Barbara's Bites on the Best Ice Cream Sandwiches in Sacramento & Beyond
by Barbara L. Steinberg©
If you haven't figured it out by now, I am very specific when it comes food. Not all things food...but there are those things I would say, "I am a snob when it comes to ______," You can fill in the blank. Now don't misunderstand...I love to eat just about anything and everything. But some things, well, I have my standards.
Ice cream is one of those things where my standards are high. But particularly, and in this case, ice cream sandwiches. It's all about the sandwich AND the ice cream. I must say I have been jaded because Sacramento has a FABULOUS cookie store...Goodie Tuchews...where they also hand-make ice cream sandwiches right before your eyes...and taste buds. Goodie Tuchews isn't alone in this world of ice cream sandwich (I.C.S.) creations, but what owner Terry O'Reilly has is more than 25 years in the cookie kingdom, producing 19...yes, that's a one and a nine, 19 varieties of cookies from which to assemble a luscious ice cream sandwich.
The combinations are nearly endless. How about Snickerdoodle top and Milk Chocolate Chip bottom. (Hmmm, how do you determine which end is up?!) Or an Oatmeal Everything (that would be raisins, nuts & chocolate chips) and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Yeoweeeee! My personal fave is the Snickerdoodle -- top and bottom. Terry only has one ice cream flavor but it's an excellent choice and also VERY local -- the wonderfully smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream from the landmark of 69 years of ice cream joy, Gunther's. If you want a special order, then Terry is happy to provide other Gunther's ice cream flavors. But be sure to plan ahead. Goodie Tuchews ice cream sandwiches have been dessert at more than one of my family celebrations -- and they are a sure winner. Located in Downtown Sacramento at 1015 L Street, you need to get your I.C.S. fix Monday - Friday -- come early...call ahead...916/444-6048.
After thinking about this whole ice cream sandwich thing, I wondered how many others were serving up this old-fashioned delight. And so decided I would punish myself in pursuit of all things sandwich and ice cream.
Locally, my second favorite is ice cream sandwich at Masullo's at 2711 Riverside Boulevard in Land Park. A newcomer on the Sacramento dining scene and really known for their outstanding pizzas...it was the news of their ice cream sandwich that recently brought me back. It was no slouch and glad I was to enjoy and pay for a dinner of pizza and salads to get to the dessert at the end. The Masullo-made oatmeal cookie is
A-W-E-S-O-M-E! I usually like my sandwich cookie on the chewy side, but in Masullo's case the oatmeal cookie crisp with currants is outrageous. The ice cream is from another decades-old Sacramento landmark, Vic's Ice Cream. This luscious I.C.S. wins high marks as my second favorite Sacramento offering.
So, two down...and number three...the envelope please! The winner is...Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates in Midtown at 1801 L Street. The chocolates are beyond lovely; even for someone like me who's not a chocolate junky. But when I heard about the I.C.S. I had to check this out. The Parisian Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches are beautiful. The "sandwich" -- a work of art -- is a wonderfully chewy macaroon-ish affair. Now remember what I said about being an ice cream snob. Well, Ginger Elizabeth gets all my points for the ice cream portion of her I.C.S. She makes the creamy stuff! It is spectacular. I had the meyer lemon I.C.S. and it was fabulous. Others would probably choose this sandwich over others, but as much as I devoured the Macron and lemon ice cream, it was a little too rich for me. Still, don't let my tastebuds stop you from rushing to Ginger Elizabeth's...she's definitely got it going on. Plus she has other tempting ice cream items and flavors. Such a talent.
Whew. I am tired...but there's one last I.C.S. I have to mention. It's from out-of-town and I stumbled upon this delightful number at this year's Sunset Celebration Weekend - a travel, garden, food and wine event on the grounds of Sunset Magazine in Menlo Park. It was my good luck to be "working" at the event and just happened up Kicks Cookies & Ice Cream...one of the many food vendors. They have a cookie and ice cream cart -- be still my heart -- ice cream sandwiches on wheels. They can come to you and your event but they also just opened their first store in San Jose. Anyway...I tried their homemade Snickerdoodle cookies with a scoop of Double Rainbow strawberry ice cream. Let me just say, if I find myself in San Jose I am definitely seeking them out. I think you'll agree that this dark chocolate cookie I.C.S. might be worth a drive to the Bay Area.
If you have a favorite I.C.S. you think we should know about...please, send it over.
Terry assembles my I.C.S. Barbara L. Steinberg©
Masullo I.C.S. I think you get the point. Barbara L. Steinberg©