Motor Sisters' Cold Brew Float Is Like A Frosty With A Jolt.
Welcome to Unfiltered, our weekly feature that explores the Dallas coffee scene — and how it often manages to thrive in the most unusual places. Given that we live in a time when Starbucks locations are about as prevalent as the golden McDonald's arches, when new coffee shops seem to open every other week and when almost everyone uses a ChemEx to brew their coffee, we're here to show you some alternatives — for when your coffee shop routine becomes monotonous or when you're just looking for something different in your caffeine endeavors.
Motor Sisters Ice Cream.
5624 Sears Street.
If you're familiar with this column, then you've probably read us wax poetic about the combination of coffee and ice cream before.
I mean, what's not to love about a strong but sweet, cold and creamy caffeinated experience? It's pretty magical.
But for those that enjoy a bit of a milder incantation, there's Motor Sisters Ice Cream, where coffee and soft serve coexist harmoniously. Since joining the Truck Yard family this past December and taking up residence in the former home of Carnival Barker's (which has since found its footing out in Oak Cliff), husband-and-wife team Mark Seher and Kari Crowe have been exploring here the softer side of cold treats while continuing to churn out more-traditional ice cream wares at their Fort Worth-based shop, Melt.
“Our other business is very seasonal, craft- and time-intensive,” says Crowe. “We really wanted a brand that kind of fit in with the feel of Truck Yard, so we went with kind of a fun and funky menu here.”
The name Motor Sisters draws inspiration from the iconic Rosie The Riveter character and the vastly female staff of Melt. Each of the menu items is named after strong women of past and present, from historical figures like Sojourner Truth and activists like Malala Yousafzai to modern-day pop culture darling Taylor Swift. On the back of the paper menu, a small blurb on each of the respective women provides customers with a brief history lesson to read while they enjoy their frozen goodies in their choice of vanilla or chocolate.
Although the shop serves press pot coffee and has just added a cold brew made with Noble Coyote beans, the real treat is how the coffee is incorporated into its dessert offerings. A coffee syrup is made in-house one or twice a week to be incorporated into a few of these treats including the Bourke-White sundae that's named after the famous war documentarian and layers the syrup with fudge sauce and brownies. A milkshake named after Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, combines the coffee syrup with cold brew, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Then there is the classic cold brew float, which could give the Frosty® a run for its money, and with the added benefit of caffeine to boot.
“Sandberg, in my head, I think she probably has to drink a lot of coffee to keep up with her life,” says Crowe. “And then Bourke-White was a documentary photographer, so I assumed that she probably had to drink coffee to be in the field. She was one of the first war photographers, so I just imagine as a woman in the field with all these men that she probably had to be one of the guys. That's just in my head, but really we came up with women who we really loved and inspired us, and didn't necessarily build a menu around them. We [just] used their names for the menu.”
Although coffee stands as a way to draw customers in during inclement weather, it works hand-in-hand with soft serve as a way for Crowe and her team to venture out of their routine, while best utilizing the small location.
Says Crowe: “At Melt, we don't have a lot of toppings, so I wanted to have colors and sprinkles, and to be able to do anything fun and funky that we can build upon. Dallas is so different than Fort Worth. This is a really progressive area, and so we really wanted something that kind of fit the vibe of Truck Yard.”