Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream

Well, folks, I have made yet another dent in my ice cream list. It’s taken me a while to get out to Taraval, even though it really isn’t far at all. But you like to be able to hit multiple stops on these ice cream outings, and I finally had more than one reason to drive out into the Sunset.

This was a Paisley and Roy excursion, because we had to go in search of some good xiao long bao. (Shanghai soup dumplings. Roy had insisted that I try them on my recent trip to China, but sadly, I never found them, so I came all the way back to the United States to fulfill my Chinese food desires.) And, leaving ice cream behind for a moment, I loved the xiao long bao we found at Kingdom of Dumpling. Filling a dumpling with a bite-size bit of broth that then oozes out onto your spoon when you bite into it is genius, and I can’t believe I was ignorant of these little beauties before this weekend. So, in addition to the ice cream I’m going to mention, I also recommend Kingdom of Dumpling. Their salt and pepper tofu was darn good as well.

Xiao Long Bao

Now. On to the main event. Just a few blocks up from Kingdom of Dumpling is Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream. Fairly simple on the inside, I’ve seen this place crowded on warmer days (partly why it took me so long to go in and buy something.) Simple indeed, but if you’re looking for unusual flavors, you might be able to find them here. There’s durian (I’ve tried once elsewhere, cannot handle), taro (which I sampled and liked), mango, green tea, guava…you get the idea. I settled on a single scoop of red bean, which to me tasted a lot like coconut (the base of the ice cream? my imagination?) There were indeed tiny bits of red bean in the ice cream, but somehow it worked.

I probably wouldn’t make a special trip out to Marco Polo. I’m seldom craving red bean ice cream and there’s nothing flashy about the location, but seeing as I thoroughly enjoyed my scoop, I would definitely make this my dessert spot after a meal of xiao long bao (and perhaps some spicy green beans next time.) While most flavors were a bit too adventurous for some (Roy walked out empty handed), I give Marco Polo a solid thumbs up.

Red Bean Ice Cream

Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream 1447 Taraval St (between 24th & 25th Ave)

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