As loyal readers know, I have a bit of an ice cream problem. It is, hands down, my favorite food, my greatest weakness and my guiltiest pleasure. I eat it very rarely as a result, in part out of deference to my arteries and in part to preserve the sense of joy I get when I do get to indulge in it. Although sacrifice, or for that matter self-restraint in general, is not my strong suit, I am capable of controlling myself under some circumstances.
But if I am to eat ice cream but once in a blue moon, it had better be the best I can get my grubby mitts on. As far as mainstream, store-bought fare goes, I am a devoted Häagen-Dazs fan, but I will consistently bypass even their heavenly Dulce de Leche for a scoop or ten of Mitchell's.
It is not to say that Mitchell's is the best ice cream in the world. In the grand scheme of ice creaminess, it's solidly good. But what makes Mitchell's exceptional, aside from the fact that it is one of the great tried-and-true San Francisco local treats, is their selection of tropical flavors. I have yet to work my way through the canon of exotic fruits using fresh fruit flown in from Thailand and the Philippines, like baby coconut, ube (purple yam) and jackfruit, but I do rather like the Thai tea. And I'm told they make, or used to make, durian flavor once a year -- and only once a year, as the neighbors complained so bitterly about the smell. So keep your
eyes nose peeled for the next batch.
The line is always out the door, rain or shine, and it's little wonder. Mitchell's conspires with Drewes Bros. and Church Produce to form a trifecta of businesses that makes me wish I lived a little farther out into Baja Noe. Oh well ... at least I can select from a smaller selection of Mitchell's flavors at the newly opened Subs Inc on 24th and Castro.
Mitchell's Ice Cream
668 San Jose Ave (at Guerrero)