Salt and Straw
Telephone: (971) 271-8168
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Rostra rating: 3
I’ve been meaning to give Salt and Straw a fair trial for some time now. Friends have urged me, the lines out front have pointed to something special, and the Portland weather is warming up. So today seemed like a good day to try again.
On the way, I ran into this nice couple who were out walking their birds. I asked if they would let me take a photo and they didn’t hesitate. Very nice.
Back to business. Salt and Straw (with stores all over Portland and in Los Angeles too) specializes in home-made ice cream made from only the freshest of ingredients. So far so good. But the flavors are simply strange and I’m not sure that I like strange when it comes to my ice cream.
Part of Salt and Straw’s popularity comes from the whole experience, not just the ice cream. One always has to wait in line, but the friendly folks of Portland don’t believe anything is worthwhile unless you do wait in line. They simply don’t mind and neither did I.
And speaking of friendly, the Salt and Straw staff are over the top and apparently love their jobs. Once you’ve reached the front of the line, a smiling person says “howdy” and escorts you to the next available ice cream station. Then the tasting begins.
“I’d like to try the Petunia’s Coconut Mint Chip Whoopie Pie.” The description said non-dairy, non-gluten, non-nothin-but-delicious, cold scooped, full fat, coconut based, mint chip ice cream. I love coconut so…
“That’s my favorite” says the sweet server. What were the chances out of 20 or so flavors that I would pick her favorite. Well, coincidences do happen.
I tasted and it was good, although I thought the coconut flavor was not very robust. The cake (whoopee pie) was a good addition.
“It’s made with coconut milk rather than real milk” cutie explains. Interesting.
“I’d like to try one more. How about the Pear and Blue Cheese?” This description says… The delicate, sweet flavor of Oregon Trail Northwest Bartlett Pears from Salem, OR with perfectly aged cumbles of Rogue Creamery’s Crater Lake Blue Cheese (recently named the best in the world at a fancy competition in France) mixed throughout.
I tasted and thought… now that’s just weird and concluded that blue cheese, no matter how fancy the competition, has no business being in my ice cream.
“You can taste some more if you like. No problem. Or I can combine two half scoops into one scoop.”
Now that’s what I call friendly. All these people waiting in line and this young lady acts as if I’m the most important customer to come along and she has all day. Although this attitude might explain the line, it also means that once you’ve won the prize of getting to the front, you’re made to feel pretty special.
But, and this is a big but, it’s still weird ice cream. Maybe it’s just me. Everyone else seems crazy about it.