Ghirardelli: Old style Ice Cream Parlour fit for Mad Men
In the trendy Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego is an old-style ice cream parlour and chocolate shop, Ghirardelli. I love their chocolate and since we were eating dinner across the street, I spent the entire dinner staring across the street at the long queue of customers leading into the shop. I know this is run-of-the-mill, regular chain store ice cream and won’t compare to the small batch, gourmet ice cream like Salt and Straw and Ernest’s ice cream, but I had a craving nonetheless.
We crossed the street after dinner and found that the line up was only a few minutes long. It was fast service. They screwed up my order, but were gracious about fixing it and we were soon seated with our double scoop of strawberry and cookies and cream ice cream with peanut butter topping all in a waffle bowl. I was actually very full from dinner but I cannot say no to dessert.
The ice cream was delicious, creamy and sweet, the flavours weren’t anything special but it was the ambiance that I loved: the tiled floors, wooden beams and servers dressed in retro uniforms, I felt like it was in season one of Mad Men.
The ice cream parlour fit right in with the old world charm of the Gaslamp Quarter, a historic neighbourhood in San Diego developing into hipster-ville with trendy restaurants and boutique clothing stores. There seemed to be more restaurants than retail shops though, and in order to compete with each other, the restaurants do what they do on Brick Lane in London, England: an aggressive restaurant hostess stands on the sidewalk outside of the restaurant and approaches customers to visit the restaurant for dinner. It was amusing at first, but later on, just got irritating, and it really clashed with the whole laid-back tone of the rest of the city.
However, as an added bonus, you can get free wifi in the Gaslamp Quarter. Literally, while you’re in the district, you can pick up free wifi for 2 hours as a trial. Or, do what we did, and loiter outside the Pinkberry and mooch off their wifi, it’s even stronger than Starbucks wifi. How do you think I wrote this blog post. Just kidding! Or am I?