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Jun 2, 2009 07:23 PM

Jfood's Ice Cream Tour (MSP) Continues - Sebastian Joes

Jfood's trek for ice cream lore brought him to Sebastian Joes on Marshall this week. Of all of the places, SJ was a place where you can sit and eat with your friends and family. Adjacent to the store are both and indoor and outdoor seating area and when Jfood visited there were many families and groups of adults eating the ice cream.

There are probably 16 flavors to choose from including a couple made with soy milk. Jfood tasted the Pavorotti, which is described as caramel, banana and chocolate chips. It was a nice flavor so that was choice #1 and for the second scoop, Jfood chose Oreo. He grabbed a table outside and relaxed.

The Oreo was very good. A nice mix of cookie and ice cream, the flavor of the ice cream was great and who does not like Oreos. The texture caused him to give a good hard think. It was not the creaminess of Izzy’s, not that home churned smoothness but reminded Jfood of a medium-high end commercial brand. There was just something not right to garner a perfect result, but even 18 hours later he still cannot put his finger on it.

Then he moved onto the Caramel, banana, and chip. Again the texture was good but Jfood just can’t put his finger on what was keeping him from feeling that Izzy glow. The flavor of this when he needed to eat an entire scoop was confusing. It did not have a caramel flavor; it did not have a banana flavor, either. It was sort of in between. He liked it but did not love it.

In fairness though, he will have to give this place another try because there was something in the atmosphere and his initial impression that just bothers him, and Jfood is not real good at not knowing an answer to a question.

Well tonight he gave this place another chance, and it will not garner a third visit.

As Jfood sat there amongst all the families, he slowly ate his scoop of banana and Mike’s Flavor (tonight it was a cappuccino and heath bar). When Jfood eats ice cream, he wants a flavorful hug. And that is what bothered Jfood about the ice cream here. This was not a hug, it had harsh flavors, almost attacking the tongue. The texture was firm but not creamy. It just was not to Jfood liking. Four scoops and it was not a favorite.

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  1. I don't know how you feel about the raspberry chocolate combination but that is what SJ's does best. And actually the first flavor I tried and pretty much the only flavor I will eat again while there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: babaoriley7

      i agree that this is the best SJ's flavor. i prefer izzy's & pumphouse. another ice cream (gelato, actually) stop might be fat lorenzo's in deep south mpls. Jfood-- i don't necessarily rec the food, but the gelato's quite nice at FL.

      Fat Lorenzos
      5600 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

      1. re: soupkitten

        I like Fat Lorenzos pizza a lot. It's very cheesy, so you have to be into that, but the balance always hits the mark for me. I haven't had the gelato, though.

        As to SJ, they don't nail the consistency, but I feel as though the flavors are always spot on. It always feels like what ice cream SHOULD taste like.

    2. I didn't know they made soy ice cream. Anyone know if it is comparable or better than the kinds you get at the supermarket? My husband is lactose intolerant so we never get to go out of ice cream.

      1. A tiny detail in light of the many great reviews with which you've enriched the MSP discussions:

        There is no Sebastian Joe's on Marshall. They have shops at 1007 W. Franklin Ave. and 4321 Upton Ave S. The mention of two rooms sounds like the one on Franklin.

        (Marshall Ave, in St. Paul, is the address for Izzy's.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: KTFoley

          So, assuming you really were in SJ's somewhere (not on Marshall), I have to agree about the elusive unsatisfying thing about their ice cream....I'm not sure what it is either.

          1. re: KTFoley

            Thanks KT. jfood has all these little slips of paper he use to add to the garmin.

            It was the Upton Ave S location next to the butcher with the seating are to the right. it is the closest to his hotel.

            1. re: jfood

              Ohhh, you are right -- that location expanded after I moved across the river, so it does have a second room in part of what used to be the patio.

          2. This sounds about right, jfood. In a town with some GREAT ice cream, Sebastien Joe's is in the 2nd tier. (And not even at the top of the 2nd Tier, as Grand Ole Creamery occupies that position.) There are a lot of cities that would love an ice cream shop with their quality.

            Here, they can't hold a candle to the Ice Cream Powerhouses that are Izzy's, Pumphouse, and Crema. Certainly not a destination pick like the others (or Liberty or Connie's Cones, if you want to move beyond hand packed ice cream and into frozen custard and soft-serve)

            They certainly draw a crowd because of their locations, they've done a great job of putting themselves in and among lots of young, affluent families. The others are a little bit more out of the way, but certainly worth the trip.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Danny

              Sebastian Joe's has also been around a lot longer than any of the others mentioned, with the possible exception of Grand Ole Creamery. They were really the trailblazers for fancy ice cream in Minneapolis.

              I have a soft spot for their rarely-available chocolate banana chocolate chip, which used to be served at the late lamented Chez Bananas.

              1. re: Jordan

                Well, Jordan, I agree about the late lamented Banana House- I was fond of the place.

            2. The one flavor of SJ's that I have always been most impressed with is their pumpkin ice cream, which I assume is seasonal - fall/winter only. It's better than the other places' pumpkin flavors.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pgokey

                I'm a sucker for anything pumpkin. I must put this on my list.