Best Ice Cream - 2000
Joe's Ice Cream
Mutsuhiko Murashige has mastered all the standards of the all-American treat while adding a few improvements of his own. At Joe's, one can indulge in a green tea sundae or two scoops of adzuki bean ice cream. Murashige immigrated to San Francisco from Japan and bought the little Richmond District ice cream parlor that had been selling cones since World War II. He didn't change the name because Joe's was easy for customers to remember and pronounce. But Murashige did challenge their taste buds, offering 50 very distinct and different homemade flavors. In a small glass booth, Murashige churns the ice cream himself. His teenage son helps out as the soda jerk, while his wife tends the grill, serving up daily specials from meatloaf to a curry chicken rice bowl. Murashige offers the very newest in fusion flavors and some of the oldest. His ice cream parlor is like a museum where you can not only touch, but eat, the displays. Long-forgotten but classic flavors, like rum raisin, butter brickle, and root beer swirl, are made fresh daily; the recipes were passed down by Joe's previous owners. Murashige also makes seasonal favorites, like pumpkin and mango ice cream. And as simple as it may sound, chocolate chip is highly recommended. Most important, the scoops are generous.