Finding Delicious Gelato in AZ

It would have been so easy to title this entry inappropriately. But that wouldn’t be right for this delightfully family-friendly, 70’s retro gelato shop in amazingly quirky and wonderful Bisbee, AZ. 

We visited Pussycat Gelato in the second month they were open, so be sure to call before assuming any of this is still accurate. But whatever the deal is there, you’ll want to go! 

Covered in female-centric pop culture and playing retro cartoons, Pussycat Gelato is a delightful place for coffee, Happy Hour and of course gelato or sorbet. We visited during the monthly Friday arts night when local downtown businesses stay open late for shoppers. Their presentation was wonderful. Even when customers came in behind us, they insisted we try as many flavors as we liked and happily made recommendations. They also had an “experimental” flavor we could try and give feedback on. 

Best of all? As we finished our gelato, they came back with samples of new flavors and asked for our feedback. They repeated this multiple times once it was clear we gave good feedback. It was so much fun and it made it clear to us that they will go far as a business because they solicit feedback and keep working to improve. 

The business fits perfectly in quirky, hip Bisbee, AZ. They told us they were hoping to open another location in Phoenix in the future based on the feedback they were getting, and according to their website, they’ve opened a Scottsdale, AZ location since our visit. 

The wife of the ice cream maker mentioned the fun combination of an older retro style parlor with the new quality gelato. It really is a great combination. 

Prices weren’t cheap, but given the amazing service we would happily pay more. And consider getting a cannoli with ice cream – such a unique option. 

This was not your average visit. Although I prefer the creaminess of ice cream over gelato, I enjoyed the experience and the tastes I got here. Be sure to check them out if you’re in town.

The flavors:

Strawberry Cheesecake – We both got this. It’s a very prominent cheese flavor with tasty, if not fresh, strawberries. The strawberries plus cheese makes this reminiscent of the traditional dessert, minus the crust.

Chocolate-Covered Cherries – A vanilla-based ice cream that’s full of flavor and really lovely. The high-quality chocolate melts in your mouth, and the cherry and chocolate aren’t sweet which is great. 

Star Anise – Ross calls this one perfect for after curry. We love the kick afterwards and the delicate flavor here. 

Mexican Coffee – Very bitter, as you’d expect with coffee. Ross’ type of flavor. It adds a bitterness to the chocolate base, and thechocolate-covered expresso beans are a plus.  

Irish Cream – Very creamy but very light. Bailey’s can be intense, but this is balanced really well, not overpowering. It’s finished with a smoky whiskey flavor that pairs well with Mexican coffee. It’s really the perfect strength and balance. 

A cookie came with our dishes – it’s very good, thin, fluffy and breaks easily, like a plain cone but more wafer-like. Imagine a nutter butter. It’s sweet and fun to eat and a nice alternative to a cone. 

Taste Test Results:

His old version of pistachio was very good, sweeter and more like pistachio ice cream than I expected. 

The new version was excellent – much more like the nut, with an earthiness to it. 

The old caramel was very salty and interesting. The new one has fantastic chunks and is much more well-rounded and balanced. 

We tried plenty of other flavors too, so don’t be afraid to ask. Thanks to Pussycat Gelato for a fantastic evening!

p.s. Thanks for supporting the blog by doing your usual online shopping via my Amazon affiliate link!

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream – Ever!

Some of you may know that I’m currently on an elimination diet (the Auto-Immune Protocol) to heal my health challenges through diet and lifestyle changes. One of the things I had to cut out of my diet completely is dairy. (The horror, right?!) Unfortunately I’ve realized that I cannot have dairy daily without feeling some of its effects. BUT thankfully, having a treat on occasion is still working well for me, so don’t worry, faithful readers – there is more ice cream in my future. 

After spending months religiously avoiding dairy, I began traveling the country with my husband in an RV. When we found ourselves in Minneapolis for a couple of days, I knew the time had come to have some real ice cream. After all, the city is known for some great restaurants, and it’s the Midwest – I had a feeling they knew how to do ice cream here.

Of course I love to compare different ice cream places, but since I needed to watch my sugar intake and since I wasn’t sure how dairy would affect my body, I limited myself to one: Pumphouse Creamery.  

I chose it because of this – coconut milk ice cream. I can tolerate coconut milk, and amazingly they make it without any of the preservatives (like guar gum) that is standard in commercial ice cream. Basically, that meant they had some options that would be guilt-free for me – 100% on my diet! I decided that as long as I avoided gluten (my number one intolerance so far), I could indulge in their five scoop sampler.

The sampler is extremely reasonably priced. The scoops are small, but for $4.50 you to experience an indulgent variety of flavors. My husband Ross went with a double scoop, which is a little pricey at $5.10, and it seemed fair in comparison since he had more ice cream than I did. They will let you get two flavors at any size which is awesome!Here’s what we thought:

Pumphouse Creamery offers a trio of cinnamon ice creams! A very unique idea and since they were all gluten-free, I tried them all. It was fun to compare them.

Sri Lankan Cinnamon – It has a touch of almost heat. Subtle and it’s creamy too. Delicious. 

Vietnamese Cinnamon- A very fun kick to it! I really liked it. Ross thought it tasted like fall. 

Indonesian Cinnamon – Very mild, subtle and creamy like the first. Strong initially, and a pleasant light taste lingering after; it was reminiscent of Cinnamon Toast Crunch to Ross. 

Mint and Cookies – coconut milk, gluten-free – This is such a light mint! It’s strong and yet light, a real melt in your mouth ice cream. It’s like the inside of a York peppermint patty that fills your mouth – and yet it’s light and airy. So nice – particularly as I’d been craving something like cookies and cream and finding that as a gluten-free option is really tough. 

Chocolate – coconut milk – This chocolate is heavenly. Hence the title of this post. This is legitimately my favorite chocolate ice cream ever. It’s like brownie batter! It’s rich, and has a touch of a fudge feel and yet it still melts in your mouth. Amazing. I never would have guessed it was coconut milk and I certainly never would have anticipated that a coconut milk chocolate ice cream would be better than all of the other chocolate ice creams I have had. Isn’t life full of surprises? After all, if I wasn’t cutting out dairy, I would probably have never discovered this flavor!

Buttermilk Lemon Bar – Ross had to evaluate this one. I confess I took a couple of bites of buttermilk but sadly had to avoid the lemon bar chunks due to gluten. Ross found the base delightful and the perfect amount of sweetness – it’s just a bit sweet. Ross said that the lemon bars accentuate the sourness of the buttermilk. Pretty fun! 

Buckwheat Honey – Ross says it’s excellent. “Almost crumbly like a muffin”. It’s thick and reminiscent of cake batter – not too sweet and with buttery chunks. Honestly it’s a dramatically unique flavor I’m glad I got to try. The swirls of honey are fabulous and the rest is more savory. (As you’ll see in the photo, they first thought Ross wanted a sampler too…which meant more ice cream for us!)

We were so enamored with the chocolate ice cream that we had to find out if we could get some to take with us. They had pints and quarts. $11 for the quart seemed fair, but I think we would have paid anything. It was just that good. We couldn’t have made a better choice for my first ice cream after a long time away. If you’re ever in Minneapolis, this place is an absolute must. The owner and staff are super-nice too. It’s a small location with only a couple of places to sit, so be prepared to stand or walk outside if it’s nice (or come at a weird time of day like we did). But whatever you do, check it out – and bring a cooler! p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping via my affiliate link