Bi-Rite Creamery, S'mores Sundae
However, we still managed to be blown away by their S'mores sundae ($6.50), a special combination that's only offered a few times a month. The chocolate ice cream at the sundae's base is excellent, but it's taken to a whole new level with the massive globe of homemade toasted meringue that sits atop the sundae like a puffy cloud of sweet decadence. The house-made caramel sauce is salty and delicious, a condensed cousin of Bi-Rite's lauded salted caramel ice cream. We were all blown away by the meringue, but I found myself scraping the sides of the bowl in the hopes of catching more of the homemade graham crackers. Thick, crumbly and buttery: this is the after school snack that dreams are made of.
Swenson's Ice Cream, Walkaway Waffle Cone Sundae
Humphry Slocombe, Gabba Gabba Hey
What really puts the sundae over the edge is the rich saltiness from the ice cream. Combined with the cherries, it melds with the brownie in a way that manages to accentuate the rich chocolatey-ness; it takes salty-sweet to an incredibly appealing extreme.
St. Francis Fountain, The Battleship
Their sundaes are equally classic. The Battleship ($7.75) tastes like a childhood ice cream fantasy in a bowl: there are three scoops of ice cream, each covered with its own complimentary sauce (chocolate is topped with marshmallow, vanilla with caramel, mint chip with hot fudge). The ice creams are then buried under an enormous pile of whipped cream (from the can) and a cherry (maraschino, of course). You'll find some good crunch from the nuts (our menu said almonds but we're certain they were peanuts), but the joy of the ice cream-whipped cream combo is like a childhood flashback. Good luck not inhaling this one.
Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous Sundae
The sundae is a textbook example of high quality ingredients in perfect proportion. The black and tan ice cream is interesting without being strange—sweet, creamy, and rich with a lovely hint of malt flavor. The almonds provide crunch, texture and salt without taking away from the flavor of the sundae. But the real star here is the chocolate sauce: generously poured, it becomes almost solid against the cold ice cream. The flavor is incredibly rich; this is some seriously pure chocolate.
Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous: 699 22nd Street, San Francisco CA 94107 (map) 415-970-0750
Chile Pies & Ice Cream, Snickerdoodle Sundae Bowl
Our favorite is the Snickerdoodle Sundae Bowl ($7). Two scoops of ice cream doused in caramel sauce melt languorously atop two saucer-sized, house-made snickerdoodle cookies, as chewy and cinnamony as one could wish. Per our server's recommendation we tried a scoop of Venetian coffee along with the more standard vanilla; the coffee perfectly balanced out the sweetness of the caramel and cinnamon.