The Rite Stuff (Bi-Rite Creamery -- San Francisco, CA)
There was a time that Jon and I lived within walking distance of Delfina. Then along came Tartine. And, of course, there was always Bi-Rite market.
We had a love/hate relationship with Bi-Rite. The love part was the part where I could walk there and get all sorts of pretty organic ingredients (again, I do cook at home sometimes). The hate part was the fact that their aisles are 1.5 inches wide and are filled with people, 90% of which usually seemed to be assholes. On top of that, Bi-Rite seemed to charge about 45 times as much for a peach as any other organic grocer in the city. But it was convenient for us and their staff was sweet as pie so we kept going there.
These days I don't get to Bi-Rite as much, even though I'm only 8.5 blocks away. Mostly because I'm now only 2 blocks from Rainbow, which has a wider selection of organic goodies for much lower prices, not to mention a kickin' cheese section. (Rainbow has shortcomings of it's own, mind you. Jon and I keep begging them to open a meat annex, and I could do without the idiots who don't know how to get out of the fucking way in the bulk sections). Still, I bring my canvas Bi-Rite bag to Rainbow to take home my groceries. I like to mix it up.
But I digress.
I'm still in the neighborhood a lot. For a few reasons (listed in the opening paragraph of this post), none of which include groceries. And then Bi-Rite gave me one more reason: Bi-Rite Creamery, which has ice cream that is so good you just want to fucking kill yourself.
The first time I went, I asked for a small cone of the salted caramel. Since, like it's parent establishment, it was overrun with fucktards who are not at the top of their class (seriously, people, the creamery is TINY -- do not bring your double wide stroller up in there while your spouse waits BY THEMSELVES outside; it wasn't no emergency, yo), the nice conemaster almost forgot to make my creamy treat after presenting Jon with his sundae. So what did he do? He gave me a ginormous cone for the price of my itty bitty one. Nice, nice ice cream man.
About that salted caramel. I just about stuck my entire face into the cone. The ratio of salt to caramel was super duper. Salt in caramel is so uber-trendy right now that I should be sick of it if it wasn't so perfect. Honestly, all caramel should just be salted caramel.
Now Jon was all about the sundae. Specifically the coffee sundae made with Ritual Roaster's coffee ice cream with caramel and stuff and more stuff. Seeing the climax that sundae brought him, I knew I needed to get me some sundae action.
My choice was as follows: Mint chip ice cream, hot fudge (where they got this, I don't know but it is the best I've ever had, hands down), whipped (Straus) cream and a topping of my choice. I chose the fleur-de-sel nuggets. You heard right, Sparky. Recchiuti has taken fleur de sel crystals and coated them with chocolate for the Bi-Rite folk. Completely delish. They also have lots of other scrumptious toppings like carmelized almonds and crushed cookies that are made in house (all of Bi-Rite's baked goods are made at the creamery). One topping they had on my first visit but haven't seen since are what they called Valrhona pearls -- rice crispies individually coated with Valrhona chocolate. For the love of God, bring those fuckers back!
If you're not sold yet, you can also get ice cream sammiches made with their ice cream and cookies, cakes, pies and popsicles. Plus you can take your ice cream and hang out in Dolores park on the 3 nice days a year that we get here in SF so what more could you ask for?
As I am all about the ice cream these days, I will likely see you there. I'll be the one with my face in the ice cream.
"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld