Serious Eats: Sweets
Seattle: Oatmeal and Ice Cream for Breakfast at Molly Moon's
Note: Please raise your cones (or cups) to our new ice cream correspondent Brad Thomas Parsons. An ice cream correspondent—pretty neat, right? Brad will check in every Monday on all matters cold, creamy, and delicious. —The Mgmt.
Fresh from an evening eating my way through Baconopolis II, Tom Douglas' sold-out celebration of all-things bacon—with memories of a bacon-salted, maple-glazed doughnut still in my head—I didn't really have any business waking up the next morning and starting my day with a bowl of ice cream.
But when you think about the amount of sugar-soaked calories in a typical weekend brunch of pancakes (and aren't they just a vehicle for that jar of sweet maple syrup?), ice cream for breakfast isn't as crazy as it sounds. And when you pair it with oatmeal, as they do at Molly Moon's in Seattle, the whole concept starts to feel vaguely healthy.
With that rationalization guiding my way, I made an early morning pit stop at their Capitol Hill location in the historic Oddfellows building. You can top your bowl of locally grown steel-cut oats with any of the featured ice creams on the board. I went with the server-recommended, off-the-menu Maple Bacon, but Vanilla Bean, Vivace Coffee, Cardamom, Maple Walnut, Honey Lavender, or even Salted Caramel seemed like breakfast-friendly flavors (Starburst, probably not so much).
At the same price of a large Molly Moon sundae, the ice cream and oatmeal combo ($6) comes with an all-access pass to their toppings bar and a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. The add-ons included: cinnamon and sugar, mixed berries, bananas, candied ginger, maple syrup, honey, chocolate bits, warm peach compote, and hot fudge.
After taking inventory, I elected to go with brown sugar, walnuts, and candied bacon bits (I typically order a side of bacon with my oatmeal so I convinced myself it made perfect sense). I felt like I was already being pretty indulgent so I skipped the hot fudge—going down that path seemed borderline Willy Wonka territory, even for me.
Studded with candied Seabreeze Farms bacon, the Maple Bacon ice cream slowly settled into the warm oats like a doomed explorer trapped in quicksand. Once the ice cream lost its shape and fully mixed in with the oatmeal, the guilt factor of that breakfast sundae melted away as well. Still, I was inspired to skip lunch that day in favor of a lengthy neighborhood constitutional.
The oatmeal and ice cream breakfast and the limited-edition Maple Bacon flavor is available at Molly Moon's Wallingford and Capitol Hill locations on Saturdays and Sundays (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) through the end of March.
Wallingford: 1622 1/2 N. 45th Street, Seattle WA 98103 (map)
About the author: Brad Thomas Parsons is a writer living in Seattle. He has interviewed many of the food world's biggest names, including David Chang, Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, Danny Meyer, Ina Garten, Jamie Oliver, Paula Deen, and Giada De Laurentiis, among others. He is currently at work on his first book, Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails and Recipes.