Lys Eats Trucks: Icy treats beat the heat at One Cool Cookie

One Cool Cookie provides the ability to build your own ice cream sandwich. With a selection of homemade cookies and local ice cream, you pick the combo that suits your fancy.

This is our second food truck review in the series #LysEatsTrucks. Pseudo food connoisseur Lys reviews community choice trucks to help you narrow down your next food truck meal.

As Nanaimo headed into a heat wave, it seemed like the perfect time to head to Stiil’nep (also called Departure Bay) once again for my review of One Cool Cookie. Now, ice cream seems to be a pretty sensory-friendly food, not a massive amount of choice anxiety going on. But I sold this series on the premise of “the dude with sensory issues is going to review food” and I aim to deliver. 

One Cool Cookie lets you build your own ice cream sandwich. With a selection of homemade cookies and local ice cream, you pick the combo that suits your fancy.

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My original plan was to have a childhood callback partnered with an attempt at adult sophistication, bubble gum ice cream sandwiched between oatmeal cookies. But showing up to an ice cream-focused truck on a summer afternoon means plans will change.

I was met by Simon, the younger son in the family-run business, who was fielding the till for the steady stream of customers. Behind him, mom and dad Janeen and Luc whipped together ice cream treats and coffee drinks. 

Simon asked how the day was going and I made the mandatory comment about the heat while scanning the menu, even though I’d stared at it for a solid five minutes before walking up to the window, practicing my order.

In a desperate attempt to keep my plan to pair a kid flavor ice cream with a grown-up cookie, I ordered birthday cake ice cream between two macadamia nut cookies; the swirled white and blue ice cream with hints of sprinkles offering bits of colour. 

Call it a downside or call it a challenge, but you will be in a race against three different forces as you attempt to partake in your treats. The wasps and bees hoping for “sharesies,” the sun perfecting its deadly laser act, and the ravens who will be coming to collect beach access fees*. 

This makes the sandwich not an easy eat-and-walk item. Fortunately, there is a seating area provided by One Cool Cookie.

Black bistro-style tables line the boardwalk in front of the food truck, looking onto the water.
One Cool Cookie’s bistro-style tables line the boardwalk in front of the food truck, providing a moment of respite. Photo by Lys Morton/The Discourse

I pointed to the three matte black bistro tables with two matching chairs each and a small planter of succulents. “Are those yours or are they a new beach addition?”

Co-owner Janeen explained the tables and chairs are part of the food truck, easily packed into the trailer whenever they end the day.

“We have a cafe setup wherever we go, now,” Janeen said, not so much with pride but excitement at the ability to combine the dream of a coffee shop with a dessert truck. The truck was a pivot from that cafe dream but had become a more flexible option for the family team, allowing for changes in schedules based on needs and availability.

Between the ice cream and the cookies, the latter wins hands down. Heftier than your average grocery cookie, the baking easily maintains structural integrity as the ice cream becomes an added liquid ingredient.

The cookie sits in that perfect middle spot of crispy edges that provide a delectable crunch and a chewy middle that you seek out when cookies are pulled fresh from the oven. With the cookies being homemade, prepped the night before and baked fresh on the truck, maybe it’s alright that the ice cream was a supporting actor.  

One Cool Cookie food truck parked on a bricked courtyard. Three black bistro tables in front of the truck, and a large carved totem pole behind it.
You’ll often find One Cool Cookie at Stiil’nep (also called Departure Bay). But keep an eye out for the truck at Sway-a-Lana Lagoon, Maffeo Sutton park. Photo by Lys Morton/The Discourse

With no scrap of cookie left, and with some liquified remnants of ice cream now on my work shirt, I headed back to the window, the promise of an affogato to end my day. 

Luc might be the coffee connoisseur of the truck, but Simon jumped to the chance of showing me a precise pour-over technique; letting the espresso cleanly pour out of the glass cup, having the foam sit on top until a final tip forward had it slide and plop onto the ice cream. 

A teenager who isn’t enjoying his time wouldn’t put that much effort into the presentation of this treat.

And that somehow became the perfect way to wrap up my moment with One Cool Cookie. One cool teen seemingly having a blast serving chilled treats and fresh baked goods to those enjoying the bay views.

*Note: If you find yourself with access to both One Cool Cookie and Sip and Sliders, the local ravens are quite satisfied with offerings from both trucks. [end]

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