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Sketch ice cream: help me get it right

So, I finally walked to West Berkeley, and got ice cream at Sketch. And I was totally disappointed. I got the burnt caramel flavour, and while the flavour was pleasant (not too sweet), the ice cream wasn't nearly rich enough to be considered ice cream. And I don't mean it was light and refreshing (gelato, for example, has less fat but is still very creamy): it was watery/milky, and there was no lingering taste after swallowing. Totally...blah, and underwhelming.

Did I just catch Sketch on a bad day? Did I get the wrong flavour? After so much praise on this board, I can't reconcile my experience with my expectations. Any suggestions of flavours I should have chosen instead? I'm willing to give it another try...

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  1. I have had the same experience- frequently enough that I have given up. I just don't get it.
    I don't wish to offend anyone, but I like my ice cream to taste of - guess what- cream!
    I like to make it at home, with or without a custard base. This version is something I don't understand the fuss about.
    I love a good sorbet. Don't get me wrong.

    1. You are not alone, Gooseberry. I too was underwhelmed after my first visit to Sketch last November. I sampled the persimmon and pistachio and settled on a small cup of the latter. Like you, I found it too watery and not intense enough in flavor. I've been told that Sketch doesn't use cream (just milk) or eggs. I don't like super rich or eggy ice cream either, but need something in between.

      I know that when I'm back in the Fourth St. area, my ice cream lovin' self will not resist another sample though...just to make sure that it's not for me. :-)

      EDIT: If you stumble upon a personally compelling find at Sketch, please let us know. Should you find that Sketch just doesn't do it for you, Gelato Milano is the next place on my East Bay ice cream hit list. Naia is there too, but I'm less enthused about it based on many mixed opinions here.

      1. Sketch's flavors vary a lot, but generally their ice creams aren't thick and buttery. You might try the fruit or granita instead. I particularly like the Strauss yogurt and generally get one of the seasonal fruit flavors.

        While you're there, try some of the salted toffee.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Windy

          As someone who's in the pastry biz..I went in to Sketch with the highest of expectations but came away like so many others. I felt cheated what with all the praise they get.
          I make my ice creams with cream!! Cream,milk,yolks,sugar,flavorings..I just made a killer pistachio ice cream the other day..it was far better than Sketch's(just my opinion) :)

          Yes they have tons of different flavors but if it's not made with cream than I do not want it.

        2. I'll just support the feeling of being underwhelmed by Sketch. I have been 5 times now - tried the burnt caramel, various chocolates, etc. - nothing seems compelling. Now on a hot (for Berkeley) day it would still be a nice if I am already on 4th Street, but I would certainly not go out of my way for it. Others on the board have raved as much about the non-ice cream goods as the ice cream.

          1. The baked goods definitely save this place (especially the chocolate pudding cake), but the ice cream really didn't do it for me either. It wasn't so much "bad" as it was a different type of ice cream that may be more to someone else's liking than mine.