Smitten Ice Cream should receive a badge for "Very Adorably Named Ice Cream Establishment".
But should they receive a badge for "Extremely Delicious Product"?
Yes, yes, yes. I had the pleasure of visiting this establishment, in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, yesterday, with my friends Phil and Matt. We had some time to kill before seeing Tales Of The City, the Musical (no, really) so we decided to spend it carb-o-loading.
Smitten is a sort of semi-permanent pop-up establishment made, strangely but delightfully, out of a recycled shipping container, and they make your ice cream to order.
We chose the "always available" flavor entitled TCHO 60.5% Dark Chocolate. We declined the offers to "Make it “hot” chocolate?" by adding candied jalapeño or topping it with coconut brittle, although they were very enticing.
Now, you have to have a few minutes to spend here, because they basically make the ice cream to order. It's true:
In the pursuit of creating better ice cream, Robyn Sue Goldman spent two years developing a one-of-a-kind ice cream machine, now named “Kelvin.” Kelvin’s uniqueness stems from its ability to make the smoothest, tastiest ice cream from scratch in 60 seconds. How? Kelvin runs on liquid nitrogen.
Kelvin the machine takes a few minutes, but ultimately you're rewarded: this chocolate ice cream was not so much ice cream as like eating a melted, creamy chocolate truffle. And I mean this in a good way. It was extremely thick and very flavorful, and tasted like it was the opposite of low-fat. That is to say, awesome.
Worth a visit, but be warned that if there is a line, you're in for a serious wait. Sweet tip: a local told us that the other pop-up establishment sharing the recycling container, Ritual Coffee Roasters, has a "killer caramelized macaroon".
Smitten Ice Cream, 432 Octavia Street, San Francisco. Online here.