I like sweets. I eat a lot of them. I have been to a lot of dessert restaurants. Hands down the best ice cream shop I have ever been to is in Portland, Oregon. It’s called Salt & Straw.
After dinner at Bamboo Sushi on NW 23rd Avenue my husband and I walked next door to one of the three Salt & Straw locations. It was 10 pm on a night where everyone was wearing jackets, and yet the line at this ice cream shop was long.
The friendly servers allow you to try as many of the flavors as you’d like. And you must try them because they are flavors you’ve never heard of before. Like Pear and Blue Cheese. Honey Lavender. Coffee and Bourbon. Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbon. Arbequina Olive Oil. Black walnuts and Gamay Noir Jelly. Wow. There were several flavors that I was not interested in at all. They sounded too strange. But I tried them anyway, and I tried Jason’s little samples as well … and I loved EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
What makes the flavors so fantastic – other than the interesting pairings – is their commitment to make the ice cream handmade in small batches using all natural dairy with the “best local, organic, and sustainable ingredients Oregon has to offer.” Five of the twelve flavors are rotated out each season as they choose ingredients that are in season and invent new flavors. I tried half of them … I’ll have to go back to try the others.
The cost for a single scoop is $3.75, but after several tastings and the generous helping they give on waffle cones, your tummy will be plenty full. My server allowed me two half-scoops so that I could have two flavors: Bushwhacker Spiced Cider Sorbet and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle. Heavenly.
Just listen to a description of one of their flavors (and they each have a paragraph-long description) … Cheddar Apple Pie: Tillamook Cheddar cheese is slowly melted into the ice cream base for this flavor. But the true stars are a variety of apples: Cox’s Orange Pippin, Ashmead’s Kernel, Northern Spy, and Winesap. A perfectly tart and crunchy combination of Oregon-grown apples that create a spiced apple pie filling we ribbon into the cheddar cheese ice cream.
Here’s another. Strawberry Honey Balsamic Vinegar with Cracked Black Pepper: Made with strawberries, jam, and syrup from Oregon Hill Farms, Balsamic from a 5th-generation bee keeper at Honeyridge Farms, and a pinch of black pepper (just a little trick to bring out the fruit flavor!).