Stopped by Alotto on the way home from Thai. They seem to have increased the percentage of interesting flavors.
We got five flavors: coconut, blood orange, blackberry, honey-lavendar, chocolate-chipotle. All had nice intensity and good texture. The texture is better than Staccato's, about as good as Mio's.
All the flavors had a nice intensity, though a few, especially the blood orange, were a little sweet probably. eg, the honey-lavendar, was a little heavy on the honey, making it a little too sweet. Staccato's usually has the honey flavor as only an accent. Staccato's earl grey that they've been serving lately lets the tea take center stage by not making it too sweet. But then again, sugar can smooth out an ice cream, so maybe that's part of the reason the texture is better at Alotto.
My favorite was the chocolate-chipotle, and I'm not a big fan of chocolate ice cream. It wasn't the quality of the chile-chocolate I had recently at Charlie Trotter's or the Mexican chocolate ice cream I had at Mitchell's in SF, but it was still darned good. But it was fairly fiery. But that did a good job of balancing the sweetness.
I think Alotto's new emphasis on interesting flavors possibly puts them ahead of Staccato. But that depends on how important texture is to you. Staccato balances sweetness better, but often has grainy gelatos. I have had flavors from Staccato that absolutely failed, too. Not often, but it happens that they just screw up. Alotto has had consistently good textures the several times I've been there. I think Mio still reigns in Portland gelato, but I enjoy all three.
btw, the blackberry gelato had lots of seeds in it.
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