New Super Series: East vs. West

Hello all! Today is a very special day! I am finally introducing you to a series that Abby of Little City Adventures and I have been planning since July. It's called "East vs. West"! Abby lives in unique Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and I obviously live in the San Francisco Bay Area. We thought it would be cool to do a series of posts that compares life and places on the East Coast and West Coast. Each Thursday we will pick a topic or place to blog about (restaurants, coffee shops, scenery, hiking, etc.), and you can visit both of our blogs to see what that things are like in each of our cities. Pretty cool, huh?! I am really excited and hope you are too!
We are starting the series off with one of my favorite things: Ice cream shops! For this category, it was a no-brainer as to where I had to go... Bi-Rite Creamery in the SF Mission District, of course! I have talked about Bi-Rite here and there before, but I could probably talk about how much I love it forever.
Most days there is a line forming in front of this little place around the corner and up the street. This past Monday (Labor Day) was no exception. But of course, I am often more than willing to wait in this line (it goes quick, I promise!) if it means I can have the creamy goodness of Bi-Rite. Because it is Bi-Rite, duh.
Now, there is something you should know about the area that surrounds this glorious ice cream mecca... Situated in the Mission at 18th & Dolores, kitty-corner to the always lovely Dolores Park, there is only one description for what this area is called: Hipsterville. Okay, there I said it. Now, I have nothing against (most) hipsters, and do not classify myself as or not as one, but this place is crawling with them. You know what I'm talking about; tattoos, retro glasses, plaid button-ups, combat boots, cuffed up jeans, messenger bags, bikes everywhere, etc. You know. And, well, Bi-Rite is also ran by them and has a really cool vibe because of it. I simultaneously feel 5x cooler leaving than I did coming in and not cool enough. But I digress...
Marly is also a fan, of course.
They have a unique menu of flavors, including (the best) salted caramel, balsamic strawberry, ricanelas (cinnamon w/ snickerdoodles), honey lavender, brown sugar w/ ginger caramel swirl, roasted banana, coffee toffee, and basil. (click here for full menu) In addition, they feature a plethora of interesting sundae concoctions, fresh ice cream sandwiches, and homemade popsicles.
Though they have very limited indoor seating, the small wooden tables and stools are lovely. They also have cute benches built in an open square shape that are nice to sit at when weather permits.
For the sake of this post, Dai and I ordered three different items and shared! I know, we are bad... But I just love you all that much that I will take one for the team and eat more ice cream than I should ;) To start things off, we ordered a double scoop of balsamic strawberry and raspberry cheesecake swirl. I am not much into cheesecake ice cream, but Dai really liked it. I do love their balsamic strawberry though! Sounds like a strange combo, but it just works. The balsamic added to the ice cream adds a slight richness to the strawberry. It is just lovely.
For those who don't want to wait in a long line to have many choices of hand-scooped flavors, I will let you in on a little secret: They have a soft-serve window at the end of their building! Most people actually don't know about this! Though you only have the choice between two flavors that change every day, if you are okay with the flavors, it is a nice, quick option. In fact, the first couple times I even came to Bi-Rite, I just got soft-serve because I didn't feel like waiting in line!
At this window, they also sell several of their baked goods, like these salted caramel cupcakes and various types of cookies.
On this particular day, the soft-serve flavors happened to be Salted Caramel (my favorite!) and coffee. We got a swirl of the two in a sugar cone and then were convinced to buy the sundae of the day... It was a swirl of salted caramel and coffee, with chocolate coconut bars and fudge sauce. It was pretty good! And even if it hadn't been, it looked fabulous!
And finally, no trip to Bi-Rite is complete without a trek (okay, drive) to the top of Dolores Park to soak in this lovely view and think about how lucky I am to live in this amazing place.

Well folks, that completes the first installment of East vs. West! I hope that you are loving this series so far and will check back next week for another very special place: coffee shops! Be sure to head over to Little City Adventures to see what ice cream shop Abby is talking about today, and please do feel free to give us some feedback in the comments! Our hope is that we can show you new places and things that you would want to see or do if you were to come visit our cities, and give you insight on what it is like here (and make you want to hang out with us, duh). And, of course, if any of you are planning on coming to SF, I will take you to Bi-Rite in a heartbeat, on me :)

P. S. As a special treat (get it?) for the launch of this new series, I have discounted my sponsorship prices through this weekend! There is currently no promo code option with Adproval, but I have manually discounted them and the prices will be going back up Monday morning. So head over to my sponsor page and sign yourself up!

Itbritt said...

I used to live in Sacramento, and spend all my time in san fran (of course!)
I'm a total city girl, and can't help it.
You've captured the place so well - and I wish I was back there - its 60 and raining in Seattle right now... Love this new series, its absolutely awesome.

Laura @ Inspiration.Sparks said...

What an AWESOME blog series idea!! :D i looove it and i can't wait to see the difference between East and West! also, now i'm craving ice cream really bad!! haha thanks for that! that sundae looks exquisite! and salted caramel? i think that would definitely be my #1 choice!

Jess // Foreign Room said...

Well of course you did! I have only been to Sacramento a few times for concerts (LOVE Ace of Spades music club) and to visit a museum, but gosh, it was so HOT.
Thanks! You definitely should come back to visit! Go to Bi-Rite and hang out in the park :)

Jess // Foreign Room said...

Thank you so much, Laura!! We are excited about it and are glad you are too!

Oh my goodness, you have no IDEA how wonderful the salted caramel is! It's kind of funny actually because I love anything that is salted caramel, but this one is a little more salty/savory than other ones you find, so it makes me like it even more!

Itbritt said...

I LOOOOOOVE the Ace of spades.
Lord, you make me miss home.
So happy to have found someone who has stood where I have - always feels so good. Thanks!