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Humphry Slocombe vs. Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous - If You Could Pick Only One....

Heading to SF in a few weeks, and my partner and I are debating between the two above ice cream shops. We could, obviously, visit both, and may still do, but I'm trying to make sure we have the chance to hit all of the other snack places we have in mind (and there are so many of them....). If you had to pick between Humphry Slocombe (which is my choice) or Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous (which is HER choice, only because Yigit Pura recs it), which would you pick?

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

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  1. Mr and Mrs hands down. Humphrey Slocumbe's got wacky flavors but doesn't have the texture down. Of course HS is open at night.

    But yes, you could easily go to both--they're less than 10 minutes' drive from each other, or 15 minutes on the 48 bus--rather than make it a theoretical debate.

    1. Visit both - no question...

      1. HS will definitely have the crazier flavors but they are more hit or miss. The "extras" at M&MM are also delicious -- marshmallows, brittle, etc. And their cones are the best I've had. Go to both.

        1. I agree not tough to do both, HS is more popular and has crazy flavors but I think M&MM is much better overall. Maybe share a scoop or two at both places to compare?

          1. Slocombe is easier to get to, and far more unique. If you don't try it, you might feel like you missed out on something. The only problem is the flavors can sell out, and they're pretty hit and miss to begin with. Not just with the combinations, but also with the execution. Off days can mean some favors have icey chips. Slocombe is also a more generous scoop.

            Mr and Mrs. is a solid shop, but if you're looking for interesting flavors, theirs are a lot more muted, or standard tasting despite the names and on and off effort to compete (I've visited when Chai and Chicory were the only oddball flavors). For a bare bones flavor, or slightly unique flavor, Bi-Rite is the safer, and more importantly, creamier option.

            1. Either way, you'll be happy. If you want to make her happy, go with HER choice. But really, try to fit in both.

              1. My two cents:

                if you're the kind of person who always wondered what a pork-based ice cream flavor would taste like, or curry, or the "jesus juice" the michael jackson made famous, you need to hit HS.

                If you are looking for great overall ice cream with interesting but more common flavors - lavender, marsh mellow, salted caramel - go to MMM. MMM also has a more pleasant shop for hanging out, and depending on your timing, a drink at serpentine can be pleasant.


                1 Reply
                1. re: bbulkow

                  "MMM also has a more pleasant shop for hanging out"

                  Very true. HS has a counter of swivel stools by the window, but most people seem to take out, and even opt for sitting on the planter box outside. Luckily HS is near a lovely stretch of 24th street to take a walk, and it pairs up nice with a trip to Dynamo Doughnut for a sugar overload.

                2. I have only been to H Slocombe and based on that I would choose anything Misc.

                  1. I don't get Humphrey, it makes me feel out of it, but I just think it's awful. It's sub par, lacking ANY complexity - it's extremely over sugared. The sheer level of "sweet" is overwhelming, destroying any unique offering in the concepts. The flavors turn out to be little else than a witty name, masquerading the overwhelming lack of depth. I would hit Bi-Rite. I was expecting some very complex, layered stuff. Go for modern gastronomy, and leave with a stomach ache.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: pavlov

                      I've been to HS twice and I'm also underwhelmed. The oddball flavors are more gimmicks than truly delicious. Haven't made it to MMM yet.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        So I finally made it to MMM and I did like it better than HS. The standouts were the Candied Violet and the Kika's Treat, but the other flavors I tried were good, too (some of these oddball flavors, Windy and I agreed, are really better more as a garnish or condiment, not a full scoop). Very pleasant space with a neighborhood feel.

                      2. re: pavlov

                        Well, if you like Bi-Rite, then likely Humphrey Slocumbe isn't a rich enough product for your taste. But I don't like Bi-Rite either--too much like licking butter, and nothing worth waiting in line for.

                        The flavors at Humphrey Slocumbe are hit and miss, but the hits are very good (and I mean fudgesicle and BB coffee, not Jesus Juice or Secret Breakfast). Also they have amarena cherries as a topping. Makes everything better. Sure, prosciutto is a gimmick, and maybe better as a taste than a whole scoop.

                        Still, I think MMM has it in spades. Their flavors may not seem as way out, but they are varied far more often (new flavors practically every day) and still include Croqantino, Pink Squirrel, Almond Brittle, etc. The texture and quality is far more consistent. Plus it's a pretty place, and they couldn't be nicer folks.

                        The only other place in the city approaching the same league as Mr and Mrs is Delise, but I've mostly had sorbets there.

                        1. re: Windy

                          Good way to look at it - MMM is somewhere between the extremes of BiRite (which I don't like, where's the flavor) and HS (which I find amusing but no longer go out of my way for). MMM hasn't worn off. In terms of what's near, the cocktails at Serpentine are very fine, and it's literally across the street. On a warm day, a beer at The Ramp can be a fine thing - one hates the prefab monstrosity a few doors down, but admit that if you're on the roof with such a great view, who cares. I'd like to poke into that little wine bar across the street. The place is also right on the T muni line, instead of crossing from the mission via bus - easy if you're along the embarcadero.

                          HS draws a lot of emotions, which you're seeing here on this thread. I like that about HS, but it's also true my girlfriend won't get even a single scoop there anymore.

                          If you really care about ice cream, get thee to the east bay - Lush, Tara's, I even like a few of Nara's flavors (black sesame!), a couple of others.

                          1. re: bbulkow

                            I'd back MMM against Tara's any day.

                            Also across the street is the newly reopened and expanded Piccino. According to the website, the cafe (which serves superbly made Blue Bottle coffee) is now open until 10 p.m.

                            Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
                            1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                            1. re: bbulkow

                              Yeah, even though I haven't tried Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous yet...I'd still go there. My thoughts on Humphrey Slocombe, having only recently tried it for the first time: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7837...

                              (That thread should be of some interest to the OP if he/she hasn't seen it yet.)

                              I doubt I'll ever return to HS, with Bi-Rite fairly close by. For unusual/interesting flavors AND perfect texture, I'd take Lush over HS any day. But I suppose that isn't helpful if the OP isn't planning on visiting the East Bay.

                              1. re: bbulkow

                                keep in mind that the owners of yield bar also opened a wine bar in the former cav space; far more centrally located (and not too far from zeitgeist, another great spot for a beer on a warm day, with a much more tightly focused food menu); i also can't imagine that the serpentine experience would be too much more different than slow club. and the other big destination there, hard knox, now has a location in the richmond too.

                                one underrated place out there (not by any means a destination, but still fun) is the dogpatch saloon; definitely a locals hangout, chill vibe, nice people.

                                1. re: vulber

                                  There are lots of reasons to go to Dogpatch over Market and Gough esp since they have a car.

                                  But I'm sitting at The Summit on Valencia where they have a freezer w HS nice cream. It looks like you can get espresso balsamic (yuk?) in a Blue Bottle espresso.

                                  Blue Bottle Cafe
                                  66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                  1. re: vulber

                                    Although I agree in spirit, I like Serpentine a lot more than I like the Slow Club. Serpentine has more interesting cocktails and a more interesting menu. There are simply more components in each dish, thoughtfully put together. The Slow Club seems to prize simplicity higher, thus attempting to allow ingredients more space. I think the Slow Club has a smaller, more variable menu, as well.

                                    I've never thought of Hard Knox as a destination; has it upped itself from its slightly elevated greasy spoon direction that I last sampled, maybe 7 years ago? It was a nice neighborhood joint at the time, but I always preferred Just For You (both before and after it moved).

                                    Slow Club
                                    2501 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                    Hard Knox Cafe
                                    2526 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                    Just For You
                                    732 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                            2. very informative and accurate thread with the breakdown of the flavor and texture differences of both. i agree.

                              1. I'm firmly in the camp of MMM -- the owners are awesome and the flavors while not as out there as HS, sometimes I really just want an ice cream treat rather than a flavor revelation. Not to say I haven't had flavor revelations at MMM, it's just not their only claim to fame.

                                Especially apt to appeal to my palate (from experience), anything with Bourbon, the Croqantino, Orange Blossom, and of course the Candied Violet. YUM!

                                1. Not sure if it's just me, but I find HS to be way too creamy -- I also have the "mouth coating" from the fat, that I don't notice at any other ice cream besides one of my own ice cream experiments. The flavor thing is interesting, but without nailing the basics, it's hard to enjoy it beyond the initial gimmick for me

                                  MMM is now my favorite -- I especially like anything with their vanilla base. The cream/milk taste very fresh, and just the right amount of sugar/fat and flavors!