Shine on you crazy Diamonds: Great Mexican treat shop cures the stuck-in-a-rut blues

G.A. Benton, Columbus Alive

If the grind of everyday life begins to feel like a movie you've seen too many times, get yourself to Diamonds Ice Cream parlor. In that bright and open, pink and purple Mexican treat emporium, the monotony of your routine existence will melt away in the vibrant colors and wild, housemade flavors of paletas (fruit-bomb popsicles), nieves (often unusual ice creams), aguas frescas (icy tropical beverages) and truly over-the-top street snacks (ever eat Dorilocos - Doritos loaded with a slew of outré add-ons?).

Let's start with the wonderful paletas ($3). Unlike industrial American ice pops, most of these made-on-premises refreshers have big chunks of actual fruit trapped in them - and they taste like it. Diamonds offers about 70 kinds, ranging from cactus pear to jalapeno to chamoy (a spicy condiment made with pickled fruit) to whatever fun place imagination took its creator.

A great introduction is the paleta called Fruits, studded with hacked chunks of kiwi, grape, strawberry and so forth. Something more audacious? The explosive Mango Chili is a blast of diced mango propelled along by a lickable rocketship of salt, lime, and a hint of spice.

Among Diamond's 40 varieties of homemade ice creams ($2.69 per huge scoop; they'll do a half-and-half if you ask nicely), you'll find chocolate chip, but also blackberry with cheese, rompope (rum-and-raisin eggnog), and burnt milk (tastes like … burnt milk). Lately, I've been partial to pine nut (smooth, light pink, not too sweet, smoky undertones) and corn (think mildly aromatic creamed corn).

Aguas frescas are non-alcoholic, iced beverages ladled out of big containers. If you've never tried one, start with the most famous - horchata (light, milky, ricey and nutty). Then head over to the wacko snack counter denoted by "Mercado Alcalde," and named after a celebrated farmers market in Jalisco.

This is where things really get crazy - literally. See, the lineup features Mexican street-food noshes incorporating the word "loco" because of their "crazy" sweet, sour, salty and spicy toppings. Loco snack 101 (prices start at $3) is Tostilocos - tortilla chips hopped up on hot sauce, lime, jicama, pickled pork rinds, chamoy, candy, nuts and who knows what. Dig in, then say goodbye to a formerly boring day.

Diamonds Ice Creams

5461 Bethel Sawmill Center

(614) 718-2980