Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of high-end ice cream. Dessert is often best without too many bells and whistles, and I've found myself repeatedly underwhelmed by the many highly touted ice cream spots.
The new Salt & Straw, however, did not disappoint.
Yes, even at 9 p.m. on a Monday, there was a line. And yes, two single scoops (one cone, one cup) and a small brownie sundae cost $24 total after tip. But if you can afford the time and the money, it's worth it.
Started in Portland in 2011 by Kim and Tyler Malek, Salt & Straw has four locations there, five in Los Angeles, and now one (soon, two) in San Francisco. The first Bay Area spot opened on Fillmore Street two weeks ago, with a second location expected later this year in Hayes Valley. The appeal for that long line out the door is in the high-quality ingredients, typically sourced from local purveyors like Sightglass Coffee and Dandelion Chocolate here, and the handmade one-of-a-kind flavor combinations. Most famously that's included things like pear and blue cheese, or Oregon ham soft serve -- neither of which are available in San Francisco yet. The duo has also partnered with breweries and even school kids to create new flavors.
Most notably, they've created locally-inspired limited time flavors that change monthly. For San Francisco in April that includes: cinnamon ancho and cajeta, with goat cheese from Tomales Farmstead Creamery; green apple mayo sherbet, made with apple juice from the Sierra Nevada foothills, apple cider vinegar from Sonoma, and Berkeley olive oil; cascara shrub with candied hibiscus, from coffee bean and apple cider vinegar shrub from Berkeley; strawberry coriander leaf sorbet, with a coriander leaf essence from Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes; and caramelized almond s'mores, made with Annie's graham crackers and Feve Artisan Chocolatier almonds.