When San Franciscans want ice cream, there's a good chance they'll all scream for Mitchell's. And the mobs of people who always spill out the door show that there's a lot of screaming going on. I, too, am in love with Mitchell's. But I was recently reminded that my heart still holds a special place for my first ice cream crush, Polly Ann's.
Polly Ann Ice Cream was my little brother's hang out with his naughty junior high friends. I'm not sure how "bad" an ice cream joint can get, but I'm sure they were as naughty as junior high schoolers with waffle cones could be. When we lived in the Sunset, this was our spot for dairy dessert. They have cute doggie cones and a ton of interesting flavors like taro and durian; and their green tea is the best!
I went back recently for the first time in years. They remodeled and moved halfway down the block to Noriega and 39th, but it still held the old quaintness. Plus, they kept their best feature: THE WHEEL.
If you're not sure which of the 48 flavors you want to pick, you can let the wheel do the picking for you. There are even a few spots that promise the possibility of a free cone! It's daring. It's exciting. It's the wheel.
In all of my numerous past visits, I never, ever spun the wheel. Back in the day, I wasn't a risk taker. I liked to play it safe with my usual green tea choice. Or at times when I wanted to be different, I'd get something that included chocolate. However, I wasn't wanting or willing to chance the unknown. But this time was different. I was older and more experienced. I didn't mind challenging myself with something exotically fascinating. I was finally ready.
I looked the ice cream boy in the eye and commanded, "Spin the wheel."
As it danced round and round, my heart raced. Would I get a free cone? Would I land on something potentially dangerous? Ooh... it slowed and finally stopped on American Beauty. The flavor was basically rose petals. Ew.
I hate the taste of flowers in my mouth! What had I done??? I knew it was risky, but I didn't realize just how risky it really was. What if I gag? What if I'm allergic to eating roses? Why me? Why?!??!???
And then I was told I could pick a flavor on either side if I preferred.
I didn't feel like banana walnut, so I opted for pineapple sherbert. Yum! I love Polly Ann's! If you go, give the wheel a spin. I dare you.