In March, Roger Marmet had to decide what to do with the small storefront attached to his restaurant, Ripple, in Cleveland Park. With Alison Reed, Ripple's head pastry chef, they came up with the idea for a small retail shop that specialized in locally sourced, house-made ice cream sandwiches.
On March 22, Sugar Magnolia opened its doors with a menu of 6 different flavors, including seasonal offerings, for $3.50 each.
The cookie and ice cream flavor pairings range from traditional to inventive. The chocolate wafer with salted caramel toffee ice cream has a great balance of salty and sweet. In the coconut macaroon with coffee ice cream, a crispy meringue shell studded with bits of sweetened coconut is sandwiched around a lightly espresso-flavored coffee ice cream.
The brainchild of Marmet, the waffles with maple bacon ice cream has become a fast favorite. And as a result, Reed (whose own favorite flavor is peanut butter cookies with chocolate ice cream) doesn't foresee it coming off the menu anytime soon. It's an unusual choice for an ice cream sandwich, but it works. The first word that comes to mind when biting in is breakfast. The waffles are housemade then frozen, but maintain a soft texture. The maple really comes through in the ice cream, though I would have liked to see more bacon.
Be sure to check back often because the menu at Sugar Magnolia rotates with the season. Previous seasonal specials include ginger cookies with beet ice cream and oat streusels with blueberry ice cream.
3417 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 (map);