Thank you for suffering the longest title ever. Here are the 2 hottest ice creams in the Bay Area:
Mr & Mr. Misc has fulfilled a previously unknown Dogpatch/Portreto Hill/Easter SF coast line’s demand for ultra premium ice cream. 2 hearty classic parlor scoops for $4 is where this ice cream stands. For the burgeoning families recently gentrifying this once derelict neighborhood, MMM has been the keeper of the sunny day spirit in a neighborhood rather lacking in community spirit since last May. But whatevers, $4 for a double scoop of anything is considered reasonable in the city. And these are not bad scoops. Like every ice cream shop in San Fran, Straus creamery’s ice cream base (anglaise) is used. Straus allows the producers to throw the ice cream base straight into the Taylor and end up with freezer ready soft serve in 8-10 minutes. Bi-Rite uses Straus, as does Humphry Slocombe. Straus is your friend.
Fave flavors: “Sloe Gin”, and Buttermilk lemon; neither at all unexpected from an ex-cook at Chez Panisse and a Spago cook. Lookieloo LA: where has your ice cream maid staged? Probably not Chez Panisse.
Verdict: for tourists, it’s excellent fun to try the n00b that’s aiming to be the next Humphy Slocombe. For folks in the Mission: why try the wannabe when you can hit up Humphry Slocombe? For folks not in the Mission: this is a valiant effort, but I’d be peeved they raised the double scoop price from $4.00 to $4.75 in the last 3 months. Seriously????
We’re saving the superfluities for the second establishment because the next place is the absolute tits.
Scream Sorbet has been selling its small batch goodness since 2008 after experimenting (one of the partners/pastry chefs was a Google Kitchen Chef), and documenting, with the Pacojet in ’07. These guys are not just scooping ice cream, they are bona fide ice cream engineers. After screaming through quarts and quarts of faux gelato at various Bay Area farmers markets for 3 days, Scream finally opened their gelateria in the East Bay (Yes! the EAST BAY!), adjacent to Bake Sale Betty, in January of ’11.
The outfit apparently named themselves after the shrieking noise emitted by a Pacojet during the “churning” process, but the boutique is rather subdued and pleasant. There are no loud chalk boards displaying the daily wacked out flavors like a peacock’s feathers. There is seating, but only for four. I’ci might be claustrophobic, but Scream offends your personal space. In fact, visitors have succumbed to simply loitering about in the shop’s dead space, effectively turning it into a sorbet “bar”.
Pacojet cuts a frozen block of ingredients, 2-3 microns at a time, at 20,000 revs per minute, into sorbet with very little overrun and mostly low on fat. Here at Scream Sorbet, the desserts are churned 1 titanium quart at a time and the results are ridiculous. One may naturally turn to the seasonal fruit flavors upon hearing “sorbet”, but what truly shines are the nut based concoctions. Hazelnut chocolate & saffron almond are thickened naturally by vegan protein, and will most likely be revelational. The texture, though not unfamiliar to those who trail Pacojet machines, is still just a bit thicker, a bit smoother, but not at all buttery nor fatty. People oft question a gelato’s gelatoness versus ice cream, but no one will mistaken Scream’s Sorbets for ice cream. For those freaked out by nutty flavors, Scream’s fruit based sorbets, powered by Bay Area’s excellent farmers markets, have potent flavors. The coconut Thai basil was so intense & so shocking (despite more than frequent visits to Thai restaurants), it had to be interjected with the smooth yet direct satsuma mandarin.
While $5 bottle of Mexican Coke may annoy, one should still feel rather good after fishing out a fiver for a paltry double scoop serving. Or, you can drop $20 and get 6 rather monstrous scoops. I did.
5030 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
Bottom line, since there’s not enough room in blog title: the poor SF city folks are getting only the second best. Scream is absolutely deserving of its 5 star pedestal. With I’ci and Scream on the same side of the Right bay, Bi-Rite and Humphrey look like chumps. Here in Oakland, someone once ate 5 scoops of ice cream for dinner, with impunity. As much as I hate gluttons, the au courant profile of the nut sorbets created by Scream’s Pacojets makes you forget about every contrived flavor to ever come out of the populist ice cream shops of LA, and perhaps even “real” food.
LA ice cream round up to come: Paradis, LA Creamery, Carmela, Lake Street.
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