I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! If you were in the Bay Area, you would know how hot it was! Ice cream, milkshakes, cold beer, and good old H2O was sure in demand this past weekend. Looking back on the last few days, I ate TONS of ice cream. It goes without saying that it's an awesome way to keep cool and keep the belly happy.
Last Saturday, I met up with friends at Fentons in Oakland. Yes, the ice cream shop shown in the Pixar movie "Up." It also was PERFECT because July 21, 2012 was National Ice Cream Day! When you're at Fentons, be sure to pack an extra stomach! Or don't even eat before your visit.
I have always loved ice cream. I remember back in the days, my family was very simple, so we didn't splurge on fancy-shmancy sundaes. We'd usually just get the soft serve on a cone. Getting a sundae even from McDonalds or any fast food place was a big deal. Well, we now know times are a-changing and now getting a sundae is no big deal.
For the longest time, however, I still was a one-scoop/one-flavor type of girl...the toppings were totally OA and I wanted to enjoy just the ice cream. I felt the toppings masked the goodness of the ice cream, so I stuck with just the ice cream. Recently though I have been craving ice cream topped with a bunch of "stuff" - whether it be hot fudge, caramel, or even cereal.
By Wiki's definition, "The sundae is an ice cream dessert. It typically consists of a scoop of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup, and in some cases other toppings including chopped nuts, sprinkles, whipped cream, or maraschino cherries."
The Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae pictured above is everything you want in a classic sundae. The chocolate used is absolutely fantastic and sets up in the most delectable way when it comes in contact with the cool ice cream. That's as American as you can get. For me, being a Fil-Am, I know that my culture can show off some sundaes of its own. For example: everyone knows about the ultimate Filipino sundae called "halo halo" - a sweet treat comprised of crushed ice, red beans, sweetened fruit, and often topped with ice cream, evaporated milk, ube jam, and even leche flan. The eater takes the long spoon and mixes it all together.
Or there is also the "coco chacha" which is an incredible dessert made with a scoop of vanilla ice cream that is topped with candied yams, multi-colored gelatin, Filipino puffed rice called pinipig, and coconut milk.
I began to think of my favorite sundaes here in the Bay Area. Because there are so many ice cream parlors around, it was hard to choose, but here are my top picks:
For the Classic
Hot Fudge Sundae from St. Francis Fountain
2801 24th Street at York, The Mission, SF
The best way to eat this lovely dessert is at the counter. St. Francis Fountain and Diner has an old school 50's feel...but the servers have tattoos and piercings. Matter of fact, St. Francis Fountain is San Francisco's oldest ice cream parlor! They serve all the classic desserts from floats to banana splits. While the breakfasts served here are awesome, I come here for the hot fudge sundae. They use Mitchell's which itself is a San Francisco institution. The scoops of vanilla are hugged by the luscious hot fudge and topped simply with whipped cream, almonds, and a cherry. Take your sweetheart here and share...then test your honey with what they can do with the cherry stem.
For the Classic with a Twist
The Black & Tan from Fentons Creamery
4226 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, California
Like I said before, my friends and I came here on National Ice Cream Day. What was funny was that we did not even know until the day of that it was National Ice Cream Day. Perfecto! It was so fitting. If you look at my husband, I swear, he looks like Russell from Up but 20 years older. He is so adorable. Anyway! I love Fentons! We went during brunch at I had a great omelet, but our desserts certainly stole the show. I ordered the Black & Tan because I am infatuated with almonds and almond ice cream. This sundae is described in the menu as: "A Fentons Favorite! Toasted Almond and creamy Vanilla ice cream layered with our homemade Caramel and Chocolate Fudge, topped with toasted almonds, whipped cream and cherry."
I ordered the regular size, but as I struggled to eat it all, I realized I should have gotten the Junior size. It's smaller and probably easier to eat after a hearty brunch entree. It was love at first bite. The quality of the ice cream is amazing and so flavorful. If you love almonds, get this sundae!
For the Classic with a Bigger Twist:
Ice Cream Sundae from Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous