Summer Sweets

Ice Cream, Watermelon, Strawberry Shortcake, and Milkshakes!

By 3063Allison Austin Scheff with Jana Moseley; recipe by Lorna Yee


May 27, 2011

This article originally appeared in the June 2011 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Strawberry Shortcake, Seattle Style

Known by their craggy shape and ruffle-collared stem, Shuksan strawberries are largely regarded as the sweetest, most flavorful of all strawberry varieties. Each plump berry is red to the core, with a slight mineral flavor that adds complexity. Shuksan (Japanese for “beautiful taste”) strawberries are available at local farmers’ markets for only a few weeks in summer (see page 102 for more), and their highly perishable nature makes them an eat-it-quick treat. Show off a bevy of these berry beauties in a fluffy ginger biscuit with vanilla gelato for the quintessential summer strawberry shortcake. Serves 2

1 cup Shuksan strawberries, halved
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier liqueur
Two ginger biscuits from Cafe Besalu
Two generous scoops of D’Ambrosio gelato in Madagascar vanilla or Bewitched Ricotta

In a mixing bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar and Grand Marnier. Give the berries a stir, and allow them to macerate, about 15 minutes. With a knife, split each ginger biscuit in half. Top each biscuit with half of the strawberries, followed by a big scoop of gelato. Finish with the top half of the biscuit, and serve.

D’Ambrosio Gelato
5339 Ballard Ave. NW

Cafe Besalu
5909 24th Ave. NW

Ice Cream

Brain Freeze
A flurry of ice creameries is making homemade frozen treats, providing lots of delicious reasons to give yourself an ice cream headache.

Meyer lemon ice cream at Parfait:
Lemony but not too tart: that’s the brilliance of a Meyer lemon, and Parfait’s organic ice cream—the only ice cream in town that’s entirely made from scratch—is a brilliant showcase. $4/scoop >> Mobile truck, check website for locations; 206.941.4679;

Molly Moon’s Theo Chocolate ice cream: Like fudge in frozen form. It’s just so, so chocolate. $3.80/scoop >> Multiple locations, including Capitol Hill, 917 E Pine St.; 206.708.7947;

Full Tilt’s Memphis King ice cream: In honor of Elvis, a small-batch wacky mash-up of peanut butter, banana and chocolate-covered bacon. $3.50/scoop >> Multiple locations, including Columbia City, 206.226.2740;

Fragola gelato at Bottega Italiana:
Smooth, silken and bursting with the taste of fresh strawberries, it’s the scoop of the season. $2.25/scoop >> Pike Place Market, 1425 First Ave.; Green Lake, 409 NE 70th St.;

Cantaloupe ice at Procopio Gelatena: Ripe melon (they have watermelon, too!) is frozen and shaved to make these shockingly cold ices. On the hottest day of summer, it’s just the thing. $3.25/scoop >> Pike Hillclimb, 1501 Western Ave. #300; 206.622.4280;

Nutella gelato at Fainting Goat: Chocolate and hazelnut paste marry oh so deliciously in this dense, decadent gelato. $3.85/scoop >> Wallingford, 1903 N 45th St.; 206.327.9459;

Bluebird’s peanut butter and jelly ice cream: Freshly churned peanut butter ice cream plus fresh berry ice cream equals the best PB&J of your entire life. $3/scoop >> Capitol Hill, 1205 E Pike St.; 206.588.1079;

Pistachio gelato at D’Ambrosio Gelato: Made with real pistachios imported from Italy, this utterly creamy gelato tastes like the actual nut: spectacular. $3.50/scoop >> Ballard, 5339 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.327.9175;


PoppySlice of summer
What would summertime be without cold, sweet watermelon juice dripping down our arms? Just to ensure we’re all getting our fill, we rounded  up seven clever dishes showcasing our favorite melon.

The watermelon, cucumber, feta and mint salad at Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park Cafe starts with chunks of chilled watermelon, cucumber and crumbled feta, which is tossed with olive oil and sea salt, and finished with a hint of mint. Quench your thirst with a watermelon cooler—watermelon puréed with water and sugar, and garnished with a spring of mint. >> Capitol Hill, 1501 17th Ave. E; 206.328.3155;

Nell’s delicious watermelon salad with champagne vinaigrette features cubed watermelon, seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. Served atop a bed of arugula and sprinkled with feta cheese and pine nuts, it’s a perfect summer salad. >> Green Lake, 6804 E Green Lake Way N; 206.524.4044;

If you’re looking for a way to drink away a bad day, try the Hammock Dazed at Ballard’s new Golden Beetle restaurant. This frothy, pink drink is a delicious concoction of gin, Arak Razzouk, honey syrup, lemon juice, cilantro leaves and watermelon juice. >> Ballard, 1744 NW Market St.; 206.706.297;

Try this for a uniquely flavorful main course: fluke in pickled watermelon broth, white anchovies with watermelon, crispy sage and aged balsamic at Anchovies & Olives. First, cubes of watermelon are seasoned, then topped with white anchovies, and finally garnished with sage and drizzled with aged balsamic. >> Capitol Hill, 1550 15th Ave.; 206.838.8080;
Thirsty? The watermelon jalapeño fresca at Skillet Street Food’s new brick-and-mortar location, Skillet Diner, is a sweet and spicy concoction that combines watermelon, lime juice, sugar, ice and, yes, jalapeño, puréed to make one refreshing beverage with a bite. The longer you sip, the spicier it gets, so bottoms up! >> Capitol Hill, 1400 E Union;

It’s a veritable watermelonapalooza at Poppy, where you can indulge your taste buds with a watermelon/lime pickle, enjoy a watermelon, sungold tomato and mint salad, and wash it all down with a refreshing watermelon mojito. >> Poppy, Capitol Hill, 622 Broadway E; 206.324.1108;

Shake it up!

Did your mom ever tell you to drink your milk? Well, you’re all grown up now, and we’re telling you to drink your milkshake. Who says mom knows best?

Luna Park hand-scoops the ice cream for its thick milkshakes, using vanilla Cascade Glacier ice cream as a base, and serves them in fountain glasses topped with whipped cream and a cherry (with the big metal mixing canister on the side). Our favorite is the rich butterscotch. $3.75 >> West Seattle, 2918 SW Avalon Way; 206.935.7250;

Like pretty much everything else at Lunchbox Laboratory, the decadent milkshakes here will have calorie counters shaking in their boots. And the flavors? Completely over the top: We love the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup version, but you might opt for a Boston cream doughnut shake, you know, just for bragging rights. $6.50 >> South Lake Union, 1253 Thomas St.; 206.621.1090;

When a good old-fashioned milkshake in a waxed-paper Coke cup is what you need to cool down, look no farther than the nearest Red Mill. Made with soft-serve ice cream, the pretty pink strawberry version is hard to beat in summertime, but the vanilla malts hold their own, too. $3.50 >> Multiple locations, including Phinney Ridge, 312 N 67th St.; 206.783.6362;

It’s hard to cram a year’s worth of root beer and ice cream into one short summer. Lucky for us, Zippy’s has combined the two for the ultimate summer sipper: a root beer milkshake. $3.50 >> White Center (new location), 9614 14th Ave. SW; 206.763.1347;