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For years, my favorite ice cream shop in Las Vegas has been a little 50's themed shop called Nielsens Frozen Custard. Unfortunately, Nielsens shop was located in Henderson, on the southeastern side of the Las Vegas valley. I, on the hand, live in Summerlin, on the northwestern side of the valley. My favorite ice cream shop, thus, has always been located across town. Heck, it's technically in another town altogether. I would usually treat myself to a stop at Nielsens whenever I happened to be in or around Henderson, which has not been very often. I've long wanted Nielsen to open another location in Summerlin.

Well, today, that wish was granted. Nielsens had the grand opening of its second Las Vegas location today, in the food court of the Red Rock Resort on Charleston and 2-15. My favorite ice cream shop finally has a location on my side of town!

Apparently, I'm not the only one who loves Nielsens and has been eagerly awaiting the opening of a west-side location. The line stretched all the way across the Red Rock food court almost to the movie theater. It took 45 minutes to get through the line, and order my custard. I expected there to be a line, but I didn't expect it to be like a Disneyland ride line. Looks like lots of people were looking forward to eating some frozen custard, so hopefully this location will be very successful.

The line for Nielsens' Red Rock grand opening stretched across the entire food court.

While Nielsens does serve regular ice cream, its specialty (and my personal recommendation) is the frozen custard "concrete". It's a thick ice cream dessert served in a cup, but eaten with a spoon. Kind of like a Dairy Queen Blizzard or Wendy's Frosty, but better.

Frozen custard is a bit different than traditional ice cream. Custard contains egg yolks. This gives the frozen custard a thicker and creamier consistency than true soft serve ice cream, as well as being able to be produced in a manner that minimizes the amount of air and ice crystals that end up in the dessert. The egg yolks also increase the melting point of the frozen custard by a few degrees (compared to ice cream). This allows it to be stored and served at slightly warmer temperatures, and also means that it doesn't melt quite as quickly, especially if consumed indoors. Lastly, the slightly warmer serving temperature means that frozen custard may be a little bit less likely to trigger brain freeze when consumed. Though, actual results may vary.

My recommendation is a frozen custard concrete.

Frozen custard has been a popular dessert in the midwest, particularly in Wisconsin, but it has been surprisingly difficult to find further west. However, I've been seeing frozen custard showing up more and more in the Pacific Southwest. The hamburger and custard chain Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has several locations in Las Vegas, and they also serve frozen custard concretes. Freddy's custard concretes are good, but I personally think that Nielsens' concretes are substantially better.

Personally, I was hoping that if a Nielsens were to open on the west side of Vegas, that it would be in Tivoli Village or Boca Park, as those are much closer to where I live compared to the Red Rock. But the Red Rock is on the way to and from work, and it's also where I go to make my football bets, so I'll have no shortage of opportunities to treat myself to Nielsens. Ironically, I also go to a gym that is close to the Red Rock Resort, but I think it's probably not a good idea to get frozen custard after a gym visit. Seems counter-productive. Protein smoothie, maybe. But not frozen custard.

Anyway, if you are at the Red Rock (or Downtown Summerlin, down the street), and you're in the mood for a frozen dessert, I highly recommend that you check out Nielsens in the Red Rock food court. I think it's the best ice cream in Vegas.

Nielsens also has locations in Utah, and in Mesa, Arizona.

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