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Eat Cheap! Monster Mashup: When you add cold ice cream to a warm doughnut, the sum of the parts is greater than the hole.
Hybrid treats currently loom large in our cultural imagination. When chef Dominique Ansel started slinging cronuts out of his Manhattan bakery, sugar addicts and trendsters went berserk. The dessert that launched a thousand BuzzFeed listicles was quickly followed by cruffins, scuffins, duffins, piecakens, brookies, cookie shots, pie milkshakes and more. All are tremendously tasty, I’m sure, but the madness around them seems to be as much about their viability as Instagram-worthy content as about their actual taste.
For the most part, I’d rather have an unfussy slice of cake than play dessert hunter and wait in long lines for frankenfoods. However, I find myself unable to stay away from the latest dessert mash-up: the doughnut ice cream sandwich. More specifically, it’s the doughnut ice cream sandwich at THE PARLOR ICE CREAM PUFFS that has me sweating.
This ice cream sandwich is a twist on the classic custard-filled doughnut. A hole-less glazed doughnut is sliced in half, stuffed with ice cream and an assortment of toppings, crimped around the edges using a waffle-ironlike press and served in a small paper bag. The magic is in the temperature clash between the warm, chewy doughnut and the cool, creamy ice cream. It’s essentially a dessert Hot Pocket.
The other star of The Parlor’s menu is The Works, a milkshake topped with a Nutella-stuffed doughnut, whipped cream and unlimited toppings. Also on offer is the Puffle, an ice cream sandwich made with a hot waffle instead of a doughnut. Boring people can enjoy a scoop of The Parlor’s whimsical ice creams in a cone or cup, but such a simple choice seems blasphemous in the face of the hot, gooey, glazed yeasted doughnuts sitting behind the counter.
In the past year, I’ve easily visited The Parlor two dozen times. I’ve taken friends, I’ve taken family, I’ve told all my co-workers. I’ve followed them on Instagram, then unfollowed because their feed made me too hungry, then followed again, ad nauseam. I’ve gone at noon to be one of the first to try The Parlor’s wildly popular collaboration with Elk Grove macaron guru Love & Macarons, and I’ve gone at 10:30 p.m. to grab a doughnut nightcap on my way home from work. I am a true Parlor devotee and evangelist.
So take it from someone who knows: The Parlor has got the hybrid dessert thing nailed. Say goodbye to your waistline and hello to your new favorite summer treat. 2620 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento; 1490 Eureka Road, Roseville; theparloricecream.com