Paisley and Rose’s first visit to Smitten was another wonderful instance of Dessert Before Dinner. We met after work, and wanted to make sure we got there before it closed.
Smitten is the ice cream shop located within a repurposed shipping container in Hayes Valley. When Erica and I got there, a line of 5-6 people was already forming in front of us, but it worked out in our favor because even though Smitten only has four flavors of ice cream at a time, we needed the wait in line to gather our thoughts, strategize so we didn’t order the same flavor, and pick toppings. So, when we finally got to the counter, Erica ordered the salted caramel with cocoa nibs, and I went for the TCHO Chocolate with almond pralines.
It’s a fun and different experience, waiting for ice cream at Smitten. They use the magical Kelvin machine to make the ice cream to order, and watching the liquid nitrogen steam fill the air as your ice cream churns provides the entertainment for the 4-5 minute wait (depending on how many people ordered before you.) This brief wait is oh so worth it. Smitten ice cream is indeed as creamy as they tell you it’s going to be. Lots of rich flavor, decadent toppings – I am sold. Slightly preferred Erica’s salted caramel to my TCHO Chocolate, but I do often favor salted caramel anything. An added bonus was being able to enjoy our small cups of ice cream on the benches by the adjacent dog park, where we took in the unique sight of a dog playing fetch with its own leash. Ingenius, really, if your dog will go for that (and sadly, mine probably will not.)
Almost filled up on delicious Smitten, we still had room for a sampler plate at Mazzat. The waitress very convincingly tried to talk us into baklava for dessert – and she probably would have succeeded if she’d waited us out just a few more minutes. (For a while, she actually seemed to be refusing to bring us the bill.) Yes, we would have made room for the baklava had she insisted one more time, but we didn’t need it. Our pre-dinner dessert at Smitten had been satisfying enough.
Smitten Ice Cream, 432 Octavia St. (at Linden)