One of my favorite things about San Diego (aside from the palm trees, beaches, and cheap Mexican food) is its proximity to San Francisco. Hop in a plane and you can be there in about 2 hours (including baggage pick-up and BART). On a recent four-day binge vacation full of discovery, eating, and lots of walking up hills we sampled some truly spectacular sweets. Here are some of my favorites:
Category Archives: Frozen Treats
Brunch is a great time to visit Whisknladle, for several reasons: the coffee is free (though dangerously close to the baked goods, which’ll cost ya), parking is no problem (unless I just got especially lucky), and the pancakes are killer.
When it comes to dessert, I’m not good with restraint. And while low-fat and low-sugar options sound good in theory, I’ve found that as a general rule of thumb, I’d rather eat half of the full-fat or full-sugar option. So, when I was contacted by the good people at Lovin’ Scoopful, which has half the fat of the regular stuff, I wasn’t too optimistic that it would replace my Ben and Jerry’s habit.
It’s a good thing Oasis Ice Cream Parlor has a private seating area outside, because had I eaten my ice cream in front of anyone other than my husband, I would have seriously embarrassed myself. It’s really best that there were no witnesses to my toe-tapping happy dance and repeated exclamations (probably with my mouth full) that the ice cream was “So, so good.”
Ben and Jerry’s must be reading my mind. On the same day I was hit with an intense craving for macaroon ice cream from Ed’s Real Scoop in Toronto, I spied the next best thing: Fair Goodness Cake, a new ice cream flavor from Ben and Jerry’s that has the same killer combination of chocolate and coconut.
There’s something magical about acai bowls. Maybe it’s the antioxidants, maybe it’s the fresh fruit and berries on top, or maybe it’s just because they’re sweet, but every time I eat one, it makes me feel like I have a tummy full of sunshine.
Rubicon Deli makes one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever tasted (and I do mean ever) and their acai bowl ($6.25) is also no slouch. Made with a big scoop of frozen acai and topped with fresh, seasonal fruit, granola, and honey, it’s a great way to cool off your mouth after polishing off a sandwich on their homemade spicy jalapeno jack bread.
Cheesecake is the ultimate “save it for a special occasion” dessert. It’s often too heavy, making it land like an anvil in my stomach. Knowing the caloric content of one tiny slice makes it easy to pass on this most-delicious dessert, and relegate it to a once in awhile indulgence. Except when it comes to Vonda Lee’s California Cheesecake — the treat with all the goodness of a 5-inch tall slice of NYC-style slice in a downright dainty single-serving cup.
Vonda’s uncooked cheesecakes are made without eggs and are much lighter than traditional cheesecakes, but just as satisfying. At the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market, several flavors were available, including Chocolate Fudge, Caramel, English Toffee, Cookies and Cream, plus fruit flavors like Strawberry, Blueberry, and Key Lime. After sampling the Chocolate Fudge and the Cookies and Cream (both excellent!), I settled on the most refreshing flavor of all: Key Lime.
One of my favorite dessert options in San Diego are self-serve frozen yogurt shops. Before I moved to San Diego, my only experience with frozen yogurt was at Yogen Fruz, which is totally different than places like Yogurt on the Rocks, where you can design a custom-made cup of frozen yogurt, then top it with as many different items as you want.
O.B. Smoothie Bar & Sub Shop has some crazy-good smoothies and subs, no doubt about it. But one of the tastiest items on the menu doesn’t get top billing on the sign: the acai bowls. Acai bowls, made with frozen acai puree (blended with soy milk or apple juice), are topped with granola, strawberries, bananas, frozen blueberries, and a drizzle of honey. It’s like eating a fruit salad on top of a smoothie slurry, with some granola thrown in for good measure (and extra crunch).
Cafe Hue is a melting pot of different cuisines where desserts from several cultures come together with delicious results. The Asian cafe features a variety of dessert options, including crepes, gelato, and waffles. My eye was instantly drawn to the waffle with gelato and fruit. This triple-threat dessert starts with a fresh-made Liège-style waffle, topped with one scoop of gelato (your choice of flavor — I opted for strawberry), whipped cream, and a handful of fresh fruit. The warm and crunchy waffle tinged with vanilla was a good pairing with the scoop of cool strawberry gelato, which quickly melted into the crevices.