Oakland Tribune Article

So Cool: We all scream for our favorite ice cream parlors By STAFF WRITER IF ever there was a month for ice cream, it's August. The kids aren't back in school yet, and more often than not, the days are warm enough to leave a bit of sweat on your brow. So we decided there's no better time to hunt down the Bay Area's ultimate ice cream shops. We passed by the ubiquitous Baskin-Robbins and Cold stone Creamery stores for old-fashioned shops that make their ice cream themselves. We wanted our cones served up with a dollop of charm, and a sprinkling of history. We wanted flavors you can't find in stores. But most of all, we wanted ice cream so good that we scramble to catch every drip off our sugar cones and savor every lick. For all you ice cream devotees, we've found a collection of ice cream shops worth the drive to get there -- at least for those of us who know the joy of a double-scoop on a hot day. From chai to chiku For seven years now, Castro Valley residents Bharti Parmar and her husband Suresh Parmar have been making some of the most taste bud-tingling ice cream in the Bay Area. Their Bombay Ice Creamery in San Francisco's Mission District offers intriguing homemade Indian flavors such as fig, cashew raisin, saffron pistachio, masala chai tea and chiku (a tropical fruit sort of like a kiwi but with a tutti-frutti taste). A new flavor introduced a few weeks ago, cardamom-rose, has quickly become a crowd favorite and for good reason: on first taste, the distinct cardamom spiciness dominates, but then the lightness of the rose emerges, making this unique flavor as fascinating as it is delicious. Indian ice cream tends to be creamier, lighter and made with less sugar than American ice cream, which means the exotic flavors take precedence. Suresh Parmar is in charge of making the ice cream and uses recipes created by her uncle, who runs a similar ice cream parlor in India. Aside from cones and dishes, Bombay also offers frozen Indian specialities such as "kulfi," a sort of sundae made with a more intensely sweet version of Indian ice cream, pudding, rice noodles and rose syrup. The noodles and syrup can also be found in "falooda," a cross between a shake and a smoothie that uses regular ice cream blended with milk and gets an added crunch from basil seeds. Recently featured on the Food Network, Bombay is becoming a hot spot. On a recent Saturday, the Parmars say the line was too long to close at 10 p.m., so they ended up staying open until midnight. The owners say they expect to open Bombay branches in Palo Alto, Pleasanton and San Ramon within the next few months. Bombay Ice Creamery is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It's at 552 Valencia St., San Francisco (near 16th Street BART). Call (415) 861-3995. -- Chad Jones _______________________________________




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