Monday, November 26, 2018

Quick Bite: Mutual Friend

A friendly name for a friendly place.
It's always fun when I just stumble on a place I've researched and I get to go, "Ohhh, so that's where that is." Today I was stopping off for gas when across the street I noticed Mutual Friend, a newly-opened ice cream shop in Golden Hill, beckoning me with promises of sweet treats. I got the gas pumping and made my way over.

I sampled the Grandpa Badger's Citrus—in part because of the hilariously old-timey name. It's a zesty mix of lemon, lime and orange with a pleasant brightness. For me, though, it leaned a bit too far into orange territory, particularly in the aftertaste. Texturally, at least, all the ice cream I tried was rich and creamy—just the way it's meant to be.

I settled on two other flavors. The Roasted Banana Peanut Butter Cup was very much what it sounded like: It had a very sweet, fruity flavor almost like a one-ingredient frozen banana "ice cream". The peanut butter cup mix-in was a bit on the stingy side, authentically nutty without much in the way of chocolate.

The Happy Camper was definitely the best of the three I tried (and it's seasonal, so get it while it lasts). Essentially, it's "bourbon and s'mores" flavor. They mixed a nice milk chocolate ice cream with a generous helping of bourbon, and the result is sweet, boozy and tremendously good. The only issue, again, is that the mix-in was lacking; I only got a couple of cinnamony graham cracker bits.

For both of these flavors, in fact, a bit more mix-in would have really added some crunch and cut through the sameness of taste and texture. As it is, though, I appreciate Mutual Friend's willingness to experiment with some slightly unusual flavors without trying to completely reinvent the form. It seems they're going for a classic, friendly small-town vibe updated with a touch of modern style, and overall I'd say they've hit the mark.

Score: 7 out of 10 (Very Good)

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