking of flavors, there’s a ton to choose from. My personal favorite was the key lime pie. Chunks of crust along with an extra blast of lime tartness made my mouth happy. I’ve had the chocolate overload and the peanut butter cup. Both were winners. Next on my list will be the bourbon butter pecan. Just saying the name makes me drool. Sizes range from the baby cup, perfect for kiddies, all the way to the pint sized behemoth. Not sure even I could handle a whole pint of this goodness.
It’s ok to look past the ice cream, though. Four Fat Cows also has sundaes, shakes, floats, Counter Culture Coffee, Italian sodas, phosphates and lemonades. Baked goods are also in the works. They are currently open 3-9 PM Monday through Friday, and 11 AM to 9 PM Saturday and Sunday, but Robyn says that expanded Summer hours are not far away. Don’t look for them to slow down when Winter comes. Robyn has plans to shift the menu a bit to add soups and hot and sipping chocolates.
Four Fat Cows is a welcome addition to Alpharetta’s growing restaurant scene. The ice cream is outstanding, the atmosphere welcoming and the service has been top notch every time I’ve visited. You will most likely run into Robyn’s oldest son Brenden behind the counter. He’s got the staff whipped into shape. No slouching or texting employees here. And in case you were wondering, the four cows in the logo are yes, Robyn’s children. Yet none of them are fat. In fact, one of them is in fine shape. Must be cutting back on the ice cream. Check out Four Fat Cows this summer for the finest ice cream in Alpharetta.
Four Fat Cows is located at 64 North Main Street next to Mittie’s Tea Room.