Spicy Green Mango

--Living and eating with a dash of whimsy and a sprinkling of spice--

  • I'm a budding food-tographer turned blogger who's insanely passionate about food..real food...the kind that sprouts from the earth and you have to wash it to eat it. Yes, hearty real food. I live to eat and I eat to live and am loving every bit of it! If you're here, then I suppose we share the same passion! Enjoy!

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 6 comments

Contrary to what you may think, I don't normally have a sweet tooth. If anything, I prefer the tartness of fresh tropical fruits over the sugary eye candy that tempts my food-tography.  But then, there are those days that I contradict myself and my sweet tooth begins to feen for some sweet decadence. So, where does one go to satisfy spontaneous sugary cravings?

Berkeley.  Home of my alma mater (Go Bears!); the city across the bay from San Francisco that boosts its own eclectic array of flower children's children from the 60's, political activism, the monolithic Campanile, and quintessential College Avenue. 

Yes my friends, College Avenue: the little strip in North Berkeley that makes me feel like I've taken a step back into the 1920s where hand-churned ice cream can be bought for a nickle and I can walk up to a soda fountain to sip a refreshing lemonade. Although, truth be told:  I have no idea if this was the case during the 20's, but I like to think it was and oftentimes, my kiddish imagination runs amuck, so bear with me now.


Ici (pronounced ee-see) Ice Cream Shop:  Owned by former pastry chef, Mary Canales, of the famous Chez Panisse Restaurant, this is by far the best ice cream I've ever tasted.  It is the sole reason why I can no longer buy the store-bought ice cream.  Theirs is made fresh daily and the flavors are always a surprise.  They churn out the best and most unique flavor combinations I've ever seen in any ice cream parlor, including lemon verbena, honey citron chamomile, rose petal, candied blood orange w/chocolate chip, and passion fruit lime--basically, you name it and they probably have already thought it up.  Oh, and if you're lactose intolerant, don't worry b/c they always have a selection of sorbets to choose from as well. 

But to make the most of your experience, you MUST have your ice cream served in their hand-crafted organic sugar cones that, too, are made fresh and piped with chocolate to seal in the tip.  But be forewarned that if you go on a sunny afternoon, the line can get pretty scary, stretching down the entire block of College Avenue with wait times upwards of 45 minutes.  Luckily, we went there right at 1pm, so many people were still enjoying their lunch.  My advice: Have an early lunch and beat the lines b/c it is soo worth it!

We made a little friend as we were licking our cones outside.  Her name is Coco and she is a cutie pie.  I felt so bad as she longingly gazed at my double scoops of orange chocolate chip (possibly hoping for me to drop my cone), but I knew it was for the best that I indulge for the both of us.

Summer Kitchen Bake Shop:  As I was savoring my ice cream cone, I was lured into this shop by the sight of red raspberries nestled atop chocolate cupcakes with ribbons of silky raspberry-specked buttercream frosting. So, even before finishing my cone, I had my mind made up to bring home some cupcakes.  Little did I realize that it was never slated to make it back home with me.  An hour after walking around Berkeley, I couldn't resist and popped the entire scrumptuous piece of chocolatey yumminess in my mouth.  Omagawd! The buttercream was super smooth, soo airy and had just the perfect amount of sweetness.


6 Responses

  1. Frances says:

    Your photos are beautiful. I am one of the co-founders of a new website all about berkeley called Berkeleyside. (www.berkeleyside.com) We run a lot of photos and would love to create a slide show of your college avenue pics. We don't pay (yet) but are getting about 1700 unique visitors a day which translates to 50K page views a month so the visibility is great. Would you be interested in posting those photos on Berkeleyside?

  2. Kitchen M says:

    I've heard of this place and it's been on my list of place to go. In fact, I was actually thinking about going this week.
    I know, once you eat some real good ice cream, it's hard to go back to the store-bought kinds... Have you tried Straus ice cream? Theirs are by far my favorite among the store-bought kinds and they are only available in the Bay Area.

  3. Thank you for all your lovely comments.

    Frances: I'd love for the publicity. I placed a comment on your personal blog.

    Kitchen M: I've heard and tried milk and cream from Straus, but never their ice cream. I'm going to take you up on your advice. Thx!

    Ann: I have more pictures of Coco that I'd like to post and you're right..that collage of her and the ice cream is my favorite, too!

  4. Beautiful photos, as always! You've captured such gorgeous, sweet moments in Berkeley!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Your pictures are gorgeous!
    I ate lunch at Summer Kitchen Bakeshop and drooled over their lemon meringue cupcake. I didn't get them but kept thinking about them and was inspired to make mini limequat meringue cupcakes for my blog.
    I'm bookmarking Ici for the next time I'm in Berkeley. And I'll be sure to stop in to SKB to try their cupcakes this time!

  6. @Liren: You know you make me :) with each comment

    @52kitchenadventures: Thanks a bunch! Oooh..limequat cupcakes? That sounds yummy! And yes, try both places b/c they're right next door to each other. Just dedicate a whole afternoon to gorge yourself with yummy sweetness!

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