Who needs to scream for ice cream? We're lucky to have some of the region's best frozen treats — from root beer floats to gourmet popsicles and paletas — cooling off the county.
We've found some newcomers to the scene and defrosted some old favorites for your summer scooping.
Shave Ice at Ono'z: If you've ever eaten fresh snow, you'll understand why Hawaiians don't appreciate their shave ice being compared to snow cones (which are more like icy slush). Grinding ice into powdery snowballs, Ono'z owner and native islander Jocelyn Nelson does an authentic version with guava or mango syrup. She dolls them up with a scoop of vanilla, passion fruit or coconut-pineapple ice cream and, for purists only, an additional dollop of sweet azuki beans.
She'll also whip up halo-halo for devotees, a Filipino cooler made with evaporated milk, shave ice, ice cream, jackfruit, beans, taro and, well, a host of other tasty tidbits you'll have to have her explain. During lunch hours, they also serve loco moco and Hawaiian barbecue plates. Open 10 am to 5 pm Monday, Wed-Sun. 16218 main St., Guerneville, 604-7150.
Cinnamon Tortilla, Maple Bacon Ice Cream at Frozen Art: The Alcazar family is legendary in making Michoacana-style ice creams. Since opening in 2011 (originally as La Real Michoacana), their lineup of 40-plus flavors has continued to expand and now includes maple bacon, cinnamon tortilla, lemon olive-oil and zinfandel chocolate chip. What's here today, however, may be all scooped up by tomorrow.
But don't worry, Jorge and his dad have plenty more flavors yet to conquer, including Gansito (a Twinkie-like cake popular in Mexico) and champagne.
What's in a name? Like many other local neverias owners, the Alcazars hail from Tocumbo, Mexico's ice-cream-making capital, and sometimes competition among countrymen (and even relatives) can get intense. A recent flap among local businesses calling themselves "Michoacana" ended up in name changes for all but the Sonoma neverias.
The Alcazars' ice cream, however, knows no borders. The family is now making customized flavors for Ono'z and Karla's Ice Cream (27 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg) and do production for Real Cool Frozen Treats. 500 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa.
Also worth a try: Fru-ta (2770 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa, 542-6026); La Michoacano (18495 Highway 12, Sonoma) or Colores (443 Dutton Ave., Santa Rosa, 526-6661).
Gourmet Fruit Pops at Real Cool Frozen Treats: Don't call these popsicles. Chef Maria DeCorpo's frozen ice pops are made with seasonal produce and organic ingredients.
A regular at the Wednesday Downtown Market in Santa Rosa, her ice-cream cart is stocked with flavors like apricot-almond, melon-mint, lemon and key lime, strawberry and Mexican chocolate. Also at the Rohnert Park Farmers' Market on Fridays. facebook.com/realcoolfrozentreats for details on locations and new flavors.
Chinese Five-Spice Salted-Caramel Ice-Cream Sandwiches at Flour Girl: Healdsburg's Shannon Moore hits all the right buttons with this exotic frozen treat. Sweet, salty, spicy and totally cool. She makes each batch from scratch, restocking weekly at The Cheese Shop (423 Center St., Healdsburg, 433-4998).
Beer Floats: Root beer makes a good ice-cream float. Beer makes an excellent ice cream float. The mix of sweet, bitter, hoppy and fizzy is some serious grown-up fun in a glass.
Coconut Porter Ice Cream Float at Sprenger's Tap Room (446 B St. Santa Rosa, 544-8277); Moonlight Float at Flavor Bistro with Death and Taxes black lager (96 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, 573-9600); Imperial Stout ice cream float at Lagunitas Brewing Company Taproom (1280 North McDowell Ave., Petaluma, 778-8776).
California pot: Smoke it (or eat it) if you can get it
OAKLAND — It wasn’t exactly reefer madness Monday as California launched the first legal sales of recreational marijuana, but those who could find the drug celebrated the historic day, lining up early for ribbon cuttings, freebies and offerings ranging from cookies to gummy bears to weed with names like heaven mountain.
Jeff Deakin, 66, his wife Mary and their dog waited in the cold all night to be first in a line of 100 people when Harborside dispensary, a longtime medical pot shop in Oakland, opened at 6 a.m. and offered early customers joints for a penny and free T-shirts that read “Flower to the People — Cannabis for All.”
“It’s been so long since others and myself could walk into a place where you could feel safe and secure and be able to get something that was good without having to go to the back alley,” Deakin said. “This is kind of a big deal for everybody.”
Harborside founder Steve DeAngelo used a giant pair of scissors to cut a green ribbon, declaring, “With these scissors I dub thee free,” before ringing up the first customer at a cash register.
Sales were brisk in the shops lucky to score one of the roughly 100 state licenses issued so far, but customers in some of the state’s largest cities were out of luck. Los Angeles and San Francisco hadn’t authorized shops in time to get state licenses and other cities, such as Riverside and Fresno, blocked sales altogether.
Licensed shops are concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, around Palm Springs, San Jose and Santa Cruz, where the KindPeoples shop tacked up a banner Monday declaring, “Prohibition is Over!”
The state banned what it called “loco-weed” in 1913, though it has eased criminal penalties for use of the drug since the 1970s and was the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in 1996.
California voters in 2016 made it legal for adults 21 and older to grow, possess and use limited quantities of marijuana, but it wasn’t legal to sell it for recreational purposes until Monday.
The nation’s most populous state now joins a growing list of states, and the nation’s capital, where so-called recreational marijuana is permitted even though the federal government continues to classify pot as a controlled substance, like heroin and LSD.
The signs that California was tripping toward legal pot sales were evident well before the stroke of midnight. California highways flashed signs before New Year’s Eve that said “Drive high, Get a DUI,” reflecting law enforcement concerns about stoned drivers. Weedmaps, the phone app that allows customers to rate shops, delivery services and shows their locations, ran a full-page ad Sunday in the Los Angeles Times that said, “Smile California. It’s Legal.”
Travis Lund, 34, said he’d been looking forward while working the graveyard shift to buy weed legally for the first time since he began smoking pot as a teen.
“I’m just stoked that it’s finally legal,” he said after purchasing an eighth of an ounce of “Mount Zion” and another type of loose leaf marijuana at Northstar Holistic Collective in Sacramento, where the fragrance of pot was strong. “I’m going to go home and get high — and enjoy it.”
Find more in-depth cannabis news, culture and politics at EmeraldReport.com, authoritative marijuana coverage from the PD.