I was in Trader Joe's on the Friday after New Year's Day and at 3 PM the place was packed. I mean jammed: people were fighting over the last remaining carts, the shelves were empty and the checkout lines were winding back through the already crowded aisles. My checker, however, remained cheerful and with a dash of glee exclaimed, "It's San Francisco -- everyone is still celebrating New Year's! We don't see much happening here around Christmas but the New Year's parties are just getting started. For the next two weeks, this place will be hoppin'!"
Well, one should never doubt the word of one's Trader Joe's checker. And it's true that there are still several parties, gatherings and events left on my schedule. But what has this got to do with Humphry Slocombe? Or better yet, what IS a Humphry Slocombe? Read on for all the answers...
One of my favorite dinner party desserts is to break out a few pints of premium store bought ice cream, rustle up some fun toppings and invite everyone to make their own sundae. This gets people up and moving, gives them a chance to pick and choose and to be creative. It's fun and energizing and it means I can concentrate my efforts on the main meal. So with the entertaining season still in full swing, I was thrilled to discover that Humphry Slocombe, SF's latest premium ice cream shop, was finally open last week.
I say 'finally open' because the endeavor has suffered many setbacks (a robbery in which all the copper plumbing fixtures were stolen, failed inspections, bad contractors to name a few.) It's been almost 2 years in the making and anticipation has been building. I know I'm not alone when I confess that I would drive by every now and then on the chance that their doors were open. And lo, just this past week they were!
They're still in baby steps mode, so there were only eight flavors available but oh, what a selection: Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Secret Breakfast (cornflakes and bourbon), Guinness Gingerbread, Strauss Yogurt, Thai Chili Lime Sorbet, Coconut Sherbet, Valrhona Fudgesicle, Balsamic Carmel and Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip.
All flavors are available to-go in hand packed pint containers for $7.50 each. I can imagine bringing a pint each of Secret Breakfast and Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee to a brunch gathering or pairing Thai Chili Lime Sorbet and Coconut Sherbet for a light dessert after a complex asian-inspired meal.
They'll have the basics like plain vanilla and chocolate ice cream and house-made fudge sauce and dulce de leche available soon. Also, while they would like to offer cones, they haven't been able to find a decent one to stock. So if you know of a source for a tasty cone, please contact them.
If you don't live in San Francisco, check out their Flavors list for inspiration as you dream ahead to ice cream making season: Honey Thyme, Lychee-Rose Petal, Sweet Corn-Blackberry. And definitely put Humphry Slocombe on your list for your next visit. Even better, they're just a few blocks away from Dynamo Donut, home of the Maple Bacon Donut and yes, you can walk, or perhaps even jog a little, between the two.
Oh, and the name? If you've ever watched the cheesy British comedy series Are You Being Served? you'll recognize two of the characters, Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe. Humphry Slocombe's owner, Jake Godby, is a fan.
Noon-8 PM at
2790 Harrison Street at 24th Street