Something wicked is happening in Healdsburg, and locals are lining up in droves just to get a taste of it.
Boston native Amy Covin recently opened Amy’s Wicked Slush just steps from the Russian River, hoping to bring “slush”, an iconic icy, sweet treat of her childhood to Sonoma County.
Just in time for summer, she’s done exactly that.
What’s a slush? Unless you’re from the East Coast, you probably have no idea. Think of this iconic New England dessert as Icee meets sorbet meets shave ice. Available sizes from pipsqueak to “there’s no way you can eat that, bro,” slush is properly eaten with a spoon rather than a straw. Expect to find yourself with a wicked good melty mess on your hands halfway in.
But Wicked Slush is no mere ice cream shack. It’s more of an ode to Amy’s favorite New England foods, featuring nearly a dozen flavors of slush (mango and cherry to classic lemon) along with freshly made bagels and Italian subs that are straight from the North End of Boston.
Aggghhhh, bagels! These are seriously good bagels that don’t turn into a pile of crumbs when you cut them. It’s one of the only things we miss terribly from NYC.
Italian Subs! Piles of mortadella, capicola, “hots” and not a dab of mustard in sight with a perfect hoagie roll. Bad delis have given this classic a bad name. The “half” however, is bigger than your arm, and you’ll likely eat the whole thing. The whole is, well, bring a team to help you.
Wicked Slush didn’t just happen by chance. Covin worked with local BurtoNZ Bakery in Windsor for three months to get the Italian hoagie rolls and boiled/baked bagels as authentic as possible. For the sandwiches, she used the power of persuasion and a whole lot of charm to get the secret recipes from the biggest names in Boston’s deli scene. And Covin can be very persuasive.
“This is just street food,” says the former CPA (she worked this tax season while opening the slush spot), and president of the Prune Packers baseball team.
Though she had no real interested in a restaurant, after a string of tragedies that included her home burning to the ground and her daughter being seriously injured in a car accident, Covin was ready to leave her desk job and enjoy life a little more.
Sitting on the deck of her Wicked Slush in a tee shirt and slush-stained fingers while holding her 2-month old grandson, she’s found her bliss. For the 55-year-old, that even includes pulling all-nighters jamming to Bruce Springsteen and making slush for the next day. That, and teaching high school kids she mentors how to properly make a dip cone.
“Usually on their fourth try they get it,” she said.
With her son Benny as general manager and most of her other family members, including her dad and her husband, helping out, it’s a cheerful kind of insanity as lines begin to form even on an early Tuesday afternoon. “We were lucky to survive the first week,” she laughs.
Covin is currently working on her Wicked Wagon, a mobile slush truck for events and deliveries so the rest of Sonoma County can taste a bit of Wicked.
Amy’s Wicked Slush is open Tuesday through Sunday, 7a.m. to 10p.m., 13840 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-431-9253, facebook.com/wickedslush. Dog and kid-friendly.