Sure, I could have made ice cream at home, courtesy of the 7 inches of frozen flakes in my front yard. But I’m not sure what pollution the snow had encountered on its 10,000-foot trip down from the nimbostratus clouds, so I waited for the big melt and then headed to The Parlour.

There, on a balmy, 43-degree Saturday afternoon (but factoring in the 17 mph wind, it felt like 35, slightly warmer than ice cream), I tried a vegan sundae, The Parlour’s entry in the Bull City Vegan Challenge.

I chose the salted caramel with hot fudge and peanuts. Holy soy cow, it tasted better than the dairy version. Uber-rich and creamy, the sundae lists coconut milk as its key ingredient, which, as my server cheerfully pointed out, doesn’t make the dessert any less fattening.

Well, it’s cold and I need the extra fuel to burn, I told myself. And in just three days I had developed a miserable case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. And coconutscoconuts are native to the tropics. I feel warmer already.

You can vote in the Bull City Vegan Challenge through Feb. 28. Other participating eateries are Parts and Labor, Hummingbird Bakery, The Cupcake Bar, Taberna Tapas, Dos Perros, The Refectory Café and Beyu Caffee.

The Parlour is at 117 Market St., Durham, 919-564-7999,

Info about the challenge is at

This article appeared in print with the headline “Vegan challenge, week 3.”