Shaka Shave Ice is a food trailer that parks outside of Lee Lee Oriental Supermart at 1990 W. Orange Grove Road, and if you like cold, delicious things you should go there. Owners Lynn and Jeff Bronaugh do interesting things with shave ice, and people drive from as far as Avra Valley just for a taste of it.
I’ve become somewhat of a shave ice nut since trying it for the first time this year, and Shaka’s is a cut above the rest. Lynn Bronaugh says it’s the surgically sharp ice-shaving blade that makes the difference. Jeff Bronaugh says it’s the fact that Lynn mixes her own syrups.
I say it’s all of that, and the infectious happiness that flows out of that trailer, right alongside a veritable blizzard of uniquely flavored shave ice. It also helps that the food trailer takes its inspiration from traditional shave ice shacks in Hawaii, where the Bronaughs lived before moving to Tucson to be closer to their daughter and grandson.
Take, for instance, the mocha shave ice: Kona coffee, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate syrup on top of a bowl of the finest snow you’ve ever seen. Or consider that the Bronaughs will mix in real mochi balls they brought back from a recent trip to Hawaii. Adzuki beans — a sweetened Japanese red bean — and gummy bears can be added as well.
Plus, the Bronaughs just know how to make a person feel good, whether it’s with 27 flavors of shave ice — which can also be mix-and-matched into a thousand different combinations— or their obvious adoration for both their patrons and each other. Spending weekends working in a tiny trailer might get to some couples, but not the Bronaughs.
“You want to know what makes this place special?” Jeff Bronaugh says, pointing to his wife and smiling broadly. “This lady right here. She’s what makes it special.”
Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and this coming Saturday and Sunday is Shaka Shave Ice’s last weekend of the season. They’ll also be out at the Festival Norteño at Casino del Sol on Saturday, Sept. 3. There’s more information over here.