NewsCheap Eats



Posted at 7:59 AM, Aug 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-17 08:59:13-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It's still Summer - which means frozen treats are still in high demand. Omaha has a lot of options. But for the last year - a little gelato shop has been getting some huge reviews.

The owner tells 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole he wanted to bring something different to the Metro. She has the scoop on his Italian Ice Cream in this week's Cheap Eats.

Inside the Hardy Coffee shop in downtown Omaha, you can get more than a good cup of joe.

"The first impression is - is this part of the coffee shop? Are these coffee flavors," said owner Erick Landa.

His shop serves frozen dessert flavors. How you get them is a little different.

Serese: So, you just walk in, ring the doorbell (by his sign) ...
Erick: And I come out and serve you.

Erick Landa set up shop inside Hardy Coffee about a year ago.

"Somebody comes in here - I want them to have an experience," he shared.

The experience starts with his homemade gelato.

"We wanted to bring you something different - gelato was one of those things," he added.

All of his flavors are rich and unique.

"So, I have things like Horchata on the menu, Taro, Black Sesame, Jasmine," he explained.

Serese: How many flavors have you created?
Erick: It's only been a year, but we're in the two-hundreds right now.

Gelato looks like ice cream, but it actually has fewer calories and less sugar.

"Gelato has lower fat content, but also there's a lot more flavor because there's less air whipped into it," Erick explained.

The secret to the smooth, creamy treat isn't his passion — it's his precision.

"I think it's just a lot of math that I do. Like okay - what kind of percentage do I need to get to before it's too much of this flavor...what percentage of fat," he shared.

One of the Centi showstoppers is the Macaron sandwich.

"I sell out of these as soon as I put them out on the menu. I make an announcement about it and it's a competition about who can get them first," Erick chuckled.

The Macaron Sandwiches are a collaboration with Sweet Ash Mac. His homemade strawberry gelato goes right between the strawberry macarons.

Serese: Oh, I know what you're going to do next.
Erick: What am I going to do?
Serese: You're going to roll it in the shaved almonds.

"Yep. Then I'll hand coat them," he demonstrated.

To finish them off, he dunks half of the sandwich in melted white chocolate.

Serese: How did you come up with this?
Erick: We decided we wanted to do something different than just regular ice cream sandwiches.
Serese: That's different alright.

The flights are Centi's best seller. You get four flavors for $15. He made a flight that featured Horchata, Vietnamese Coffee, Absolute Chocolate and Taro.

Taro is the number one flavor at Centi.

"It's not a tasty description," he admitted. "It's a root vegetable from Taiwan. It's poisonous," he said with a smirk.

But the final result is a lovely lavender Italian ice cream — customers can't get enough.

Here's what happened when 3 News Now's Serese Cole tried it...

Erick: You have to tell me what you think it tastes like.
Serese: What is that flavor? I don't know what it is. I just know it's good!

"People who experience this gelato are like this is like what I had in Italy...I think people are trying this as an experience and it's way better than they expected it to be," Erick smiled.

Centi is located inside the downtown Hardy Coffee at 1031 Jones Street. It's open Wednesday to Friday from 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 8:00 p.m. He also specializes in sorbets and there are vegan options.

To see the full menu, go to

Erick is taking some time off. He'll be back open for business Wednesday, Aug. 23.

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