Founded in 2011, Salt & Straw is a chef-driven ice cream shop based in Portland with outposts in Los Angeles. Owners Kim and Tyler Malek found the perfect SF location at 2201 Fillmore and California Streets (home to the former site of the short-lived Starbucks subsidiary Evolution Fresh) to showcase their community-centric Portland style.
Photo by Brian Doben
The Maleks make all of their ice cream by hand in small batches, five gallons at a time, using only all-natural dairy with the best local, sustainable and organic ingredients. To make the San Francisco versions of their ice cream even more local and custom they are partnering with several Bay Area farmers and organizations like La Cocina, Teranga Juice, Sightglass Coffee, Dandelion Chocolate and many others.
This writer was both excited and surprised a few weeks back when a special delivery arrived from Salt & Straw, packed under a big block of dry ice! What I love about this ice cream is that it's high in butterfat, low in air and low in sweetness. While all of the flavors were really good (I got to try 6!) the sea salt with caramel ribbons was my favorite. Chef Malek uses Guatemalan Fleur de Sel from world-renowned salt purveyor Mark Bitterman (he is the author of "Salted" a James Beard award-winning book) to create a sea salt ice cream and then ribbon in housemade hand-burned caramel. Salt & Straw is projected to open some time in April, 2017.
Photo courtesy Salt & Straw Facebook page
James is a food writer and Bay Area chef who owns and runs a private dinner party and cooking class business specializing in regional Italian and Spanish cuisine. See CookWithJames.com