Let’s take a journey to Portland, circa July 2019, shall we?
After learning that I could get gluten-free cookies and cream ice cream in Portland, a visit to Wiz Bang Bar was a must. The setup is kind of a fancy, high-end food court, with a variety of vendors so you can get dinner at one place, send your partner to another and meet up at another location or two for dessert. If you’re familiar with Salt & Straw, this is their whimsical soft serve experiment, and in my opinion, it’s better than the hard stuff.
During my visit, it was packed, but I was really excited anyway!
They offer several flavors of ice cream: right now they’re offering vanilla custard, chocolate fudge, roasted strawberry coconut (vegan) and candy cap & brandy brownie (vegan). During our visit, the menu was a bit different, but you can always expect a few sundaes or special cones, several flavors of a base with lots of toppings to mix in, a few cones, magic shell topping and more. It’s basically designed to be the best tasting fast food ice cream around. Playful and childlike, reminding you of the best of a Dairy Queen experience.
(Photos by Wiz Bang Bar, Salt & Straw)
Here’s what we tried:
Doughnut ice cream flavor – My husband got this and thought it was really good. It was soft serve in a waffle cone, and he thought it really nailed the flavor they were going for, with the tanginess of buttermilk. He had a very light cone and enjoyed it. (As mentioned, this flavor isn’t currently on the menu anymore.)
Cookies and cream concrete – This uses vegan and gluten-free chocolate cookies that are baked in their kitchen. Since everyone raves about their fake chocolate magic dust, I had them throw that on there too. It’s definitely a coconut-like base (which is odd, because it’s vanilla custard and not a vegan flavor), but it’s sweet and smooth and the cookies are perfect! It recreated perfectly the cookies and cream blizzard I’d been craving for years.
Next time I might try the chocolate with the cookies. Yum!
The magic dust was awkward on a concrete, as they warned me it would be, but it’s super tasty, so I definitely recommend it for other things where you can really dip like a traditional magic shell. It’s dark and chocolate and on the bittersweet side.
The portions here are very large, and I recommend grabbing dinner or walking the neighborhood first before grabbing tasty treat. If you want a touch of nostalgia or you’re just gluten-free and craving cookies and cream like I was, you won’t want to miss this!
Stay well, friends, and happy eating!
P.S. I just remembered that there are some fancy ice cream places that offer delivery! If we’re still holed up for my birthday, we’re definitely going to get some tasty pints. Jeni’s Collections for Social Distancing just might hit the spot!
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