Salt and Straw from Portland made a big entrance to San Francisco, kicking off with a couple of pop-ups, and then the opening of the Fillmore shop in April. I visited the scoop shop last week after shopping at D & M across the street.
The ice cream is manufactured in either Los Angeles or Portland and then shipped to San Francisco. The most popular flavor across the chain is Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons. I tasted this at a recent reception and found little caramel flavor and too much sugar in an icy base. San Francisco seems to be going against the trend, and the most popular flavor here is Roasted Strawberry Tres Leches. Sampling this one, the sweetness dominated every other aspect.
While waiting my turn in line, a very helpful staffer described each of the October special flavors for Halloween. I tasted all six, and they did not match up to their descriptions by my palate. I'm sorry, but the Dracula's blood pudding (that has 8% blood though unknown if it's vampire-based or other) does not taste anything like "Mexican chocolate". Best of the lot was Freckle & Hyde Potion, featuring cranberry sorbet with dark chocolate and bitter melon coconut sherbet with coconut ash coated pop rocks, mostly because the tartness of the cranberry toned down the sugar level. Even so, this had some textural problems with some hard chunks of refrozen sorbet.
Given the house-style for blasting with sickly sweetness, I asked for a taste of Peach Vinegar Cobbler with Toasted Nutmeg thinking that something with "vinegar" in its name might offer some balance . . . no such luck. Sightglass Coffee & Single Origin Dandelion Chocolate turned out to have enough bitter notes to partially keep the sugar in check. But I will mention that the coffee-infused butter toffee inclusion had an unpleasant gritty texture.
What's your favorite flavor here? It does seem to be wildly popular.