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21 Catt. 4: In re Pleasant Pops

2013 June 26

JEREMY, C.J., delivered the opinion of the Cart. CATTLEYA, J., wrote a separate concurrence.

We granted cartiorari on the question of the “Guac Pop” by Pleasant Pops. (N.B.: Generally we abbreviate the mobile gastronomic enterprise’s name. For obvious reasons, and out of respect for the cart at issue, I will not do so here.)

Pleasant Pops began a few years ago when its co-founders sought to “combine the Mexican tradition of fresh fruit ice pops [‘paletas’] with local and sustainable agriculture from the greater D.C. area.” Their ensemble has since grown to 100 flavors, which appear to be trotted out on a seasonal basis.

The enterprise has since expanded to a brick-and-mortar (“B&M”) on Florida Avenue just off in a U Street, to a somewhat out-of-the-way stretch of shops which includes a gallery, a “streetwear boutique,” and Locolat—a Belgian restaurant outside of our jurisdiction otherwise notable for its snail-topped herb waffles (a favorite of a clerk of mine) and a waiter who may or may not be my doppelgänger (dobbeltgænger?). The creation story of the B&M is a testament to the popularity of Pleasant Pops: the co-founders had reached their fundraising goal eight days into a 30-day Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 to open a B&M.

Pleasant Pops

Pleasant Pops

We encountered Pleasant Pops at a farmer’s market off McPherson Square on a stuffy day in late Spring. Looking for a frozen treat, we spied a diminutive cart purveying a variety of dairy and non-dairy iced confections (see above). Scanning its menu, we settled for the “Guac Pop.” But first we must answer two preliminary questions:

  1. Is a cart at a farmer’s market within our jurisdiction?
  2. Is a “paleta” street food, as defined under our Eat Wonky test?

Both questions prove easy to answer.

Jurisdiction. First, while we have never considered whether a cart at a farmer’s market is within the jurisdiction of this Supreme Cart, we have gone so far as to find a Dippin’ Dots cart at a private event to lie within our jurisdiction. See In re Dippin’ Dots, 10 Catt. 5 (2012). If anything, its location at a farmer’s market, in the middle of Vermont Avenue, only places the Pleasant Pops cart more firmly within our jurisdiction.

Street Food. Second, while we have never addressed the precise question of whether a paleta, or even a popsicle more broadly, is “street food,” we have held that ice creams and sorbets do constitute “street food.” See In re Sinplicity, 9 Catt. 3 (2012). If anything, the nature of the popsicle—requiring no utensil, as compared with the spoon accompanying a cup of ice cream—only serves to strengthen the argument that the paleta and the popsicle are properly “street food.” Further, given our emphasis at times on historicity, the fact that the paleta is a Latin American street food tradition concludes the matter. Because the “Guac Pop” is “street food,” we must affirm it unless it bears some fatal flaw. See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012).

Guac Pop (Avocado & Lime)

Guac Pop (Avocado & Lime)

Having answered these questions, we may safely move to the question of the “Guac Pop” itself. We were confronted with a menu filled with other intriguing options, among them Chongos and Hibiscus. Why, then, did we opt for the Guac? While my sister and I agree on few things, we do agree that, when at the Eden Center, the best bubble concoction to order is the sweetened guacamole smoothie. It’s delicious. I am also particularly fond of the traditional Indonesian chocolate and guacamole smoothie at Satay Sarinah in Alexandria. (N.B.: Satay Sarinah’s new truck Satè is on our radar.) There is a wide and delectable world of avocado-based desserts out there (see here and here, for examples). Even purveyor of fine living Martha Stewart agrees. And so, we opted for the avocado and lime paleta above all others.

We affirm.

The Guac Pop’s flavor is relatively subtle, with the taste of its key components never overpowered by sugar. It is a fresh, refreshing, and inexpensive treat on a hot day (or, I imagine, on any other day). We were particularly fond of the lime flavor, which actually tasted like lime rather than artificial lime or Rose’s lime cordial which, while delicious in a gimlet, would not have complemented the avocado as well as more or less unadulterated lime. (But a gimlet paleta? Hm.) This is a non-dairy pop, but the creaminess of the avocado mimics the unctuousness of a milk-based product without its heaviness.  We’ll be back for more and look forward to trying more of Pleasant Pop’s 100-strong repertoire.


CATTLEYA, J., concurring.

I share my brother’s enthusiasm for the Guac Pop and wholeheartedly agree with the opinion he has authored, except for the unfortunate construction of the first sentence of the third paragraph. (Or is it the Chief Justice’s law clerk who deserves blame for faulty writing and proof-reading?)

One Response
  1. crystal permalink
    June 27, 2013

    i don’t understand this. but the pop looks really judicious.

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