People from around the world come to Hypnotic Emporium in the hopes of completing one of Dallas’ craziest dessert challenges. Twenty flavors of ice cream are scooped into a Texas-sized bowl and loaded with whipped cream, caramel, hot fudge, cherries, sprinkles and any other topping the soda fountain has in stock. It’s topped with Charleston Chew bars and a Hypnotic Donuts pastry for good measure.

Anyone willing to risk a massive brain freeze must finish the bowl in 25 minutes or get stuck with a bellyache and a $35 bill. 

“We had a film crew from Japan, and they put an ad in Craigslist for two people to be in the ice cream challenge,” co-owner Shelley Lobona says. “They filmed it for Japanese TV, although I never got to see it.”

Not brave enough to try this gut-busting test? Hypnotic Emporium has plenty of unique desserts to “shake” the summer heat. One of the most popular flavors is the s’mores — made with chocolate ice cream topped with chocolate drizzle, whipped cream, marshmallow fluff and toasted marshmallows.

“We want to make it a destination.”

Staff members meet regularly to brainstorm ideas for the next crazy concoction. One of the most memorable creations was The Unicorn, a colorful blend of sour blue raspberry, white chocolate, cotton candy, unicorn-shaped marshmallows and purple sprinkles.

Hypnotic Emporium also has its version of the ice cream sandwich. The ooey-gooey mess comes with three toppings and can include vanilla or chocolate doughnuts from Hypnotic Donuts or any combination of homemade cookies.

All the ice cream comes from Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Denton. Many flavors are rotated seasonally so customers can get a taste of pumpkin pie or peppermint during the holidays. One specialty is a honey lavender flavor called the Bee’s Knees that is a favorite among East Dallas neighbors because of their proximity to the Arboretum, Lobona says.

“I’m a huge ice cream person, and when we bought [Hypnotic Emporium], I was adamant that we had to have good ice cream,” she says. “We want to make it a destination.”

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