Sunday, June 17, 2007

Straighten Up and Bi-Rite, San Francisco

Around 5:30 on Friday night, Jess and I poked our heads in San Francisco's Bi-Rite Creamery to scope out the flavors we planned to try after an early dinner at Delfina across the street. It had been a sunny, hot day, and as we'd walked from the BART station, I'd worked up a tiny sweat as I daydreamed about our chilly dessert plans.

Fast forward 1 1/2 hours later, after our fabulous dinner (more on that later). We step out the restaurant door into a stiff breeze, cloudy sky and fog in the distance. In the time it took to enjoy some pasta and two glasses of wine, the city'd gone from a brilliant summer day to hot chocolate weather. Despite our growing goosebumps, the allure of homemade salted caramel ice cream and mint chip flavored with organic mint oil overcame the cold.

If I wasn't such a sucker for the salty-sweet combo perfectly balanced in the rich and creamy caramel, I may have gone for the balsamic strawberry or the Springtime Sundae--creme fraiche ice cream, strawberry compote, crumbled homemade sugar cookies and whipped cream. The ice cream at this offshoot of the Bi-Rite Market is made from Straus milk, a sustainable, organic dairy 60 miles north of San Francisco, and local, seasonal flavorings. The shop features compostable bowls and silverware, as well as metal tasting spoons, a refreshing change from the zillions of small plastic tasters wasted by the gelato shops here in LA.

Bi-Rite also sells some baked goods, ice cream sandwiches, frozen pie and cookie dough, and hand-packed pints of ice cream to go, so you can save the treat for the next time the fickle San Francisco sun decides to shine.

Bi-Rite Creamery
3639 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 626-5600

Thanks to Confessions of a Restaurant Whore who pointed me in the direction of Bi-Rite in the first place.


Emily said...

I LOVE Bi-Rite! The salted caramel alone practically merits a road trip!

Alice Q. said...

So have you made the move? Hope it is going well! I am so looking forward to checking this place out when we are up there in August (hopefully!)

Erin S. said...

Emily--I know--I wish I had some right now!

Alice--I'm getting ready to leave my job and then the moving process starts in earnest. First up, finding an apartment in Manhattan. Yikes.

Jess said...

Gosh, plastic gelato containers make me nuts. So they're cute and supposedly biodegradable, but they'll sit in a landfill nonetheless. The flip side, however, is the water and resources used to wash dishes. Just like the disposable vs. cloth diaper debate. Ugh. It seems hopeless either way!

Christina said...

Sounds very, very good. I'll definitely have to make it a stop on my next San Francisco pilgrimmage.

Sean said...

Sweet Enola Gay, I finally got around to going there this past weekend. (I live one mile from it, but you know how it is ..) The Salted Caramel and Roasted Banana were both tear-inducingly good, and eaten together they taste like Bananas Foster. Oh my. Now that I've finally broken down and gone to BRC, I'm going to have to increase my moral fortitude to resist going on a daily basis.