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Sketch Ice Cream

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Tried 2 flavors the other day - blueberry (mainly because of the fabulously intense color - wrong reason to try something!) and the toasted almond.

The blueberry had hardly any taste but the toasted almond will rank in the top ten flavors I've ever eaten. It had a bit of a crumb-y texture from the ground up almonds. This was pleasant and the whole experience was heaven.

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  1. I have received great advice from the proprietors about combining the flavors. For instance, they had a strong coffee granita = that they topped with a dab of their intense vanilla bean ice cream - mmmmm

    Link: http://bunrab.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: Edie

      Actually, I wouldn't have minded the combo, it was that the blueberry had almost no taste at all. I tried it first.

      Thanks for the info about asking re combos in future, tho.

    2. OK, you get the brunt of my late-night wrath :-) Where!!! is Sketch? Are we all mind readers?

      By the way, I've wanted to say this to a large number of posters who somehow assume that every participant in this site knows what they know. Please include location information for restaurants...

      7 Replies
      1. re: Mick Ruthven

        Googling sketch ice cream yielded . . .

        Link: http://www.sketchicecream.com/

        1. re: Mick Ruthven

          Btw, here's a note from someone who feels the same way.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            So I'm old and senile....sue me.

            How quickly we forget our past peeves.


            1. re: Melanie Wong

              >Btw, here's a note from someone who feels the same way.
              >oakjaon's rant

              Now THAT'S funny!

              1. re: Mick Ruthven

                I apologize for having a laugh at her expense.

                Hope I can keep you from busting an artery in the future --- yes, it would be great if every poster added an address (even just the city), used spell-check, wrote in complete sentences, and understood the use of indentation. All of these things have been ranted about for the 5 years or so that I've been posting on this board. But all the wailing hasn't made a difference and I doubt that it ever will. One of the things you can do as a good citizen is to share an address when one is missing when you've taken the time to look it up for your own uses.

                Save the energy and the "!!!" and put it into finding good chow. You'll live longer and eat better.

            2. re: Mick Ruthven

              I do appreciate when people include the city. With that, a listing is usually quite simple to find for those who are interested.

              I've only visited Sketch a few times, but it always makes me wish it were closer to home (or be grateful it's not!).

              1. re: Mick Ruthven

                mWAHAHAHAHAH! Only the elite few know the locations of these places. After the initiation ceremony and after your time for recovery in the hospital, AND when you get your memory back, I will tell you that Sketch is on 4th Street in Berkeley (hill side of the street, near Bette's Diner). It is recessed from the street and has an elegant, small, old ice cream wagon out front.

                PS: Sorry. Will try harder to remember in future.

              2. Their fresh mint is amazing. Try most flavors on a slice of the warm brioche. It's worth getting out of bed for!

                1. My vote goes to the Jasmine tea sorbet I had a couple weeks ago. Fragrant and refreshing. I was not as wowed with the burnt carmel.. too subtle.

                  1. r
                    Robert Lauriston

                    I wonder if maybe they used raw blueberries? That might be too subtle a flavor for ice cream.

                    1. too bad bout the blueberry
                      i was skeptical about the avocado at mitchell's for the same reason, but it actually tastes a lot like avocado. specifically, the avocado shakes my family learned to make in brasil.

                      1. I think it's curious that Sketch's flavours are sometimes too intense or so subtle that this sort of reaction occurs. At those prices it is quite a let down if there is little 'pow!' I wrote about them and Fairfax Scoop somewhat comparatively because although they both use Strauss dairy, both are quite dissimilar. In cost, flavour profiles, design, accessibility, and clientele.

                        My biggest hope is that ice cream shops can last 365 days a year, as Mitchell's has done. The more the better!

                        photos and writ here:

                        Link: http://eggbeater.typepad.com/shuna/da...

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: sailorbuoys

                          >Link: eggbeater

                          That link gave me a "not found".

                          1. re: Mick Ruthven


                            this is the url of the ic piece. I am not as computer savvy as most so I hope that this gets to you.

                            Link: http://eggbeater.typepad.com/shuna/20...

                            1. re: sailorbuoys

                              Thanks! The article was very good. I've enjoyed ice cream at Fairfax Scoop several times, but have never been to Sketch. I think you said that there was no cream in the ice cream at Sketch. Is that correct? Doesn't gelato have cream in it?

                              1. re: Mick Ruthven
                                Robert Lauriston

                                In Italy gelato is usually made with milk but there's no air so it tastes denser and richer than American ice cream. Certain flavors are made with cream.

                          2. re: sailorbuoys

                            Thanks for mentioning Fairfax Scoop. I've only been there once but it was love at first sight. Well worth a visit.

                            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                          3. What is a paleta any way but the Spanish word for a fruit popsicle. Sketch calls them fruit bars.

                            Thursday they will have strawberry fruit bars and they said they might have avocado some time soon.

                            Eating the fudgesicle was almost sensual. I don’t care how precious the following sounds, it was a memorable experience.

                            The fudgesicle is neatly wrapped in white freezer paper that is fastened with one of their stickers. I loved breaking the seal and unfolding the paper neatly wrapped around the fudgesicle. That first bite … the bittersweet deep chocolate flavor … I fixated on that fudgesicle, slowly savoring it.

                            I am assuming the chocolate is the 65% Cacao Bittersweet Venezuelan Chocolate from E. Guittard known as Sur del Lago. On the Guittard site this chocolate is described as having “deep red fruity notes, sometimes described as berry or cherry”. There was a lot going on in this fudgesicle. This assumption came from the Blue Bottle Coffee site mentioned below.

                            I tasted the two flavors of the day. The bing cherry didn’t do much for me. I really liked the lime sorbet. I know it was lime. I know it was sorbet. However, it had the taste and texture of a good lemon ice. No basil today which I’ve been obsessing about since someone posted about it. There were fewer flavors than I expected, about a dozen and they seem to change frequently since many of the flavors mentioned on Chowhound were not available. The blueberry is gone.

                            This was my first time at Sketch, but it seems like I’ve been hearing more of it on the Chowhound than I could find searching Chowhound or my issues of the Chownews.

                            So, if this is repeat info, sorry. It was news to me.

                            In addition to the gelato-style ice cream, they bake their own cookies that you can use to make your own custom ice cream sandwich. Someone in this thread also mentioned you can have ice cream scooped on a small brioche loaf. There are also made to order waffles and crepes.

                            There are a few small bags of candies, caramel corn and marshmallows (also mentioned). They also had frozen bananas - chocolate covered I assume.

                            The ice cream has eggs, Straus organic milk and seasonal fruits. They also sell coffee and I suspect it is Blue Bottle since they use it to flavor their coffee ice cream and the Blue Bottle web site mentions Sketch a few times. Blue Bottle says Sketch inspired them to change the chocolate in their mocha (and then goes on about it for paragraphs).

                            It really has some nice stylish picnic type tables outside and is a pleasant stop during a Fourth street shopping trip. The owners former pastry chefs at Aqua are Eric Shelton and Ruthie Planas. The staff was very nice.

                            I;m also going to repeat the link in this thread to Shauna’s review which has a beautiful description of the shop and more info about the ice cream, including a note about their change to the tasting policy (seems so wrong). Shauna says the ice cream has no eggs, but a piece in San Francisco magazine says eggs are in the mix. I love the description of the interior which says it is “It's filled with soft buttery light”. As lovely as the ice cream.

                            And although it has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, here’s the address again. I don’t think the hours were listed. Can you guess I really liked this place

                            1809 Fourth St (next door to Bette’s)

                            (510) 665-5650\

                            Sun-Thurs 12-6
                            Fri-Sat 12-10

                            Link: http://eggbeater.typepad.com/shuna/20...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: rworange

                              My reading of the SF mag piece is that Sketch's ice cream is lighter than one that uses eggs. I would agree, and doubt that Sketch has eggs in it, certainly no yolks.

                              Link: http://www.sanfran.com/archives/view_...

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                Robert Lauriston

                                There are eggs among the shop's decorations, so my guess is they use eggs for custard flavors such as zabaglione or zuppa inglese.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  Those Evelyn Wood speed reading courses don't always work. I just read the sentence wrong in the link Melanie provided. It said

                                  "Lighter on the palate than ice cream made with eggs, the Straus organic milk-based custard ..."

                                  I saw the words egg and custard near each other. I think the writer should not have used the word custard though which assumes eggs.

                                  But as you say, some of them might contain eggs like the ones you mentioned.

                                  Anyway, the other correction is that they use Scharffen Berger chocolate and not Guittard in the fudgesicle. They use the Guitard Sur del Lago for one of their chocolate ice creams.

                                  However, now I have to try the Blue Bottle mocha at the SF kiosk with that Guittard Venezuelan chocolate.

                                  I'm ashamed to say I drove all the way to Berkeley today ... in the cold rain ... JUST for a popsicle. I really have been paleta deprived. They won't have the strawberry fruit bars until tommorrow.

                                  They do serve Blue Bottle coffee by the cup.

                                  The were also pealing a big bowl of plums so look for plum flavor soon. This is a correct fact. I asked if plum was an upcoming flavor.

                                  Thanks Robert for that first long ago post about Sketch. It has been on my mental to try list since then.