Nov 3 photo credit salt and straw zgntci

Forget champagne, ice cream cone toasting is the new thing to do.

There are only three days until Cowabunga is here. That's one, two, three...meat o'clock. We're as giddy as teenagers waiting for the school bell to ring. But instead of watching the clock tick and tock, we're counting down to Cowabunga by nodding to the serious Seattle talent that will be gracing us with their aptitude for meat, or in this case, meat adjacent.

Last week, we gave a shout out to chef Gabriel Chávez and the carne asada tacos that will be had at Cowabunga. And we're equally stoked about barbecue in November, namely brisket from Emma’s BBQ for Saturday's Seared event. But alongside all of the beef offerings, there's another thing we can't wait for: ice cream. 

Full Tilt Ice Cream—which created flavors for the likes of Nancy Pearl, Mudhoney, and Sir Mix-a-Lot—has been a Seattle staple for years, and most recently opened up shop on Capitol Hill. Snoqualmie Ice Cream makes many a lovely flavor, but we can't help but fall especially in love with an ice cream imbued with a most favorite holiday booze: Sun Liquor's eggnog. And Blue Bird Ice Cream is a dessert haven where a peanut butter and jelly creation dwells. Swoon.

And then there's Salt and Straw. With two forthcoming scoop shops slated to open on Capitol Hill and Ballard, Seattle has a nearly insatiable hunger for the Portland-born ice creamery's outlandish-yet-balanced flavors. In "Flavor Hunters: Salt and Straw's Seattle Ice Cream Takeover" Allecia Vermillion speaks to that.

"To say Salt and Straw is popular in Portland is like saying Pike Place Market is kinda busy in the summertime. Patrons might wait up to 45 minutes to reach the front of its reliable lines, where cheery staffers call each party up. It’s like a papal audience, if those involved endless free samples. Scoopers are better trained than many sommeliers; they might recommend that flavors with chunkier add-ins be on the bottom of a double scoop. Or explain the centuries-old technique behind the tangy Woodblock chocolate flavor versus the menu’s other chocolate ice cream, which mimics the nostalgia of brownies warm from the oven.

Salt and Straw’s rep is built on flavors that sound like they must be gimmicks—sea urchin, baked potato, foie gras s’mores. But they work. They work like crazy. That’s thanks to Tyler, and the freezy intersection the earnest 29-year-old has forged between geekery and wide-roaming creativity. Here ice cream becomes civic commentary."

Check out all of these frozen treat creators at the I-Scream Competition in the Little Calf Tent this weekend. 

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