Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area

bi-rite creamery opens

david kaplan | | Dec 17, 2006 12:05 AM

After a free-sample day yesterday, it finally opened today after teasing us with "opening summer 2006" signs. And wow was it worth waiting for.

I had two flavors. Coffee toffee is strongly coffee flavored, with dark coffee flecks and not much sweetness. Contrasting the bitterness of the coffee are hypersweet toffee chunks -- real butter toffee in thick crunchy shards. Amazing. Even better is the salted caramel. The caramelized sugar taste isn't as strong as at Toscanini or Christina's (both in Cambridge MA), but the salt rounds out the sweetness and burntness well. Both flavors are rich and fatty, squarely at the ice cream end of the continuum: no gelato, this. I finally no longer yearn for Massachusetts ice cream.

The friends I was with were underwhelmed by the roasted banana and vanilla flavors; I didn't try them. But they liked that a kiddie scoop costs just $1.95, and the kiddie with me was extremely happy with his pineapple sorbet.

They also have cookies and cupcakes from Bi-Rite's bakery. I'm not a big fan of their cupcakes: I find the cake too dense. For that, I can go to Delessio or Teacake Bakeshop. And, anyway, I shouldn't be having ice cream and a cupcake at the same time.

Oddly, there was no line. I expected crowds resembling Tartine on Saturday at 10 am or Mitchell's on a summer evening.

They're closing today and tomorrow at 6 pm, and regular hours (posted on their website) start Monday.

Dolores St, north side, just east of 18th street -- tucked between Padilla Realty and Stem

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