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Oct 29, 2007 04:23 PM

The New and Improved Sketch Ice Cream (spoiler alert!)

I am giddy as I write this, delirious even. Sketch has improved on perfection. You must go there now and see for yourself.

Where do I begin?

They've replaced their gelato case with state-of-the-art soft serve machines. This allows them to maintain an ideal temperature and texture. No air can get in, so there are no problems with iciness. The machines constantly monitor the temperature of the ice cream. The result is something unlike any soft serve I've had. I've always been impressed by Sketch's texture, and this just about floored me. The texture is smooth, silky, and light, with just enough substance to provide a satisfying mouth feel. It's less thick than most soft serve, partially because they don't add any stabilizers. Not much of a change in the flavor profile - I had Kabocha pumpkin, which had a pure pumpkin flavor.

The have cones. Well, cups made from waffle cones, which are much easier to eat than your standard cone. The cone just about knocked me over, the texture is so light yet had a very satisfying crunch. Clean flavor, a bit like a crepe, that enhances the ice cream without interfering. They also offer fresh made waffles from an old fashion waffle iron, which I can't wait to try.

They have toppings. Candied almonds, cocoa nibs, salted caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, pomegranate seeds, figs, etc. The toppings will change with the seasons. Candied almonds were the perfect match for my pumpkin ice cream. Mrs. Mousse and I were fighting over the last one.

The new machines do mean a reduction in flavor options. They had five ice creams and one sorbet, plus two granitas which are in a more traditional ice cream case. The machines are designed with the option to combine two flavors. Personally, I think the trade off of quality over quantity is well worth it. It just means you can't show up expecting your favorite flavor to be there.

There are also some basic improvements in decor: outdoor tables with umbrellas, new seating, new floor, a new case, etc. The shop is prettier and has a warmer feel, though I was really focusing on my ice cream.

Old non-ice cream favorites are still around: cookies, cakes, caramel popcorn, toffee, etc. This time of year they offer a transcendent hot apple cider.

I'm so happy. It was worth the wait. Sketch continues to serve the best ice cream in the Bay Area.

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    1. re: dhoffman1421

      Sorry, Sketch it on 4th St in Berkeley.

      Sketch Ice Cream
      1809 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

      1. re: dhoffman1421

        Found it...Berkeley! Wish it were closer to SM where I live but will make a trek in the near future.

      2. Sounds great, MM! I may make it there yet. I'm just curious, though, how the term "spoiler" applies to this topic? What is "spoiled" by reading it?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          It was a bit tongue in cheek. I know that many die hard Sketch fans have been waiting with bated breath to learn what is "new and exciting." Personally, I'd rather show up and see for myself than read about it ahead of time.

        2. What other flavors did they have when you were there?

          Dave MP

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dave MP

            Earl Gray, Strauss Yogurt, Vanilla, Cocoa Nib, Pineapple Sorbet, and a couple of granitas that I'm blanking on.

          2. Ah, you answered my question from the pumpkin thread, they do have cones now! I wish they were actually cone shaped, but you can't have everything, and I'm thrilled that they finalllllly have cones.

            1. The ice cream does have a lovely smooth texture. Even though the pumpkin flavor is very subdued and the color is more spaghetti squash yellow than jack o lantern orange, I enjoyed it. Thanks for the heads up about the re-opening.

              They have a wonderful light,moist, buttery gingerbread cake. Which gave me the chance to make up for missing out on the seasonal sundae at Bi-Rite which has pumpkin ice cream, gingerbread, spiced pecans, caramel and whipped cream.

              I didn't go that far, I just crumbled some of the Sketch gingerbread on the pumpkin ice cream which was wonderful. Given Sketch has the candied almonds and salted caramel sauce, I may be heading back there to do a Sketch version of the Bi-Rite sundae. I'm thinking a few pomegranite seeds would be nice.

              I like those new toppings ... upscale Coldstone Creamery, so to speak (g) ... I can see you having a hissy fit mentioning that name and Sketch in the same topic ... I just mean in terms of options and toppings ... toppings you actually want to eat. Those figs looked good.

              You are right. It is better. I also forgot how nice the owners are.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rworange

                Omigosh, my mouth is watering right now ... too bad it's 12:52AM. I definitely have to go there some time soon!