On a beautiful day in San Francisco, filled with California sunshine, what else should one indulge in besides ice cream? Delicious, homemade, artisanal ice cream.
After hitting the streets with a Radio Flyer wagon, Smitten’s conceptrice, Robyn Sue Goldman, opened her ice cream haven in the hipper and hipper Hayes Valley (maybe I never would have left San Francisco if Smitten, Miette and Christopher Elbow were all in the ‘hood when I lived there…). A little red wagon is cute, but this outpost is plenty fun, too.
First, you order your flavor. Vanilla and chocolate (made with local, delicious Tcho chocolate) are always on the menu. Two other flavors—this week, quince and horchata—rotate. Naturally, I chose chocolate.
They start with all-natural ice cream base and add the flavor’s ingredients. No emulsifiers or unnecessary additives.
Pour them in the one-of-a-kind machines named “Kelvin” and—boom—the liquid nitrogen comes in…
… and the ice cream is created there, in about a minute, right in front of you.
Fun and gimmicky? Maybe.
But it doesn’t matter because the ice cream is brilliant.
The ice crystals are smaller with the liquid nitrogen so the ice cream’s texture is 10 times smoother.
I could have eaten a large bowl, but did myself a favor and ordered a kiddie size—because I knew Christopher Elbow is right around the corner…