Never Trust a Skinny Ice-Cream Reviewer

But trust you must because I am the queen bee of San Francisco ice-cream, although I cannot say I’ve tried them all (i.e., Swensen’s on Polk).

If all the ice-cream shops were lined up in one place and I had my choice, I would go to the following creameries, first being best.

#1 Mitchell’s

This is a no-frills, take a number, wait among the hoards spilling out onto the street, ice-cream shop. As an SF institution, it has, no doubt, been in existence longer than all the other places I’m going to list. Its longevity and popularity are a testament to Mitchell’s mastery of ice-cream. The scoops explode with no-nonsense flavor. The vast assortment of flavors also makes this place special. Props on carrying flavors that you otherwise wouldn’t find except in a Filipino store (i.e., Halo Halo, Ube, and Langka). Best ice-cream in town. Dare to differ and I will do some head-slapping.

#2 Bi-Rite

We all love Bi-Rite’s Salted Caramel. I’ve tried some of the other flavors, but always go back to their best flavor. I think what’s great about this ice-cream is that it’s super creamy, like silk in your mouth.

#3 Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous

I’m very suspicious of these new shops that have been popping up like weeds in our city, but have to say that this one I didn’t mind. I’ll say this for Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous and Humphrey Slocombe below, I am really not into their random, rotating flavors. I find it odd because once you find a flavor you like, it may not be there the next time you go.

#4 Humphrey Slocombe

People seem to be enamored with Humphrey Slocombe’s Secret Breakfast flavor, but I’d still take a plain vanilla at Mitchell’s over any other flavor mentioned in this post. While Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous’s flavors are odd, Humphrey Slocombe’s are even stranger: Thai Chili Lime, Limoncello. I feel like it’s trying too hard to be cool. Super creamy texture, but I feel like the uncool kid in a cool creamery. Not digging the flavors.

#5 Smitten

This is the “pop-up” in Hayes Valley. The reason I have “pop-up” in quotes is because I don’t know whether the place really is a pop-up or permanent. What makes Smitten unique is their technique. Something having to do with Liquid Nitrogen. They claim to have less crystallization for a better tasting product. Sadly, that product was melting in my cup within 90 seconds and I witnessed people with cones licking profusely to keep the ice-cream from reaching their hands. Big NO and a YUCK on Smitten.

Slumber Party

I spent the weekend in Alameda this past weekend for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately Dean had to go to a wedding in Mendocino which was a huge bummer because all my extended family members kept asking about him. I actually had to get on the mic during the reception and explain to a couple hundred Filipinos why my hubby was missing such an important event. But since Dean was out of town and it was just me, I decided to stay with my mom and dad in Alameda and rent our place to the tune of $500 which I transferred over to my parents’ account for their present—looks like they are heading to Brazil and Argentina on their next vacation. Good choice, folks. Love those countries. Whenever I think back on my vacation there, I remember fondly all the steak and Havana alfajores I consumed.

But back to Alameda. I seriously felt like I was a 16-year-old, living at home with my parents, driving a car around town to get my nails down, stopping by Jack-in-the-Box for crispy chicken tenders, and chomping on scoops of ice-cream at Tuckers. I have an extreme ice-cream addiction. At Tuckers, I looked around and thought, oooh I can have my birthday party here, as if I were in elementary school. Ever since returning from Honduras, I’ve eaten ice-cream every single day. I’m hoping this daily sugar ritual ends when the frigid San Francisco weather returns for good.

Dean is the launderer in our household. He also cooks and cleans. I clean fanatically and handle the finances and bills. We always bring our laundry to Alameda (since it’s free). While it sat in the garage, I figured I might as well take care of a load since I was home alone with nothing to do. I was so proud of myself for figuring out how to get the washer and dryer going I patted myself on the back. Yes, that’s how low-tech, minimally-domestic I am.

I do get rather nostalgic for my childhood driving around Alameda. It is a great place to raise a family and fortunately Dean loves Alameda, but I’m also such a city girl that I am torn. Where will we decide to live permanently? I am desperate for a couple of puppies–two bulldogs: one french to be named Napoleon and one english to be named Churchill.

Day 4 Yosemite

You know what we did on the 4th day of our Yosemite trip? We sat by the pool and stuffed our faces throughout the day. I gorged on ice-cream which is abundant in Yosemite Valley.

Several people asked if it was crowded in the Park. My response? “Yeah it was crowded – by the ice-cream stand.”

You know where there weren’t crowds? Anywhere you had to ascend a mountain. I know the hike to Half Dome can be busy, but most people are congregating around the camp sites in Curry Village firing up their BBQ pits. People are snapping up pictures at the drive-through turnouts. Let’s face it. Most people are not willingly subjecting themselves to a hike with a 3,000+ feet elevation gain! So no it ain’t crowded. It’s in the middle of the summer in Yosemite and I felt like there were less people during our hikes than a Saturday afternoon at Mt. Tam.

Don’t let the “crowds” deter you. It’s a myth!

That said, we spent Day 4 with the crowds as I slurped cookies-and-cream by the pool. From there, we went to the all-you-can-eat Saturday BBQ at the historic Wawona Hotel which looked gorgeous. I think it’s probably the finest accommodations in Yosemite, even better than the over-priced Ahwahnee.

Relaxing by the pool at the Yosemite Lodge

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The Wawona – there was 1 wedding and 1 rehearsal going on Saturday night. Awesome venue for a wedding.

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Life doesn’t get any better than a Saturday all-you-can-eat BBQ in Yosemite.

I Love So Many Things

During the homily, the priest talked about some of the things my uncle loved. A few of the things caught me by surprise and it made me wonder if people know what I love.

I LOVE:

Books and libraries, fiction

Looking at great art, going to museums

Getting mail—the good kind, not bills or credit card promotions

My mom’s cooking. She cooks with a lot of fresh vegetables. Her food is healthy and good for you. But I especially love her lumpia. It’s the BEST. During the holidays, I could eat one after another, with big scoops of my aunt’s spinach dip. Amazing!

Oysters, foie gras, french fries, ice-cream cake, milk chocolate

Travelling, exploring, hiking

The Bay Area, NYC, Burning Man, Palm Springs

When others do the cooking

Pink flowers of all kinds—roses, carnations, whatever

Restaurants, wine tasting, happy hour, brunch

Steam rooms

Dresses

My amazing family and friends

What do you love? Do people know?

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