Hansen’s Sno-Bliz Shop- Uptown (New Orleans, USA)
A sno cone is one of the top highlights of summers in New Orleans. In the midst of a hot, muggy and sweaty day you can look forward to cooling off with a sno cone from one of many great sno cone shops around town. Hansen’s Sno Bliz shop is a New Orleans tradition and I was told by many that I must try it out before leaving town. And so I found myself waiting in that long dreadful line on one of the hotter New Orleans days to get my hands on one of these famous sno cones.
An hour later… after getting to know my neighbors in line I finally made it to the the inside of the shop. Another fifteen minutes and I was at the front counter. The inside of the shop is…old. I am guessing that they are trying to maintain that old feel to the place so that it resembles what it looked like when it first opened up many years ago. You can look forward to taking a step back in time where life was simple and there was no AC.
Once you get to the counter you are greeted by the owner and her helpers. The owner is the granddaughter of the founders of Hansens. She is warm, friendly and dripping with perspiration from a hard days work. You order your size, flavor and add any extras. I went with the cream of nectar stuffed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of condensed milk. The Count ordered the limonade- he likes his sno cone tart and fresh.
And finally after an hour and twenty minutes (we timed it)- we got our hands on our very first Hansen’s Sno Bliz. The texture of the ‘sno’ was definitely superior to many I have had in the city. As someone put it- it is like biting on to pieces of a cloud. That’s how it feels. It is smooth, creamy, light and fluffy.
One thing I would like to share is the poor hygiene and sanitation of the place. The Count pointed out the fact that the ice was handled by a young man wearing no gloves and pushing the ice into the ‘sno’ machine. He was sweaty and itchy which resulted in him scratching himself all over and wiping off his sweat with his bare hands followed by handling the ice and pushing it in the machine. The counter was a mess and seemed like there was no real order. The staff had to run back and forth between the rooms to grab different flavors. I guess they are trying to change little but it seems that things would run more efficiently if small changes were made. I have been to other sno cone shops in the area which are cleaner and more sanitary. I guess people down here are so fond of their childhood memories of this place that they fail to notice these small details. Would I go back? Certainly? Is it worth taking the risk of getting sick? Completely!