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Ellen Lee's East Bay Livin'

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I Scream for Ice Cream

This crazy hot weather has had me craving ice cream all the time.

Last night I indulged in mint chocolate cookie ice cream, topped with chocolate syrup, whip cream and a cherry, at the Old San Francisco Creamery Co. in downtown Walnut Creek. The ice cream was incredibly rich, and I could not finish the entire thing (believe me, I tried), even though I had only ordered one scoop (it was a very large one scoop). At the table next to us, a group of teenagers had ordered the "Kitchen Sink," which is a massive piece of ice cream art. It really does live up to "everything but the kitchen sink." They all pulled out their cell phones to take a photo of it, with one of them even video taping it to get the full picture. It cost about $25 and could probably feed a dozen people (although the menu said about six).

The Old San Francisco Creamery is a cute little establishment, a nice place for a date, to cap off a movie or dinner or show. The restaurant (it also serves dinner and lunch) looks like an old-fashioned soda fountain, complete with soda fountain jerks in their paper hats and aprons. Not surprisingly, the place was bustling last night and there was a line outside at the take-out window.

If I had to rate all the ice cream shops in the Walnut Creek area, though, I'd have to say my favorite is still Gelateria Naia. Ben and Jerry's in Concord comes in second. The Old San Francisco Creamery and Ghirardelli (in Walnut Creek's Broadway Plaza) come next, but for both, you have to be really, really hungry and be up for eating something really, really rich.

I'm not a big fan of Maggie Moo's (also in downtown Walnut Creek) or Cold Stone Creamery, although Cold Stone does make good ice cream cakes (and the manager at the one in Walnut Creek on Ygnacio Valley Road is very nice and came through for me when I had a last minute ice cream cake request). And Baskin-Robbins is dependable, although I wasn't treated very well the last time I was in there (the manager there barked at me when I tried to buy an ice cream cake, so I left in a huff).

Oh! I forgot about Dairy Queen (one in Sunvalley Mall and one in Concord on Clayton Rd.) Of all places, I stopped there in Maui after I saw a man come out with a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. I had what he had, and it was fabulously yummy. I haven't been to Dairy Queen here, though.

One place I haven't tried but is on my list since a friend told me about it is Bombay Ice Cream, newly opened in Pleasanton. It features flavors like rose, chai (Indian tea), fig, chiku (tropical fruit), cashew raisin and Bedam Kesar Pista (almond/saffron/pistachio). If anyone has a chance to check it out, please let me know how it is!

UPDATED: I forgot to mention Fentons Creamery & Restaurant, another favorite in Oakland, and which also serves huge portions. I like Loard's Ice Cream and Candies, too. Where else? Please keep the suggestions coming!


Blogger kaon said...

Thanks for the bonus review with your regularly-scheduled story! Now I'll know where to try to head this summer on all these hot days. Might I also point out Loard's Ice Cream (Concord, San Ramon, Orinda, Moraga, various grocery stores)? Nice atmosphere, and all over the place. Cheers!

12:06 AM  
Blogger awh said...

Yeah, Loard's is OK neighborhood place. I guess these days ice cream is getting really pricey- even though they are sometimes getting bigger. Gelato is probably my favorite w/ the bright and lighter flavors- but they are VERY skimpy. So I'd say Yogurt Park is my regular place in WC. Looking forward to Bombay Co- my Indian friend is salavating!

8:56 AM  
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3:44 AM  
Blogger Joe Rothchild said...

Ben and Jerry's will always be first for me. Thanks for the ice cream review.

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7:27 AM  

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