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Mar 26, 2007 01:26 PM

Date Shakes in San Fran?


My wife and I are making our first trip to San Francisco in July. She's never had a California Date Shake before and is dying to try one...she's even threatening to just buy some dates and ice cream here in Dallas and make some. I told here NO WAY!! You have to have your first one in California.

I've had them before in LA, and at Shields near Palm Springs. So I'm wondering if this is just a Southern California phenomenon, or are there good shakes in the San Fran area too...and if so, can you direct me??

Thanks, Scott

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  1. I have not seen them here does not mean they don't exist. This is a Southern California thing. Growing up in California I remember having them in Indio, Yucca Valley and Palm Springs area mainly where the dates come from.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lori SF

      I agree. I've lived in the SF area for 40 years and don't remember ever seeing or hearing about date shakes here. I also worked with someone in those early years who was nostalgic about the date shakes he used to get in the California desert area where they grow dates and also knew he couldn't get them here. So don't count on getting date shakes here. That's a good reason for a side trip to Palm Springs.

      1. re: Mick Ruthven

        Definitely. Born and raised, and not a date shake in sight :-)

    2. Date shakes are a total So Cal phenomenon. I grew up in Redlands, CA and used to have those shakes all the time on our way to/from Palm Springs.

      If I were you, I'd let the wife make her own.... I've found that the ones I've made at home are far better than the ones you get at any of the date shake places. You can use better quality ingredients and make it the way you like.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chemchef

        Well, since the thread has been opened back up, I'd bet Sidewalk Juice on 21st near Valencia could make one, they have all the ingredients. They recently added nice sidewalk benches and planters along their wall so they now have some seating.

        For the record, I'm a huge fan of their almond shake (hold the extract), but I am in no way connected with this business.

      2. Here is a link that might help if you decide to try it at home.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Scott M

          I agree with that thread that they can be way too sweet, although even the ones you get near Palm Springs are very sweet.

          The ones I've made at home that turned out good (I thought) were more of a smoothie than a milk shake. However, since I like my smoothies thick and icy, they wound up somewhere in between.

          I did not use ice cream, but rather used vanilla yogurt or frozen yogurt, milk and frozen bananas (you can omit them if you don't want or like the banana flavor, but they definitely add a lot of body to the "shake"), and of course dates. If you use very fresh dates, they will blend in even better. I don't have an exact recipe as I usually just "wing it", but you can always add a little more milk if its too thick and a little more frozen banana or yogurt if its too thin. I find that the yogurt cuts some of the sweetness of the dates which is nice. Of course you can make this with ice cream too.

          1. re: chemchef

            Well, no tips on date shakes, but if you go to the Saturday morning Ferry Plaza Farmers market Flying Disc Ranch sells 18 varieties of dates so you could experiment with different types. He might give you some shake pointers.

            I'm not sure if he is a summer vendor though. In July the market gets pretty crowded and it might not be the optimal time for dates. You can always email the farmers market in the above link and ask. Hmmm ... I wonder if different flavors of ice cream with dates would work.

            1. re: rworange

              There is also a great selection of dates at Alemany Farmer's Market, including a wonderful variety we buy a lot called Abada (which I haven't seen anywhere else, including the Ferry Bldg.).

              1. re: Atomica

                I, er, slept through the Alemany Farmer's mkt on Sat.
                I wanted to pick up a fair number of dates for a backcountry trip ...
                anybody know if the Alemany Date Person sells anywhere else
                during the week? I though the medjools @$4 were quite good.

                While I'm at it, any sources for cheep and tasty dried mango?
                My default is Country Cheese in Berkeley. I think it is around $5.50/lb.

                ok tnx.

                1. re: psb

                  medjools for 4.00? that is good were they moist?
                  Some of those vendors also go to the United Nations Plaza in SF on Wed? I am kicking myself for not going and missing the peaches.

                  Flying Disc Ranch have the best dates.. and a great place to visit and pick your own in the fall
                  They are year round Berkeley Farmers' Market and the Sunday San Rafael Market.. and Ferry Plaza.

                  Rainbow Groc.has good dried mango but I don't recall the price.

                  1. re: Lori SF

                    i'm no expert, but the $4 medjoos were better than the $3 medjools
                    which in turn were better than the $1.75 non-medjools.
                    i believe $4/lb were the most expensive dates on that day.
                    my more date-familiar associate agreed that was a good price.

                    er i suppose they were moist ... if by non-moist you mean
                    the dates with flakey, dry skin sloughing off.

                    i feel a little silly asking ... considering where dates come from ...
                    but if i go hking for 6-7 hrs in the sun in 80-90deg, will medjools
                    liquify? i am sure the dryer date varieties will be fine.

                    ok, thanks for the rainbow tip.

        2. The Bombay Bazaar on Valencia Street has them! Just head over to their ice cream section. They will make you a date shake that is wonderful!
          Bombay Bazar, 548 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 621-1717

          Indian Curry and Spice Week logo

          1. Consider making your shake with buttermilk, adding some cinnamon and thickening with a ripe banana. That will keep the sweetness factor down as well as saving calories. Last date shake I had at Ruby's in Laguna Beach was two sips and throw away because of the intensity.