Sugar Rush: Ice Cream Sandwiches at Dinette in Seattle
Ask anyone who knows anything about Dinette in Seattle and they'll likely say, "Oh, that's the cute restaurant making fancy toast." Dinette is a precious place—with an even more precious little bar seating just four across—where the service in delightfully unpretentious. The restaurant became popular first for putting interesting toppings on toast and then for starting a summertime sandwich bar, so it's not surprising that ice cream sandwiches would be the next order of the day.
Dinette's got two or three ice cream sandwiches on the daily menu. You can do a half-order for five dollars. This was the way in which I tried the Earl Grey Ice Cream with Gingersnap Cookies, which had a perfect balance of tea and spice flavors. For a full order, I chose Salted Peanut Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookies ($9.50). The ice cream satisfied my ongoing desire for desserts that are both sweet and savory, though alone, it would have been too salty for my taste. But combined with the cookies (just slightly overcooked and bitter—a minor quibble), the overall effect was fabulous, with the salt boosting the chocolate flavor.
I've found that when some bakers make ice cream sandwiches, their cookies can be too thick. Craving a better ice cream-to-cookie ratio, as in the Carvel Flying Saucers of my childhood, I enjoyed Dinette's wafer-like cookies. They offer just the right solid chewiness to combine with the creamy softness of the ice cream. The sandwiches hold together well, and a full order comes cut into four pieces for easy group sharing.
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.