|©2011, Monika Roe|
Last weekend I met up with some friends from my college days. It's a truly wonderful and mysterious thing when you can see a friend for the first time in years and it's as if no time has passed at all!
We met in Santa Cruz and walked downtown to Cafe Limelight for lunch. My man had been after Billy's Chicken Gumbo for eons so he was beyond happy to find out they still had some. Apparently it's so delicious they run out quickly! Kelvin couldn't resist the gumbo either. Sean and I split 2 paninis, we ordered the cheddar, onion and cumin and the brie, pepper and butter. Both were heavenly but the cheddar, onion and cumin was the one whose memory stayed with me! Something about the deep spicy cumin took that sandwich to a whole other level. We were finishing up our feast of legendary paninis and savory soup when it started to rain.
You know what happens when it rains in Santa Cruz right? Oh yeah! That means it's ice cream time! The guys had read my blog about the Penny Ice Creamery's Candy Cap Mushroom ice cream and were dying to try it. Unfortunately for them the mushroom ice cream had been so popular it was sold out! But the Penny never disappoints, in it's place was People's Porter.
The People's Porter ice cream is made with People's Porter organic beer from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing. This beer is made with coffee that was shade grown on the steep hillsides of Guatemala (no wonder I love it!). It gives the ice cream a nice, toasty richness. When you taste it you can definitely taste the beer, but it's a subtle elegant taste that works with the sweetness of the ice cream. You just want more of it!
Also in our sights was Sean's scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream. You know, you think you know vanilla ice cream, but then the Penny makes it and suddenly you're tasting the exotic vanilla bean and wearing an orchid behind your ear. It transports you to another place. The only thing that can bring you back from lush-tropical-vanilla-land is the fresh doughnut holes plunked down on the table. They call you back to focus on their sugar dusted lightness. Did I mention the Penny serves up warm doughnuts with ice cream? Maybe I shouldn't have. Maybe that's too over the top. But come on! I don't see these guys every day!
So there we were. It was just like our days in college but instead of being huddled around a beer keg with our plastic cups, we were huddled around our tiny table eating beer ice cream out of porcelain bowls and loving every last bite! How wonderful!