Hello from the other side of 2018! It’s been a while, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that WordPress is only lightly password protected and I was able to wiggle my way back in here without having to pay some kind of bogus fee or create three extraneous fake email accounts. So, hi, hello. It me.
A lot has happened since I’ve last been here, which leaves me with almost too much to write about. Some cliff notes—My boyfriend lost his cat (RIP Simon) who was memorably brought to fame in this one. I haven’t worn one single pair of face-plant-guaranteed kicks to the office, or anywhere else really, since writing this one. After my trip here, Isaac and I saved our pennies to jet off on a Euro-adventure where I stuffed my pants—figuratively and literally, with oodles of buttery vienoisserie goodies, did all of the shopping in a feeble attempt to hone in on my French girl style and essentially got in with the Royals during a short stint in London. I also wound up with a new job where I get to write on the daily, which is why this page has been left to collect a lil dust. Sorry ’bout that, blog.
Although all of the aforementioned would be interesting & worthy places to pick up where I left off, there is no better time than summer (or, “summer”, if you live in grey-as-Gandalf San Francisco), to write about…ice cream. Yep. This is the one about ice cream.
If you know me, you know I have a full fledged addiction to the stuff. Is there something wrong with me? Maybe (yes.). Do I feed off of it for survival like some kind of foodie vampire? Maybe (yes). Will I eat my way into self-induced lactose intolerance? Probably…but TBD, my friends.
My first San Francisco ice cream experience took place on the very day I moved up to the city. Some would cite my discovery of the Ice Cream Bar as fate, others would call it an extreme case of obsessive determination + the power of Yelp. The old school ice cream bar and soda fountain is complete with soda jerks (although I’d say they are very polite jerks) and is nestled in charming Cole Valley—which serendipitously became my ‘hood. The wood-paneled parlor boasts unique flavors like morello cherry, butterscotch and caramelized honey. On a particularly good day, you can catch a scoop of roasted pineapple or my personal favorite—carrot cake. One should also not miss out on their brownie sundae, which could cure the worst of no good, very bad days.
Birite is slotted as my second love in my little black book of San Franciscan ice cream shops. The storefront was too conveniently located just blocks from my first apartment in the city, so it was only natural that I accrued a stamp card or two. Their famed flavors include ricanelas (read: if a snickerdoodle cookie and buttery, cinnamon ice cream loved each other very, very much…), roasted banana, brown sugar with caramel ginger swirl and honey lavender. I can tell you right now that I have no idea how I would score the honey lavender, because lavender tastes like straight up potpourri and has no business in an ice cream cone. But hey, that’s just me and Birite seems to be doing pretty okay. If you’re not a fan of long lines like my boyfriend, scoot over to their adjacent soft serve window which offers a rotating trio of flavors and is highly underrated. I repeat, highly underrated.
I’m getting hungry writing about all of this ice cream but alas, number three on my list is Loving Cup, which doesn’t really qualify as a true ice cream shop, but nonetheless holds a special place in my heart and in this blog post. Loving Cup is the “healthy choice”—the true kale of the ice cream landscape. This sweet spot offers probiotic-packed fro-yo blended with any mix-in your heart could desire, and ~fancy~ rice puddings studded with fun things like oreos and toasted coconut.
By the way, did you know rice pudding isn’t just for old people who lack teeth? Not that there is anything at all wrong with old, dentured folk, but I’d never looked twice at rice pudding until Loving Cup introduced me to the stuff. It. is. good.
And then there was Salt & Straw—praaaise be 🙌. I don’t even know where to start with this place. Salt & Straw is the kind of ice cream joint that smacks you in the face with the sweet & toasty smell of buttery, homemade waffle cones (and it’s none of that manufactured shit being puffed around at Disneyland, either—this is a whiff of the real deal). An exceedingly cheerful ice cream barista, who in all likelihood has incredible benefits and a 401K in true San Francisco fashion, will offer you samples of every flavor (depending on how many flavors you sample, you could really get to know a lot about your scooper).
The shop boasts an impressively long menu of rotating monthly & signature flavor combinations, which were likely named by an unsupervised 10 year old in a test kitchen or evil laboratory. I.e. salted, malted chocolate chip cookie dough, ooey gooey brownie and the pièce de résistance—pots of gold and rainbows, which involves vats of Lucky Charms cereal being dumped into some sweet, milk flavored ice cream. Tou-fucking-ché. Their recipes adhere to an 80% 20% chunk-to-ice cream ratio: 80% chunks to 20% (admittedly delicious) ice cream, which has the sole purpose of binding the chunks together and serving the cause as a whole. If the ice cream base had a name, do we think it would be Offchunks?
In a moment of “in conclusion”, treat yourself to some ice cream this weekend and don’t forget the Lactaid.