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Best ice cream 2011

Robert Lauriston May 10, 2011 01:24 PM

We'll surely get some warm weather one of these days.

  1. Robert Lauriston Sep 24, 2012 09:47 AM

    Sketch has reopened at the corner of 4th and Addison.

    https://www.facebook.com/SketchIceCre...

    1. Ruth Lafler May 31, 2012 11:00 AM

      Planning an ice cream crawl. Any updates to this thread?

      13 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        h
        hyperbowler May 31, 2012 11:09 AM

        Are you hitting up SF or the East Bay? Or both to allow some digestion time?

        The flavor of the month at Joe's Ice Cream in the Richmond is currently Irish Coffee and was good enough that I skipped their Yuzu and their Ginger (not sure when they rotate flavors).

        http://www.joesicecream.com/icecreamm...

        1. re: hyperbowler
          Ruth Lafler May 31, 2012 12:41 PM

          I'm not sure. Since I live in the East Bay, those places are more easy to drop in on without making a special trip. On the other hand, I haven't tried some of the East Bay places on this list. So basically, gimme what you got!

        2. re: Ruth Lafler
          k
          kzukor May 31, 2012 11:29 AM

          It's not ice cream, but Scream Sorbet in Oakland is amazing. The spicy pecan chocolate, the peanut sesame, the rhubarb, the guava ...

          Scream Sorbet
          5030 Telegraph Avenue Oakland, CA 94609
          (510) 394-5030

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            c
            chocolatetartguy May 31, 2012 12:00 PM

            Not to be tiresome, but I still love Ici. Yesterday I had Chicory Whiskey. Not much on 1st bite, but the chicory and whisky flavors come on strong at the finish. I really like their liquor flavors, e.g. Guinness Stout. They also had a very flavorful Green Tea ice milk and a very pleasant, not-too-sweet Cinnamon Candied Pecan.

            1. re: chocolatetartguy
              heidipie May 31, 2012 04:11 PM

              My kids were there yesterday and were raving about the Rhubarb Rose. Yes, ctg, they always do great with the chicory.

              1. re: heidipie
                c
                chocolatetartguy May 31, 2012 04:28 PM

                That would have been next on my tasting menu, but I am not really a sorbet personand I try to restrict myself to only three flavors unless they are empty . At about 5:30 I barely had to wait. Have to go the N Berkeley Farmers Market today to buy some veggies and am looking forward to today's flavors. Of all the varieties, I have to say that the ice milks are the most complex. I once had a cilantro ice milk that was ethereal.

            2. re: Ruth Lafler
              r
              riceisnice2011 Sep 20, 2012 05:59 PM

              How come no one mentioned Marco Polo gelato shop in the sunset? Its continues to be my go to spot for great gelato ever since growing up, the place is a hole in wall, but who cares as it continues to churn out the finest Italian gelato ice cream in SF bay area, and you can't find the one of kind Asian fruit flavored gelatos... Durian being one of my new faves!

              1447 Taraval St
              (between 24th Ave & 25th Ave)
              San Francisco, CA 94116
              Neighborhood: Parkside
              (415) 731-2833

               
              1. re: riceisnice2011
                escargot3 Sep 23, 2012 09:48 PM

                Durian gelato...gotta give it a try!

                1. re: escargot3
                  hhc Sep 23, 2012 10:16 PM

                  I went once to try their Durian gelato & they didn't have it, so it's not always available.

                  1. re: hhc
                    b
                    bigwheel042 Sep 23, 2012 10:48 PM

                    Sweet Orchid in San Mateo has durian gelato. It indeed smells and tastes quite like durian. The stink is less aggressive but still present enough that people passing by while carrying your cone to the table can smell it, and it's probably not a coincidence that they keep the tub they use for giving you samples in a specially enclosed compartment inside the freezer.

                    1. re: bigwheel042
                      pilinut Sep 24, 2012 01:17 AM

                      Their ube (purple yam) and pandan flavors, when available, are quite good, too.

                2. re: riceisnice2011
                  grayelf Sep 24, 2012 09:44 AM

                  Marco Polo is mentioned thrice upthread -- we loved it when we went a couple of years ago with some local Hounds. Seemed like they specialize in cool Asian fruit flavours.

                  1. re: grayelf
                    Ruth Lafler Sep 24, 2012 09:52 AM

                    When we did our ice cream crawl we were underwhelmed with Marco Polo. Not that it wasn't good, but when tasted back-to-back with five other places it didn't shine. Sometimes I think those Asian flavors are novelties for novelty's sake (as are most of the flavors at Humphrey Slocumbe).

              2. a
                absc Sep 29, 2011 06:09 PM

                Just a note that pumpkin is back at Mitchell's.

                1 Reply
                1. re: absc
                  escargot3 Sep 29, 2011 08:01 PM

                  yum. thanks for the report.

                2. c
                  chocolatetartguy Sep 29, 2011 12:50 PM

                  Ici is my favorite, but I still really like the Foster Freeze vanilla softserve. Maybe nostalgia, as have been patronizing the same FF for most of my life. It's not just generational, my 20 somethng nephew loved it as a child.

                  -----
                  Foster Freeze
                  698 N 4th St, San Jose, CA 95112

                  1. escargot3 Sep 29, 2011 12:26 PM

                    last nite being a balmy fall evening in the East Bay, we ventured over to Lush Gelato on Piedmont, and were not disappointed.

                    Gotta say, I had the best mint chocolate chip ever -- the mint flavor was so fresh, it was like having just-picked mint.

                    -----
                    Lush Gelato
                    4184 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                    1. jwbarth Sep 17, 2011 01:36 PM

                      Just saw Twirl and Dip on TV. Has anyone tried this?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jwbarth
                        c
                        chompy Sep 30, 2011 04:09 PM

                        Tried it once over a year ago and thought the soft serve was really tasty. I think I had blackberry ice cream with a chocolate dip.

                        They were parking the truck next to Lake Merritt occasionally but I haven't seen them there in a long long time, and last I checked their website said they have a permanent spot in GG Park.I don't know whether I would travel to SF from the East Bay for their ice cream, but it was really good. Maybe if you have a soft-serve obsession...

                        1. re: chompy
                          singleguychef May 31, 2012 11:17 AM

                          I've seen them parked on the street behind the concourse/band stand as you're heading to the Japanese tea garden and deYoung museum. Always a line.

                      2. m
                        mdg May 27, 2011 01:08 PM

                        Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream is still the finest I've had in the West / South Bay. I prefer it to the Bi-Rite that I had at Gialina, though I haven't been to their own location. For sorbet, Scream is a regular at the Mountain View Farmers' Market. Someday I'll get to try some of these other San Francisco favorites!

                        Michael

                        -----
                        Rick's Ice Cream
                        3946 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303

                        Mountain View Farmers' Market
                        600 West Evelyn Avenue, Mountain View, CA

                        1. Ruth Lafler May 27, 2011 11:47 AM

                          I'll put in a vote for Nieves Cinco de Mayo -- the texture isn't as luxurious as some, but the flavors are spot on. Definitely the best value!

                          Oh, and still waiting for that warm weather!

                          -----
                          Nieves Cinco de Mayo
                          3340 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                            myst Jun 14, 2011 08:55 AM

                            I love gelato, but I think for just old-fashioned ice cream, I prefer Loard's over Tuckers and Fentons.

                            Loards has a heavy haagen-daaz type texture. Their macupuno is a good coconut flavor and they also have a coconut pineapple, but my go to flavors are Lemon Custard, Toasted Almond, Banana and Mango. I think they do these three particularly well. They also sell Ube ice cream.

                            http://www.loards.com/

                          2. singleguychef May 27, 2011 11:20 AM

                            My votes are for:

                            1) Lush Gelato, especially when it has the basil flavor in season

                            2) Ici

                            3) Humphrey Slocombe

                            4) Bi-Rite

                            5) Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous

                            I would add Scream too, but I don't think it's a good value. A bit overpriced compared to others (in terms of size of scoop, price, etc.) But I will say their sorbet sandwiches are the most creative.

                            -----
                            Lush Gelato
                            4184 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: singleguychef
                              Robert Lauriston May 27, 2011 12:15 PM

                              Scream is $3 a scoop. It's so dense and intensely flavored that it probably takes me as long to eat as a small serving of anybody's ice cream. Maybe it's less food, but if anything that's a plus.

                            2. e
                              eatcooklive May 27, 2011 01:13 AM

                              I think each place listed has their ups and downs, and here are my lists of PROS for the San Francisco/Bay Area:

                              1. Fenton's - Coffee cookie dream ice cream ONLY. And sometimes, if I'm feeling randy, curly fries.

                              2. Humphry Slocombe - white miso ice cream and black sesame ice cream at Nojo in Hayes Valley; I sometimes find their ice cream to be too heavy after three spoonfuls.

                              3. Bi-Rite - salted caramel ice cream FOR SURE, but cookie and cream IS SO NOT.

                              4. Three Twins - recently had their strawberry and mint chip, but once again, not enough cookie and felt like too much air in the actual pint.

                              -----
                              Nojo
                              231 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                              1. artychokeasana May 24, 2011 04:16 PM

                                Reading this thread today inspired me to stop at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous on my way to work. First off the folks who own it are just plain nice. I was getting kind of a Mission Hipster vibe when I walked in...but the guy scooping was actually very friendly and warm. We had a interesting conversation about growing a food business and deciding what to do yourself and what to outsource.

                                Had a spoonful of the pink squirrel-all of a sudden I was about 10 years old again and I blurted "what does this taste like?" The wise scooper said "I think it tastes like the tortoni I had as a kid." Exactly. Just like the dessert at the Italian American Red Sauce restaurants I grew up eating in.

                                I'd go back to Mr. and Mrs. in a heartbeat-or as often as my waist line will allow.

                                -----
                                Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
                                699 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: artychokeasana
                                  j
                                  jsaimd May 25, 2011 06:34 PM

                                  One sunny day my kids decided they were deprived BA natives since we never go to the wharf, so I took them on their bikes (with me running pushing the baby) along the bay to Ghiradelli square and all the way back ending at Mr. and Mrs. Misc. To save a few bucks I got one of my son's scoops in the same bowl of mine. He went to the restroom told him he could have a bit of my tahini crunch. Came back - one bite left for me. It was that good....and after 13 miles I was pretty bitter about him eating it : ). And they decided that they would leave the wharf to the tourists - they'd take Mr. and Mrs. over Ghiradelli anyday (but that isn't a contest)

                                  1. re: jsaimd
                                    Windy May 25, 2011 07:49 PM

                                    Next time you're at the Wharf, stop in at Delise for superb ice cream or sorbet and beautiful little cookies.

                                    The flavors are a bit more esoteric than Mr and Mrs, but they are very very good.

                                    -----
                                    DeLise dessert cafe
                                    327 Bay St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                    1. re: Windy
                                      Windy Oct 8, 2011 03:23 PM

                                      Just an update, since I hadn't been to DeLise in a while.

                                      Much as I love Mr and Mrs Miscellaneous, DeLise is hard to beat for best flavor and texture. Also it's inexpensive ($2.25 a single, $3.50 a double--not huge, but ample scoops).

                                      Today I had sweet corn ice cream that hit the perfect notes of flavor, salt, and sweetness. Corn lovers should head to the Wharf now before it's gone till next summer.

                                      I also sampled buttermilk ginger (great bite--will have more next time) and a very creamy avocado coconut frozen yogurt. This is a store for people who are not obsessed with butterfat content and vanilla.

                                      The assortment includes sorbets, frozen yogurts, and ice creams. As exotic as the flavors may sound, they don't taste exotic or weird, and the texture is divine. It's the antithesis of Humphrey Slocumbe.

                                      They also have Four Barrel coffee and Red Blossom tea, and an amazing assortment of handmade cookies and tea cakes.

                                      Open until ~6 or 6:30, which like Mr and Mrs is DeLise's only drawback.

                                    2. re: jsaimd
                                      artychokeasana May 25, 2011 07:56 PM

                                      Your children have good taste already! I'd be bitter about the loss off ice cream after a trek like that as well-but it's good your son had the restraint to leave a bite for you... or was that just a coincidence of timing?

                                      1. re: artychokeasana
                                        j
                                        jsaimd May 26, 2011 05:00 PM

                                        Timing...

                                        I love Mr. and Mrs. Misc. candied violet - it makes me miss France where they flavor is common. Also love their caramel and butterscotch sauces and my husband loves there cookies (which is saying something because most sweets are rarely "great" in his eyes)

                                    3. re: artychokeasana
                                      w
                                      wally May 27, 2011 01:24 PM

                                      This thread made me decide to try Mr. and Mrs. Misc. when I was in that area. The person in front of me got the last of the pink squirrel, but I did get a taste. I love noyaux. This was fantastic. I had candied violets and ginger. Both were delightful. I tend to like the more subtle flavors. I once waited in line at Bi-Rite for a half hour and gave up. Scream nut flavors are my normal choice, but if I lived in dogpatch, I think I would be a regular at Mr. and Mrs. Misc.

                                    4. f
                                      foodeye May 20, 2011 04:28 PM

                                      Not sure yet if it bests other good choices listed in these replies, but new in 2011 is the ice cream sandwich at Miette in the Ferry Building. I just tried the strawberry ice cream on chocolate wafers, and it was really good.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: foodeye
                                        Robert Lauriston May 20, 2011 05:29 PM

                                        Do they make the ice cream?

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                          f
                                          foodeye May 23, 2011 10:18 AM

                                          No, a quick search of the internets indicates it is Three Twins, and that it is not as new as I thought. Anyway, I do plan to try all the other flavors!

                                      2. Ruth Lafler May 17, 2011 03:00 PM

                                        "We'll surely get some warm weather one of these days" -- you had to go and jinx us, right?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                          s
                                          Spatlese May 17, 2011 04:38 PM

                                          Pfft, who needs warm weather to indulge in ice cream? :) Some of my fondest ice cream memories are of scoops of Herrell's or Emack and Bolio's consumed in subzero Cambridge weather!

                                        2. Robert Lauriston May 17, 2011 02:53 PM

                                          I tried the Bi-Rite salted caramel soft-serve the other day. Nice texture, not much salt or caramel, overall bland and boring.

                                          The best soft-serve I've had is the Pizzeria Picco dish with olive oil and salt.

                                          -----
                                          Pizzeria Picco
                                          320 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA 94939

                                          1. josquared May 13, 2011 02:28 PM

                                            Scream for me is my favorite out of the frozen dessert bunch, out of the ones I've tried so far.

                                            For me, the difference between Humphry Slocombe and Bi-Rite is potential. Bi-Rite for me has more stuff in the very good range but nothing in the knock-your-socks-off range. Humphry Slocombe has given me one knock-my-socks-off flavor but the other flavors have been okay-to-good but nothing for which I'd go back regularly.

                                            Mitchell's is sort of a special category for me - my grandparents would always take us there for a scoop or bring home a gallon (usually the Ube or Mango) as a treat. It's more like comfort food ice cream, if there is such a thing.

                                            I think next time my GF comes out to this area, we're going to be giving either MMM or Lush a try, depending on where our travels are centered.

                                            1. ChowFun_derek May 12, 2011 06:48 PM

                                              Marco Polo on Taraval (1447) in the City has great Asian Fruit flavors and sesame!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                                RWCFoodie May 24, 2011 05:38 PM

                                                Yes, love the black sesame at Marco Polo! Their coconut is very tasty too...

                                              2. b
                                                bgbc May 11, 2011 10:59 PM

                                                I especially like Lush because it's brave and thoughtful and the flavors and product are so fresh. Their bold experiments with vegetables and herbs like cucumber and cilantro have really made me rethink how and when I'll ice-cream (in a good way!).

                                                Ici is OK, and I'll always eat ice-cream mixed with their ginger cookie, but generally I find it boring and am generally annoyed that after waiting so long in line I have to pick from flavors that are either what I could find at Whole Foods or (kind of) replicate at home. BiRite falls into this camp for me too, although it's more satisfyingly rich and dense than Ici and I'm less annoyed by the flavor range because their flavor innovation baseline (!; things like salted caramel or the banana thing I can't quite remember) are better than, say, Ici's basic and bland fruit ice-creams/sorbets.

                                                Not a fan of Tara's -- the one time I tried it, it seemed rather stale and the texture too oily.

                                                I love Humphry Slocombe and am always surprised opinion seemed so divided. I love their fruit sorbets -- apple, some sort of cabernet-berry thing come to mind as particularly memorable. They are light enough I don't feel queasy after eating a large scoop.

                                                -----
                                                Ici Ice Cream
                                                2948 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                                                Lush Gelato
                                                4184 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                Tara's Organic Ice Cream
                                                3173 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                                                Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
                                                2790 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: bgbc
                                                  c
                                                  cwujd1 Sep 30, 2011 11:09 PM

                                                  I frankly don't remember what flavors of ice cream I had at the Tara's in Temescal. What I DO remember.....hauntingly......was the black sesame sugar cone! It really didn't matter what they put in it. The cone was delicious and not really like anything I'd had before.

                                                  Recently had Three Twins at their stand in the Oxbow Market in Napa. Liked it a lot. It seemed very fresh and creamy and not too sweet.

                                                2. bbulkow May 11, 2011 08:39 PM

                                                  Here's a twist: I had good ice cream at Orson a few weeks ago. Most of the deserts featured an unusual ice cream, like Sourdough and White Truffle. I don't think the flavors are Mr and Ms Miscellaneous, but I enjoyed the inventive flavors. A little grainy is the primary fault.

                                                  1. ipsedixit May 11, 2011 04:42 PM

                                                    I haven't had time to explore all of the great frozen treat stores in SF, but of the ones I've tried I really like Marco Polo and Miyako.

                                                    1. jwbarth May 11, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                      Finally got to Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous two weeks ago, and Its the best i've had. The Croquantino, Candied Violet, and Chicory Coffee were all phenomenal. I really enjoy both Bi-Rite and Humphry Slocombe, but this is my new fave.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: jwbarth
                                                        grayelf May 11, 2011 04:49 PM

                                                        "Candied violet"? Okay on my list, thanks jwb.

                                                        1. re: grayelf
                                                          a
                                                          absc May 12, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                          They did a candied violet birthday ice cream cake for my daughter. Best I have ever had. Personally, I like their old fashioned ice cream.

                                                          1. re: absc
                                                            v
                                                            vulber May 12, 2011 08:45 PM

                                                            agreed, the candied violet is one of the best ice cream flavors i've ever had. the only problem is that living so close to humphry slocombe; it's hard for me to get motivated to go all the way to the dogpatch; but there's definitely a chance i might consider MMM to be better than HS if i ate at each equally

                                                          2. re: grayelf
                                                            Ruth Lafler May 21, 2011 12:18 AM

                                                            I finally got the Mr. and Mrs. today and tried the candied violet. It was delicious, as were the other flavors I tried. I'd put them ahead of Humphrey Slocumbe but behind Fairfax Scoop, which I think has the edge on texture.

                                                            -----
                                                            Fairfax Scoop
                                                            63 Broadway Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930

                                                          3. re: jwbarth
                                                            Windy May 12, 2011 10:52 PM

                                                            I couldn't agree more. Although my favorites so far have been zabaglione and almond brittle. (No point getting too attached to flavors since they change so often, or like pink squirrel are so popular they sell out by 3.)

                                                            Leaves all other SF ice cream in the dust. I've enjoyed the creativity at Humphrey Slocumbe, but Mr and Mrs has great flavors with great texture.

                                                          4. h
                                                            hannah May 11, 2011 12:08 PM

                                                            One of my new favorites is Rick's ice cream in Palo Alto (can also be found at Preston's in Burlingame) The Kalfi (sp) rose ice cream, with pistachios, cardemon and saffron i believe and their salted caramel is FANTASTIC.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: hannah
                                                              j
                                                              jsaimd Jun 5, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                              We live very close to Rick's but I have to say I don't love it. Their flavor is fine, but it is way to over-run. Very airy. Rich it is, but I don't think it measures up to the best places in the city. I have tried the macupuno - nice coconut flavor, lavender, rose, Kalfi, salted caramel and some other flavors I am not remembering now.

                                                              1. re: jsaimd
                                                                Melanie Wong Jun 5, 2012 03:55 PM

                                                                I've been a fan for a long time. But now I must agree with you. In the last two years, the amount of overrun has ramped up and turned the product into fluff.

                                                            2. scarmoza May 11, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                              Saison served a popcorn infused ice cream at the end of our 10-course meal last month. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days on end. I've had corn ice cream and butter ice cream and this was like neither. It taste just like buttered pop corn!

                                                              -----
                                                              Saison
                                                              2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: scarmoza
                                                                s
                                                                srr May 11, 2011 02:14 PM

                                                                Oh how I love that buttered popcorn ice cream. I really loved my meal at Saison, but the ice cream was what I thought about the longest. Thanks for reminding me.

                                                                -----
                                                                Saison
                                                                2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                              2. p
                                                                pauliface May 11, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                The best ice cream I've had in a long time is hands down the gelato trio we had for dessert at La Ciccia. The marsala raisin and the goat cheese fig -- both were transcendent.

                                                                -----
                                                                La Ciccia
                                                                291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: pauliface
                                                                  l
                                                                  lrealml May 11, 2011 11:17 AM

                                                                  +1

                                                                2. l
                                                                  lrealml May 10, 2011 11:50 PM

                                                                  Not good for my waist line to ask this, but any recs for the Peninsula?

                                                                  Cowabunga Creamery in San Carlos is pretty good... some flavors more than others.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: lrealml
                                                                    pilinut May 11, 2011 12:58 AM

                                                                    Bijan in San Jose has an excellent Persian/Indian ice cream: saffron-rosewater with pistachios.

                                                                    ttp://www.bijanbakery.com/locations.html

                                                                    If you like old-fashioned ice cream (the sort with some air in it) Romolo's in San Mateo has some good flavors, and the affogato is delicious: the vanilla ice cream brings out the caramel and chocolate notes in the espresso (or maybe it's the other way around). They also have the best cannoli I've had in the Bay Area.

                                                                    http://romolosfactory.com/default.aspx

                                                                    1. re: lrealml
                                                                      ankimo May 11, 2011 11:25 PM

                                                                      you can get almond pista saffron at Real Ice Cream in Santa Clara if that's your thing.
                                                                      Queen Bee in RWC carries Marianne Ice Cream (from Santa Cruz like Cowabunga)
                                                                      personally i like bi-rite for texture/density, humphry slocombe is a bit icier but creative flavors, mr and mrs is the closest for being like bi-rite but interesting flavors (so those are my top 3)
                                                                      don't forget Ici's cone
                                                                      romolo's cannolis are great, filled to order

                                                                    2. m
                                                                      Malcolm Ruthven May 10, 2011 09:01 PM

                                                                      Fairfax Scoop in Fairfax is still my favorite right up there with Bi-Rite (different, though). Very well priced, too.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Fairfax Scoop
                                                                      63 Broadway Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930

                                                                      1. s
                                                                        skitmles May 10, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                                        Penny Ice Creamery is the best! Love the earl grey, and honey lavender ice cream :)

                                                                        1. Ruth Lafler May 10, 2011 08:00 PM

                                                                          Fairfax Scoop: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6392...

                                                                          Not fancy or exotic, just delicious. It's no so serious and self-conscious that it loses sight of the fact that ice cream should be fun and it's inexpensive enough to be accessible to everyone, not just yuppies. I mean, I love Scream, but the cost is not trivial.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Fairfax Scoop
                                                                          63 Broadway Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                            a
                                                                            abstractpoet May 10, 2011 08:10 PM

                                                                            As I mentioned briefly upthread, I'd also suggest Flavor Brigade's made-from-scratch water ice as a cheaper alternative to Scream. The texture is super-smooth, and there's nothing more refreshing when the weather is hot.

                                                                            It's funny how water ice / Italian ice is seen as a "low" food item, when really it's not that substantively different from sorbet.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Flavor Brigade
                                                                            3540 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94602

                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                              JasmineG May 11, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                              I'd love to try Fairfax Scoop, but with gas prices, it would cost me a lot more than Scream does! But yes, every time I pay $3 for a tiny scoop, I sigh.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Fairfax Scoop
                                                                              63 Broadway Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930

                                                                              1. re: JasmineG
                                                                                m
                                                                                Malcolm Ruthven May 11, 2011 02:40 PM

                                                                                If you do ever drive to Fairfax for Fairfax Scoop ice cream, while you're there make it a two-fer by going to Fat Angel bakery a few doors up the street. Great place.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Fat Angel Bakery
                                                                                71 Broadway Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930

                                                                            2. w
                                                                              Waterboy May 10, 2011 06:46 PM

                                                                              Take a little trip....to Pt Reyes Station.

                                                                              Nip into the Station House Cafe; order vanilla ice cream with a pot de crème au chocolat.

                                                                              Three Twins. Good Lord!

                                                                              -----
                                                                              The Station House Cafe
                                                                              11180 State Route One, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Waterboy
                                                                                Robert Lauriston May 10, 2011 06:50 PM

                                                                                Three Twins is all over the Bay Area.

                                                                                http://www.threetwinsicecream.com/loc...

                                                                                1. re: Waterboy
                                                                                  v
                                                                                  vulber May 10, 2011 08:53 PM

                                                                                  osteria stellina makes an incredible gelato

                                                                                  1. re: Waterboy
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    Malcolm Ruthven May 10, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                                    I've never been a fan of Three Twins. OK, but not great to me.

                                                                                  2. p
                                                                                    peppatty May 10, 2011 05:27 PM

                                                                                    Harmony in San Carlos is now serving an organic soft serve ice cream. They use Strauss. Only chocolate and vanilla but those are the best flavors any way unless I can get to the east bay and get my hands on Tara's flavored ice creams. It's very good, not tooth ache-sweet and definitely crave worthy to me. For comparison, I thought that Bi-Rite ice creams are too sweet for me.

                                                                                    1. JasmineG May 10, 2011 05:04 PM

                                                                                      Scream Sorbet always blows me away; the flavors are so intense, and the texture is so creamy, even for the non nut based sorbets. Their sorbet sandwiches are also great, and I am really not one to pick sorbet over ice cream at any time.

                                                                                      I've also enjoyed Tara's Organic Ice Cream (Berkeley and Oakland). Not as good as Lush, but still really good, and has some more unusual and tropical flavors.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Scream Sorbet
                                                                                      5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                                                      Tara's Organic Ice Cream
                                                                                      3173 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                                                                                      1. s
                                                                                        Spatlese May 10, 2011 05:00 PM

                                                                                        I quite enjoyed the cup of Tara's I bought this weekend, with a scoop of oregano orange pepper and one of carrot cake (full of grated carrot). The garam masala I had a couple weeks ago from there was nice as well.

                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                          chocolatetartguy May 10, 2011 03:48 PM

                                                                                          C'est Ici. Ice cream sandwich made with coconut ice cream and coconut cookies. Cuckoo for coconut!

                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            bgbc May 11, 2011 11:01 PM

                                                                                            Maybe this should be an off-shoot of Robert's thread (and I also just griped about Ici being boring, so this gives me a tiny bit of pause), but anywhere else have coconut ice-cream? I'd love to do a taste-off.

                                                                                            1. re: bgbc
                                                                                              BernalKC May 12, 2011 07:28 AM

                                                                                              Mitchel's doesn't offer a straight-up coconut. But their macapuno is a personal favorite. Buko and coconut pineapple are also on the menu, but I never can get past the macapuno.

                                                                                              1. re: BernalKC
                                                                                                v
                                                                                                vulber May 12, 2011 12:05 PM

                                                                                                mitchell's does have a straight-up coconut; i always buy some when i want to make thai-style fried banana; and i believe that many southeast asian restaurants around SF also use the same ice cream to serve with the dessert

                                                                                                1. re: vulber
                                                                                                  Robert Lauriston May 12, 2011 12:08 PM

                                                                                                  You sure you're not thinking of buko? There's no straight coconut on the list on their Web site, just buko, macapuno, coconut-pineapple, and coconut-ginger sorbet.

                                                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                    v
                                                                                                    vulber May 12, 2011 12:23 PM

                                                                                                    hmmm.....you could be right; come to think of it, it has been a while since i've bought that ice cream; there's a good chance i might have asked someone there what the closest equivalent is

                                                                                                2. re: BernalKC
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  bgbc May 12, 2011 06:06 PM

                                                                                                  Totally forgot about them! I got put off/snobbed out by the corn syrup factor, but remember really enjoying the macupuno.

                                                                                                3. re: bgbc
                                                                                                  Robert Lauriston May 12, 2011 09:44 AM

                                                                                                  Scream Sorbet's coconut is great. I had an amazing roasted coconut ice cream at Gather a few weeks ago.

                                                                                                  Mitchell's buko tastes like regular coconut to me, though it's technically young coconut. I love their macapuno (sport coconut) flavor, but not the waxy mouthfeel.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Scream Sorbet
                                                                                                  5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                                                                  1. re: bgbc
                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                    chocolatetartguy May 12, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                                                                    Can't vouch for the coconut ice cream by itself, but in concert with their coconut cookies it was one of the better treats I've had there.

                                                                                                    I've especially liked the cilantro ice milk, the liquor-inspired flavors like Guinness Stout and the Italian spumoni. I don't shop at Whole Foods, but do they have like flavors there? I go to Ici on average once a week and there are almost always new flavors.

                                                                                                    1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                                                                      b
                                                                                                      bgbc May 12, 2011 06:09 PM

                                                                                                      Well, the Oakland (Harrison Street) Whole Foods seems to sell ice-cream by a lot of small vendors -- but to be honest I haven't closely examined labels for a while.

                                                                                                  2. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler May 12, 2011 10:04 AM

                                                                                                    Tucker's has macapuno, as does Loard's (which has so far not been mentioned in this thread -- I wandered into on the other day and they had several exotic flavors, like ube).

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Tucker's Ice Cream
                                                                                                    1349 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                                                                                                  3. a
                                                                                                    abstractpoet May 10, 2011 03:32 PM

                                                                                                    I agree with milklady - Lush is still the best. Though of course gelato is a slightly different beast. I think it's also the most well-priced of all the artisan options.

                                                                                                    For less high-end, I'm also a fan of the ice waters and frozen custard at Flavor Brigade.

                                                                                                    I recently tried Humphrey Slocombe for the first time and wasn't impressed. Tried the secret breakfast and the Vietnamese coffee - both flavors tasted fine, but not only did I find the texture overly icy, the ice cream left a really unpleasant fatty aftertaste/sensation on the tongue - like my tongue was coated in cold grease. I've experienced this once or twice before but only with homemade ice cream I made myself - not sure what causes this, but it's quite off-putting.

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Flavor Brigade
                                                                                                    3540 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94602

                                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                                      milklady May 10, 2011 02:00 PM

                                                                                                      I'm pretty East Bay-centered, but I can't get over how delicious Lush Gelato is. I am always happy at Ici, and for non-dairy Scream Sorbet is truly amazing. But nothing compares to Lush.

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Lush Gelato
                                                                                                      4184 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                                                                      Scream Sorbet
                                                                                                      5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: milklady
                                                                                                        Robert Lauriston May 10, 2011 02:04 PM

                                                                                                        Personally Scream's non-dairy aspect is of no interest except to the extent it makes it more flavorful. I can't imagine how pistachio ice cream could have as much pistachio flavor as their stuff, which is maybe 90% pistachios.

                                                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                          Caitlin McGrath May 10, 2011 06:41 PM

                                                                                                          Scream's nut flavors are amazing, and so much better than any nut-based ice cream or gelato I've ever had. They come up with interesting flavor combos, too, as does Lush, which I agree w/milklady is terrific. I don't care fore Ici at all, and think it's horribly overrated and uninteresting. The herb and spice flavors at Tara's can be quite good, though the spice flavors can be overly powerful, just as the fruit flavors can be too subtly flavored. Three Twins is pretty good.

                                                                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                            steve h. May 11, 2011 04:59 PM

                                                                                                            Better than the pistachio at Rome's little Gelateria Frigidarium?
                                                                                                            That would be high praise indeed.

                                                                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                              ssfire May 13, 2011 10:43 AM

                                                                                                              Scream Sorbet's pistachio hits the uncanny valley of flavor: it tastes so much like pistachio that it's a freakishly odd experience. I've sampled dozens of flavors from Scream Sorbet, and the pistachio is the only one that has this effect.

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Scream Sorbet
                                                                                                              5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                                                                              1. re: ssfire
                                                                                                                Ruth Lafler May 13, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                Some of the fruit flavors are like that for me. One of the citrus flavors this winter (satsuma mandarin, I think) and the apricot last year. It's not surprising considering how they're made, though.

                                                                                                          2. v
                                                                                                            vulber May 10, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                                                                            Robert I know you don't like Mitchell's, but I've always enjoyed them when I'm in the mood for something more traditional.

                                                                                                            I've also always found Bombay Creamery (just re-opened) to be underrated.

                                                                                                            Regardless, I think your usual suspects pretty much capture the best there is.

                                                                                                            Oh, and Ici.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: vulber
                                                                                                              Robert Lauriston May 10, 2011 02:00 PM

                                                                                                              I hadn't heard Bombay reopened. Same location?

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Bombay Ice Cream
                                                                                                              245 South Van Ness, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                                                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                morningbun May 10, 2011 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                New location - under the freeway now, not exactly a high foot traffic area.

                                                                                                            2. Robert Lauriston May 10, 2011 01:25 PM

                                                                                                              Usual suspects: Humphry Slocombe, Bi-Rite, Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous, Scream Sorbet ...

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Bi-Rite Market
                                                                                                              3639 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                                                                              Scream Sorbet
                                                                                                              5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                                                                              Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
                                                                                                              2790 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                                                                              Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
                                                                                                              699 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                                theomordha May 11, 2011 04:20 PM

                                                                                                                Fenton's has to be number 1 all of the Bay Area.
                                                                                                                Tucker's is second place.
                                                                                                                Bi-Rite is third.
                                                                                                                Mitchell's is Fourth.

                                                                                                                1. re: theomordha
                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                  Spatlese May 11, 2011 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                  Fenton's? Really? For an outing with the kids, certainly the atmosphere is hard to beat, but purely on the basis of the quality of the ice cream? It's Baskin-Robbins territory at best.

                                                                                                                  (And just to be clear, I LIKE going to Fenton's - it's not far from home, and it's always a good time (after you find parking, that is...). It's just not top-notch product when put head-to-head against many other options.)

                                                                                                                  1. re: theomordha
                                                                                                                    Robert Lauriston May 11, 2011 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                    Fenton's ice cream is better than Baskin-Robbins' but in general the place is staunchly mediocre or worse.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                    captainmike May 31, 2012 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                    my addiction is the almond joy flavor from Loards ice cream. I get it direct from the factory in San Leandro. I can go through 1/2 gallon in a couple days.
                                                                                                                    I think they are better than many so call artisian ice creams that I have tried.

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