Below are the questions we get asked the most. If you don't see your question here, please feel free to reach out to us directly through the question function of this web site or you can drop us a line at SideshowGelato@gmail.com
Please read through these before doing so. We are very busy and usually do not prioritize questions that are answered in this section.
About a buck fifty.
But seriously. Gelato is the Italian word for Ice Cream but the method and outcome are very different than American ice cream.
Where ice cream uses a lot of cream, gelato is primarily milk with only a tiny amount of cream to add fat to the recipe to aid in a pleasant mouth feel.
Gelato is balanced to take into consideration everything from the water content to milk solids to the freezing points of various sugars. This is all done to get a product that has a smooth spreadability.
Unfortunately most Americans who don't really know, which oddly seems to include a very vocal group of foodies, think that gelato is just an artisan ice cream.
Its texture is between soft serve and hard ice cream. It has a little elasticity to it AND it unfortunately melts faster because it has less fat and is not whipped full of air like ice cream. This means that it has a more delicate structure.
Yes, we make all of our ice cream flavors in-house using fresh, natural ingredients. Absolutely NO mixes or bought out bases of any sort. All the flavors are our recipes including our proprietary vegan gelato.
Nope. Because we do not use pre-packaged mixes, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will only allow us to legally sell our gelato within the walls of our shop. If you want it you have to come in or know somebody.
Settle in. Here is our best answer to all these questions.
All our our dairy and vegan gelato is naturally gluten free. Some of the mix-ins, however, are not. We only usually have a few flavors that will contain wheat such as Cookies and Cream, Chang and Eng which has chow main noodles, Tera Misu which has lady finger cookies etc. Our staff is well versed and we can always point you in the right direction.
NUTS & TREE NUTS
As much as we would like to be everything to everyone, we simply can't. A few of our gelatos have peanuts, peanut butter, hazelnuts or pistachio. Why can't we just go nut free? Because pistachio is the single most famous flavor of gelato and it wouldn't make sense for us to not have it.
NOW, what do we do to try to accommodate those with allergies? Well, we keep all the nut gelatos at the back of the case to reduce the risk of cross contaminating other flavors by accidentally dropping a nut gelato into another pan. We have clean, sanitized, extra scoops that we will use if requested for those with allergies. When we make the gelato, we make it in a clean and sanitized machine starting with vegan flavors first, then dairy, then allergens with a cleaning between each category. Then we disassemble the machine to clean and sanitize.
CORN & SUGAR
Again, it's unfortunate but we will use some dextrose and glucose which is corn derived. The reason is that various sugars have different sweetening and feeling points. The use of small percentages of these sugars aid in the structure of the gelato.
Unfortunately there isn't a good artificial or non sucrose sweetener that has manageable freezing points to balance a sugar free gelato and get a product that is structurally correct.
Lastly, we want to say that no matter what we do, you know your body better than we know it. If you are fatally allergic to an ingredient we use then we are absolutely not for you.
We use oat milk.
Because life is too interesting for vanilla. YES, I know it's a popular flavor. But there are compelling arguments to why we don't have it.
First, we only have 16 flavors divided half and half between dairy and non-dairy.
We have so much to offer and so little space to do it in. We simply are not going to take up a spot for something so average that can be done just as well as us at other places.
As far as VEGAN gelato goes, vanilla is a perfume not a flavor and easily overwhelmed by the flavor of oats in the oat milk. If it's one thing we don't like is oaty ice cream. So we use only strong flavors that mask the oat completely or, like our pistachio, is accentuated by it.
Because we change them weekly and we simply don't have the time or resources to keep up with updating the listings constantly. We feel our product is worth getting out of the house for. We offer 16 flavors at any given time and there is bound to be something that strikes your fancy.
We are NOT like Circus Circus in Vegas. So if you come in on a Wednesday expecting jugglers and people hanging from the ceiling the moment you walk in you are going to be super disappointed.
NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! We are a sideshow and dime museum themed shop. We are a bunch of weird carnys and magicians. You WILL NOT see a clown in our shop.
Nope. But it is good for kids. We are family friendly but we will also do adult entertainment as well.
We are a place for everyone. The gelato is simple enough for little kids and complex enough for seasoned foodies. The shows are accessible enough for a little kid who has never seen magic but shocking and thrilling enough for an adult who has never seen an actual sword swallower!
Our shows, with the exception of our few adult performances, are suitable for everyone. We find the best starting age is around 6.
However, you know your kids better than we do. If they are well behaved, can sit through a 45 minute to hour long performance, and are taught to treat the performers respectfully then they are the perfect audience member. If they are easily disturbed by unusual things, want to interrupt acts, or have excess energy and want to run around then absolutely not for them.
People have to varying degrees of success. If you do, remember, you are responsible for them and their behavior. As much as you are enthralled by the fire eater, if your child is crying up a storm, you do need to leave the theater as to not bother the other audience members but, even more so, to not disturb the concentration of the performers during some dangerous acts.
Our average show runs 45 minutes to 1 hr 20 min.
They are suggested donation. Though they are STRONGLY suggested. Have we let people in for free? Yes. However what it comes down to is this.
WE have to make sure our performers get paid enough to keep these shows going and we need to do this with our tickets. We also use this money for our mentorship program to buy props, tricks and other materials needed by our performers.
Now, you don't have to buy anything. If you have a compelling reason why you can't and talk to us we are pretty nice people and will find a way to accommodate.
If you come in and just want to be a jerk about it then, frankly, we will still let you in but you WILL get standing room only in the back, you will only be able to enter after all that have contributed go in and you will probably get mercilessly picked on by the cast for the duration of your stay.
We don't read reviews but have no problem answering the ones brought to our attention.
So it's just easier to kindly talk with us if you have an issue or just help keep our doors open and our cast happy by paying the lousy $5 or $10.
Jilly Bucks are a fun way to buy fun money on a credit card or for kids so they can tip their favorite acts during the show.
We do this to keep our over all ticket prices low, to subsidize our performers, and to help put money into our mentorship program.
Our after hours show is our regular Chilly Jilly's Spectacular Sideshow cast but with a lot more. This is their chance to bust out and be bawdy. Dirty jokes, routines dangerous to more sensitive body parts and a guest burlesque artist to fill out the bill with some sex and skin. There is something for everyone over the age of 18, a sense of humor and not easily offended.
We do allow BYOB to our adult oriented shows. We offer an array of gelato and sorbetto that are specially made to blend with the alcohol of your choosing as well. Barring that, we do have a $5 per person corkage fee. We ask you let us know if you have alcohol before entering the theater and pay the corkage. If you do not, you will be asked to leave with no refund of your ticket price.
Yes! We have a full roster of performers we work with from magicians to sword swallowers to musicians to balloon twisters. What ever you are looking for we can get the for your event.
Because we don't "OWN" people, as it is looked down upon in society, and we don't have exclusive contracts with these performers, please understand that the rates we give you are THEIR rates that THEY set. We can help negotiate for you but please understand that these people are performers who rely on solid booking dates, have an understanding of their value even if you might not, and are professional performers.
Please only reach out to us if you are serious about hiring or making a serious inquiry. Again our performers are professionals and on the AVERAGE usually start no lower than $400 for a 45 minute show and will be much higher depending on time of year.
you can book performers by inquiring at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh yeah? Chances are we don't. Especially if you have anything to offer regarding our website, Google rating or want to develop a ap. However if you must inquire about doing business with us the ONLY way to reach us is at SIDESHOWGELATOBIZ@GMAIL.COM
Any emails received regarding anything other than performer business matters, charitable requests or press inquiries that come through anything other than this email will be deleted. This is your first test in following directions. If you can't follow simple instructions then we have no use for you.
We have a few hard and fast rules that are strait up prejudice but, what are ya gonna do. Our place, our rules.
Penn is an investor and a partner. It is majority owned by Mr J. Penn does hold equity.
We do parties for all kinds of people. We do kids birthdays, Batchelor and Bachelorette parties, customer appreciation parties, anniversaries, and we will be rolling out a big wedding package soon.
Go HERE for information.