Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kickin' it Mississippi Style One Scoop at a Time with a Side of Pot on the Side

I'm not trying to be a writer for Sunset magazine or anything. Oh who am I kidding, that would be freakin' awesome. But, I love checking out different areas of Oregon, dropping some photos, eating the local fare and then writing about it.

Today was no exception. Enter the Mississippi District in Portland...

Yes I know it is North Portland and there are an unusual amount of shootings taking place in the area. If you get past that little detail you are doing just fine! I mean, where else can you get a tattoo while sucking down free Widmer beer and ice cream? C'mon people, get with the program!

So the weather was lovely for a little window shopping and I have some wonderful haunts for you to check out which I will share with you over a series of posts. Plan on spending some time to fully absorb the experience. I apologize in advance for the length of this blog but there are some things I must share with you, lest I stew and worry that I let you down. I would be remiss and that would make me feel terrible.

I have to back up a bit and tell you about a business I fully respect and support. It is called "Ruby Jewel Ice Cream." Check out their adorable website Originally you could find their little cart (you still can) at the Portland Farmer's Market on Saturday. They make (and still do with gusto) the most amazing homemade ice cream sandwiches ever. The neat thing is the vision this gal(s) had. She made her own beautiful cookies, think Espresso Chip, Honey Lavender and Ginger Snap, just to name a few. Then made her own ice cream using a local dairy that didn't use any hormones in their milk (Lochmead Dairy.) So, she made the ice cream and the cookies then smushed together these lovely combinations and sold the heck out of them. They cost like 4 bucks and were worth every penny. Then she took it a step further and entered her product in The Food Innovation Center's contest. This is a once a year contest in which you submit something you feel could be marketed (food related) and go before a video interview and chef judges. If you win, you receive a 100,000 dollar marketing contract in which they jumpstart you into a full fledged business. I entered some of my lavender bread into the contest - I lost, but that is another story.
Long story short, she won and now her products are sold in places like Whole Foods, New Seasons, Market of Choice, etc. She has fabulous, eco friendly packaging (her shop is almost 100% waste free) and now has opened her own scoop shop in the Mississippi District.

They don't sell cones, they sell HOMEMADE WAFFLE CONES and the amazing smell of the batter baking in the waffle iron greets customers as they enter. They feature daily specials, today's ice cream feature was local peach and strawberry mint. Their choice of menu varies seasonally as they take advantage of local flavors.
My favorite (for today) was CARAMEL SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE, although I was waffling (no pun intended!) between that and the MINT FLAKE. Both were outstanding and so true in flavor. There were these glorious chunks of chocolate riddled throughout. Such an experience for a food lover. Jaimey chose the CHOCOLATE MALTED sandwiched between 2 DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES. Yes, I tried it and declared it divine.

Now some fun extras they offer. First, the variety of ice cream will appease the most picky of palates. They even carry a couple cow free ice creams. Wild Blackberry, Espresso, Chocolate Malt, Strawberry Lemonade, Honey Lavender, Coffee Cookies and Cream are just some of the offerings that were on today's menu.
You can also select sundaes, floats (made with locally brewed rootbeer and their vanilla bean ice cream.)
There is a menu of toppings for 1.00 each but they aren't your ordinary toppings. Choices such as rosemary pecans, homemade marshmallows and homemade peanut brittle were just a few that caught my attention.
Needless to say, I was more than impressed and I can't wait to return. It is these kind of places that put any franchised ice cream shop to utter shame!

Wow, I had some fantastic fresh pot today. Yes, there is a little of everything in this diverse neighborhood :) Well, before I shock any readers please know I didn't inhale. OK, OK, seriously....
I was excited to check out Fresh Pot coffeehouse because I'm not afraid to admit it, the name was just too catchy not to be a cool place.
Even at 3 in the afternoon they were packed so that was a good sign. Although coffee and Portland are fairly synonomous with one another but still...
The atmosphere was diverse and catchy tunes played in the background. Ample, comfy seating and beautiful coffee brown/white cups for those staying in.
I ordered my traditional Iced Nonfat Mocha and loved how the barista made it. I am sad to say I haven't seen someone make an iced coffee in this manner so I was impressed and it was delicious.
He filled my cup with ice and milk. Then in one of those darling coffee cups, he put chocolate syrup in it. I couldn't see the kind they were using but it was good! He pulled his shots and added them to the chocolate, stirred together and then poured it over the ice. Oh my, it was fantastic - I tipped him well for the little extra
peep show.

Upon leaving the area I see this sidewalk sign planted in front of the food shops I had just visited. It said "Stop Emotional Eating Today. Please Call."
As if!

1 comment:

  1. when are we going to Portland so you can take me to all these fabulous places??? That Salted Carmel Dark Chocolate thingy has my name written all over it!


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