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.
3639 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Thanks to Confessions of a Restaurant Whore who pointed me in the direction of Bi-Rite in the first place.