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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
People wait to be seated at Red Iguana on Friday, April 5, 2013.

As if we needed another excuse to eat ice cream, July 16 is National Ice Cream Day, and the whole month of July is National Ice Cream Month.

It was President Ronald Reagan who deemed July as the month to celebrate America’s favorite frozen treat, designating the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. He called upon the American people to “observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

Can do, President Reagan.

As you plan your National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day celebrations, here are six Utah restaurants that serve unique variations of ice cream.

Penguin Brothers

Penguin Brothers began when brothers Blake and Brandon Barkdull opened an ice cream sandwich truck while attending Brigham Young University. They now serve their ice cream sandwiches from a store front in Provo.

Their sandwiches marry products from two other Utah favorite dessert companies: Rockwell Ice Cream and Sweet Tooth Fairy cookies. According to the Penguin Brothers’ website, the Rockwell ice cream is custom made for their store and includes flavors such as blueberry lemon thyme, French toast and almond joy. The cookie flavors offered include chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, lemon and more.

Red Iguana

With over 2,300 reviews and four and a half stars, Red Iguana is Salt Lake City’s most popular Mexican restaurant, according to Yelp. In addition to their well-known savory dishes, the restaurant also serves desserts such as fried ice cream.

Red Iguana’s fried ice cream includes vanilla ice cream, shredded coconut, cinnamon and sugar inside a flour tortilla that is fried and topped with caramel, chocolate, cinnamon sugar and whipped cream.

Fried ice cream is available at both the original Red Iguana location, 736 W. North Temple, and Red Iguana 2, 866 W. South Temple, but not the Taste of Red Iguana in City Creek Center.

Tsunami Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Locally owned and operated Tsunami Restaurant and Sushi Bar, with locations in Sugar House, Midvale, South Jordan and Lehi, has a menu full of traditional Japanese and sushi dishes, but also offers two ice cream desserts: coconut glory and tempura fried ice cream.

Coconut glory includes a banana fried in coconut tempura batter, served with house-made coconut ice cream, and topped with coconut flakes, caramel and chocolate sauce.

Tempura fried ice cream also consists of house-made ice cream that is wrapped in pound cake, dipped in tempura batter and deep fried.

Happy Sumo

Happy Sumo, like Tsunami, is also a sushi bar, but the restaurant offers a different take on a few ice cream dishes with its mochi balls and tempura banana split.

According to the restaurant’s website, mochi balls are Japanese-style dessert dumplings filled with ice cream, and the tempura banana split includes a tempura dipped banana, crumbled chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Happy Sumo is a Colorado-based company, but three of its four locations are in Utah — in Salt Lake City, Provo and Cottonwood Heights.

Pace’s Dairy Ann

Family owned and run Pace’s Dairy Ann in Bountiful has been serving up burgers, fries and desserts since 1957, according to its website.

While the menu includes fast-food style dessert standards such as shakes, malts and ice cream cones, it also includes the Rainbow — a slushy with a dollop of soft-serve vanilla ice cream in the middle.

Slushy flavors include cherry, tigers blood, lime, orange, peach, grape and blue raspberry.

Dippin’ Dots

Dippin’ Dots — or the "ice cream of the future," as Dippin' Dots' original slogan suggested — have been popular fare at amusement parks and ballgames for years, but what exactly is it?

According to the company’s website, these tiny beads of ice cream were created in 1988 by microbiologist Curt Jones, who had a background in cryogenic technology. It is flash frozen — not freeze-dried — ice cream that comes in 16 different flavors, including banana split, bubblegum and strawberry. Sherbet and yogurt flavors are also available.

Dippin’ Dots are available at Hogle Zoo, Lagoon and multiple event venues throughout the state, including Rice-Eccles Stadium, Vivint Arena and Smith’s Ballpark.