The Ice Cream Bar Coupons and Deals
don't miss the real deal, upgrade to bbe vipBy Anne ZimmermanThere are two trends in frozen desserts these days: the nostalgic and the wacky. At the Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley you’ll find both swirled together. Here’s the scoop: yes, you can line up for a waffle cone stuffed with banana pudding ice cream, but the real action is at the soda fountain, where trained mixologists concoct sodas made from ingredients so old they’re fashionably new again. Our suggestion: Go for the Russell’s Sassafras Root Beer, but turn it into a float—it will arrive with a house-made sassafras marshmallow toasted on top. For those who prefer a concoction with a kick, try one of the “Remedies” from their new cocktail menu, such as the port eggnog with Graham’s 10-year old Tawny Port, eggs, cream, turbinado syrup, and fresh nutmeg. New to the mix is a food menu, featuring soups and savory items. Go for the pulled pork sandwich with house barbecue sauce and kohlrabi slaw on a brioche bun. If you’re still hungry (though highly unlikely), finish it all off with a cup of the hot butterscotch- it’s like hot chocolate, but with house-made butterscotch instead.
Scout Notes: Here in SF we're used to elaborate cocktails crafted by high-end "mixologists," but let's take a walk down memory lane to a time when everything was a lot simpler. Except, it turns out, the complex machinations behind the counter. In this case, it's a soda fountain, not a bar, and the technicians who expertly craft your beverage are called "soda jerks." (Don't worry, they're a lot nicer than your typical bartender). Walk into The Ice Cream Bar and you'll feel sort of like you're on a movie set, where every detail is accurate, right down to the marble counter tops, shiny soda fountains and crisp bow ties behind the bar. And lest you think soda fountains are for the kiddies, be aware that the soda menu was designed by bartender of the year Russell Davis, and looks and feels like a cross between a fancy bar and an ice cream shop. Soda concoctions like Wild Cherry Phosphate (tart cherry syrup, wild cherry bark tincture, acid phosphate, gum foam and soda) and A Stalk in the Park (celery seed extract, fountain syrup, cream, lactart, soda, celery stalk and fresh mint) will blow the minds of folks who consider Dr. Pepper the height of soda excellence. And don't forget the house-made root beer, a cold-brewed sassafras based elixir with 11 herbs and spices. Speaking of house-made, the good folks at The Ice Cream Bar make practically everything they serve in-house, from the tinctures and syrups used in their sodas to their ice cream, cones, bread, pickles, and PB&J. The ice cream counter is a story in its own right, with 12-14 homemade ice cream flavors in rotation (try the caramelized honey and chocolate sorbet. You can thank us later). For those craving something a little more grownup, they've got an array of alcoholic "remedies" for what ails you (try the Rebound Fling, with Speakeasy Payback Porter, berry ice cream and sour cherry syrup). And if you're feeling peckish, remember that this bar is also a real-deal lunch counter, with house-made (we really can't stress this enough, can we?) hit like the egg salad sandwich, tuna melt, hot dog and grilled cheese. What can't they do at The Ice Cream Bar? Menu Highlights: Russell's Sassafrass Root Beer Float, $7.50 Too Good to Be True, $8 Sunday Morning, $14 A Stalk in the Park, $7 Wild Cherry Phosphate, $8.50 Egg Salad Sandwich, $8.50 Hours: Every day, noon to 10pm