"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," or so the saying goes, but even the most health-conscious among us may find themselves reevaluating the validity of that adage when Afters Ice Cream opens shop in Long Beach in the next few months. Biting into an Afters Milky Bun may feel like a betrayal of your New Year's resolution, but it is oh-so worthwhile.
The formula for Afters' signature Milky Bun is deceptively simple, but rife with carb-fueled possibility. First, you start with a fresh halved donut—either glazed or unglazed—which is then stuffed with your choice of unique ice cream flavors, like almond cookie and banana heath toffee. To top it off, add some cereal, candies or other sweets into the mix, and you've got a one-of-a-kind treat to please your sweet tooth.
After finding success in Fountain Valley and Chino Hills, the late-night dessert spot will open a location in Long Beach near the Cal State Long Beach campus within the next few months.
"Afters was created as an outlet to express creativity and innovation through food," said co-founder Scott Nghiem in an interview with the Long Beach Post. "Its dual purpose was to provide a late night dessert destination that connected with the youth culture and alike. Honestly, we needed somewhere to go at night to eat dessert and hang out also."
Nghiem said Afters, which made it on to Yelp's list of the 10 most reviewed restaurants in the country last year, serves more than 1,000 people every day of the week and routinely has lines out the door.
The eatery, open from noon to midnight daily, hired a commercial kitchen commissary to make the buns and ice cream daily for all stores, Nghiem said, and all ingredients are locally sourced.
Prices range from $3.50 for a single scoop of ice cream to $5 for a milky bun.
If freshness, affordability and locality aren't enough to entice you to stray from the Paleo path, perhaps the unique flavor combinations will. Take the Cookie Monster, which, true to its namesake, is bright blue, and consists of vanilla, chocolate chip cookies and fudge. For the exotic palate, the Jasmine Milk Tea Milky Bun has a light floral tea taste.
"Aside from innovative desserts and beyond-awesome ice cream flavors, we offer a lifestyle and culture that really connects with our audience," Nghiem said. "This is one of many reasons why we are different."
Nghiem said Afters chose to open a location in Long Beach after a demand from the community.
"One of the reasons we chose Long Beach was the actual customers telling us where they wanted us to be," he said. "We saw a huge outreach from the Long Beach community[...] to bring an Afters there. We are all about pleasing our fans so that's exactly what we did. We gave the people what they wanted."
Nghiem said he could not immediately disclose the store's forthcoming location, but said it will be located in close proximity to Cal State Long Beach and the 405 Freeway. He also said an exact opening date has not been determined yet, but he expects the store to open within the next 60 days.