Friday, July 1, 2011

Cool Moon Ice Cream

(Second Review -- January 2012)

Cool Moon Ice Cream Company can be found on NW Johnson St. in Portland, Oregon. They are known for serving some of the most unique ice cream and sorbet flavors in Oregon.

I was like a kid in a candy store on this one. There are a bunch of flavors to choose from each day, and you can sample as many flavors as you want. Cool Moon gives out samples on actual spoons (silverware). Talk about being eco-friendly!

Anyway, I wasted no time in trying several flavors:

Salty Caramel in the back, Candied Ginger in the front
Salty Caramel is one of their most popular flavors. Creamy, salty-sweet, and delicious. The salty ice cream is a classic fit with the sweet caramel.

Ginger cookie is in the back...Kulfi in the front.
You'll see a better picture of the Kulfi ice cream later in this post
Kulfi (in the front) is another very popular Indian-inspired ice cream. It's basically a pistachio ice cream, mixed with cardamom. A little rosewater assists with its authenticity. Another wonderful concoction here; the nuttiness from the pistachios gives this ice cream a delightful texture. The cardamom is very pronounced, yet  kept in check as you savor the flavors.

Fresh Banana in the back, Lemon Lavender in the front
Lemon Lavender sorbet was next on my sample list. Here, the lavender took center stage at the beginning, with a lemony aftertaste to round out the experience. A pretty refreshing choice that boggled my mind.

Cafe Vesuvio in the back; Birthday Cake in the front
Next up: Cafe Vesuvio. Personally, this was just a typical coffee ice cream for me. It may be a little more unique to Oregonians or other mainlanders, but not a person like me who grew up in Hawaii eating Kona Coffee ice cream. This Cafe Vesuvio tasted very similar to that Kona Coffee ice cream. Coffee obviously pairs well with sugar and cream. I think anyone who likes coffee -- especially with cream and sugar -- will enjoy this one.

Saigon Cinnamon in the back; Marcona Almond in the front
Saigon Cinnamon was next on my list. This was a no-brainer for me; I am a huge cinnamon fan. Saigon Cinnamon has a bolder cinnamon flavor than regular cinnamon. A millisecond after taking the first bite, I went into a cinnamony euphoric state. While the cinnamon really makes its presence felt, it is not overpowering on the palette.

Fiery chocolate in the back row!
Last, but not least: Fiery Chocolate! A chocolate ice cream mixed with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, this is sinfully awesome. The chocolate and cinnamon flavors hit you at the start, and as you start swallowing that bite of ice cream, a hint of cayenne pepper hits the back of your throat. It's not an overwhelming spicy sensation, so your mouth won't be on fire. Dangerously good here.

My friend got a cone of the Kulfi, while I got a micro cup of the Saigon Cinnamon. Each was about $3.

Scoop of Kulfi ice cream on a cone
Micro scoop of Saigon Cinnamon ice cream
It literally took me all of a minute to finish that cinnamon ice cream. So creamy, so delectable, so flippin' awesome. My friend, who's had Kulfi ice cream in the past, gave this one an easy 9.5 out of 10.

Friendly staff, bright lighting, and a contemporary ice cream store feel. Cool Moon ice Cream has just about everything I want if I was seeking dessert.

I think if this place was like Costco and sold three scoops for $1.50, we'd have a perfect score on our hands. But alas, this is as close to perfection as I've seen thus far. Cool Moon beats out Humphry Slocombe, and it's not because Cool Moon is closer in proximity. Cool Moon is a (slightly) bigger place, with brighter lighting and just as many rotating flavors (the website is just a sampling of what they could have).

But most notably, at Humphry Slocombe, the amazing chocolate chip cookie was the icing on the cake in winning me over (obviously in addition to their great ice cream). Here at Cool Moon, the ice creams and sorbets were the big stars. The flavors at Cool Moon are all amazing, and I'm positive they will continue to roll out new flavors as time goes on. You can bet your last penny that I'll be making several return trips!

Overall, it will be extremely tough to top this place. There may be creamier ice creams and more perfect sorbets out there, but combining such an experience with Cool Moon's friendly service, bright decor, and unique flavors will be almost impossible to accomplish.

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