Serious Eats: Sweets
Sugar Rush: Red Mint Chip Ice Cream at The Daily Scoop, San Diego
Niederfrank's has has been scooping up hand-made ice cream and sorbets since the 40s, and not much has changed since then. Their factory in National City still makes ice cream in what they refer to as the most antique, outdated, and inefficient process possible, but you can't argue with the results.
All flavor bases are made from real fruit and nuts, with no artificial ingredients, dyes, or additives. You can get everything from Mexican chocolate to lemon custard, but one of the flavors I'm stuck on is the red mint chip. It's got a refreshing, mild minty flavor with crunchy bits of dark chocolate studded throughout. The color is meant to distinguish it from regular chocolate chip, and is made from a flavorless organic vegetable compound.
The original location in National City still houses the production facility in the back and a retail store in the front, though you can also get Niederfrank's ice cream at independent retailers, including restaurants, hotels, and scoop shops. My favorite spot is The Daily Scoop in South Park. It's a cute shop with two huge freezers stocked with all of the best Niederfrank's flavors, which you can get in a sugar, cake, or fresh waffle cone (or a cup). Stay and munch at one of the tables inside or outside, or walk a few blocks west and amble through the Switzer Canyon trail at Balboa Park.
A single scoop ($2.95) is usually plenty, but if you want to make it a double, the red mint chip goes especially well with the triple chocolate, and is also great in sundae-form, with a waffle cup, hot fudge, and all of the typical toppings ($4.75).
The Daily Scoop
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax