If there's a line on Citrus Avenue across from City Hall in Redlands these days, people are usually waiting outside A La Minute, where chef-owner Ryan Berk and his team create ice cream to order using liquid nitrogen.
Berk says he also uses an all-organic ice cream base, Redlands-grown oranges and honey, strawberries from Live Oak Canyon, caramel from Yucaipa, and other local ingredients.
"The reason my ice cream's unique is because when it's created you've got smoke billowing off, it's getting crazy, and it takes about 30 seconds for it turn from a liquid to a solid," Berk says on his business' website.
Liquid nitrogen is simply nitrogen, which makes up 78 percent of the atmosphere, in a liquid state, Berk says. It's -321 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream reduces the size of ice crystals and results in a much creamier ice cream," Berk says.
Prices for individual servings start at $4. Lines and return customers indicate many people think A La Minute's cold confections are worth it.
A recent twist is A La Minute's partnership with Augie's Coffee House, around the corner on North 5th Street, for Affogato Sundays. Augie's owner Austin Amento has an "amazing mobile espresso cart" for the weekly visits to A La Minute.
The result is "pure vanilla bean ice cream" with "a perfect espresso," Berk and Amento said in a recent video they put together to promote Affogato Sundays.
A La Minute is at 19 E. Citrus Ave., #105, and it opens at noon seven days a week. Augie's is at 113 N. 5th St. Opening hours are 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.
For a recent report on other Redlands businesses that are clicking, follow . Redlands is about 65 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.