Review: Burlingame’s holiday ice cream

Salt and Straw was the most pricey of all the stores, but the quality and flavor of ice cream were worth the extra dollar.
Salt and Straw was the most pricey of all the stores, but the quality and flavor of ice cream were worth the extra dollar.
Evelyn Du
Gingerbread Cookie Dough (right) was not only a customer favorite but also recommended by the server.
Salt and Straw Review

Salt and Straw, a staple of the Burlingame shopping district since it opened in October 2018, is well known for its eccentric and themed flavors — and the local chain didn’t disappoint this holiday season.

The first ice cream we tried was “Toasted White Chocolate with Peppermint Almonds,” and it did not hold back on the holiday flavors. One aspect of the flavor that stood out was the strong peppermint, which added to the holiday feel. Lastly, the almonds in the ice cream added a nice crunch to every bite. Our average rating for this flavor was 4/5.  

Not only was the “Gingerbread Cookie Dough” recommended by a Salt and Straw employee, but it also scored the highest out of all the ice cream flavors we tried. Our rating for this ice cream was 4.7/5, while our ratings for the other flavors averaged 3/5. The ice cream was filled with gingerbread spice flavors. When we received the ice cream, we all noticed the potent smell of gingerbread, similar to the namesake cookies baking in the oven. The ice cream included real gingerbread cookie dough, adding a nice and smooth texture and consistency. The satisfying texture and abundance of flavors resulted in a rating close to perfection.

With superior ice cream and holiday flavors, Salt and Straw is the perfect place to stop by after school for a delicious scoop of one of their unique holiday flavors. Our overall review for Salt and Straw was 4.2/5.

Gingerbread Cookie Dough (right) was not only a customer favorite but also recommended by the server. (Evelyn Du)
Cafe Stellato not only specializes in gelato but is also known for their delicious sandwiches.
Caffe Stellato Review

We also reviewed Caffe Stellato, an Italian business new to Burlingame Avenue selling sandwiches, candy and most importantly, gelato. Scattered among Caffe Stellato’s year-round flavors were holiday-themed specials, including “Eggnog” and “Dark Chocolate Peppermint,” which we decided to review. 

True to its name, “Eggnog” has a creamy, vanilla base with a kick of festive nutmeg and cinnamon. As an unconventional flavor, it was odd but pleasant and reminiscent of gingerbread due to the combination of spices. We were happy to find that the ice cream hadn’t melted half an hour after purchasing it. Despite this, the ice cream was overly sweet and quickly became boring due to its monotonous texture and flavor. Our rating of this ice cream was 3.8/5 stars — solid but underwhelming.

Next, we tried “Dark Chocolate Peppermint,” which has a rich chocolate-peppermint flavor and dark chocolate chunks. Although the flavor was great, the texture disappointed us, as the frozen pieces of chocolate were unwelcome in the otherwise above-average ice cream. Unfortunately, the chunks were enough to drop our rating of it down to 2.3/5 stars.

With unique gelato flavors, Caffe Stellato is perfect if you’re looking for a quick, convenient treat, but couldn’t quite compete with Salt and Straw’s artisan flavors. On average, we rated Caffe Stellato’s holiday ice cream 3/5 stars. 

Cafe Stellato not only specializes in gelato but is also known for their delicious sandwiches. (Brendan Gilmore)
Baskin Robbin’s “Turkey” (left) was a Thanksgiving disaster.
Baskin Robbins Review

Located at the far end of Burlingame Avenue, Baskin Robbins only serves ice cream. Although the store is known for its wide selection of classic ice cream, it offers just two holiday flavors, “Turkey” and “Pink Peppermint.”

From the two Baskin Robbins ice creams, we opted to try “Turkey” first. “Turkey,” despite what its name suggests, is not bird-flavored. Instead, it is more of a Thanksgiving-themed ice cream — an ambitious mix of sweet potato, autumn spices, honey cornbread pieces and cranberry sauce. The cranberry swirls were strangely stretchy, while the rest of the ice cream had an unappealing consistency. All we could taste was an artificial sweetness, while the combination of sweet potato, cornbread and cranberries left an odd taste reminiscent of Thanksgiving leftovers.  This combination was by far the most disappointing and the worst flavor we tried yet, and we gave it a measly rating of 0.5/5 stars — we strongly do not recommend it.

After recovering from the Thanksgiving tragedy, we moved on to our final flavor of the day: “Pink Peppermint.” “Pink Peppermint” was a pleasant surprise, offering a refreshing minty flavor with hints of strawberry.  We enjoyed the creamy texture, balanced with small chunks of crunchy peppermint. However, while the flavors were on point, the ice cream itself was far too simple, and it became too sweet and repetitive after two spoonfuls. Though “Pink Peppermint” started strong, the flavors were not exciting enough to keep us craving more, and we gave it a rating of 3.5/5 stars. However, if you’re someone who enjoys the simpler flavors, we recommend “Pink Peppermint.”

Baskin Robbins’ limited choice of holiday ice cream flavors somehow managed to be both too basic and too ambitious, so we gave it an average score of just 2/5 stars. Although it was at the bottom of our holiday list, it’s worth trying out their other flavors, as their holiday menu doesn’t do their store justice.

Baskin Robbin’s “Turkey” (left) was a Thanksgiving disaster. (Evelyn Du)
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Brendan Gilmore, Staff Reporter
Brendan Gilmore is a sophomore at BHS and a first-year journalism student. He enjoys writing about relevant events and helping keep the community current on local happenings, leading him to journalism. This year, he plans to improve his writing and teamwork skills by working for the Burlingame B. Outside of school, he enjoys playing tennis, lifeguarding, boating, watersports, traveling, and hanging out with family and friends.
Emma Yu, Staff Reporter
Emma Yu is a freshman at Burlingame High School and a first year journalism student. She’s very excited to be part of The Burlingame B staff this year and learn about what it takes to become a journalist! Some hobbies that led her to journalism are writing stories, designing graphics, parliamentary debate, and impromptu speech. In her free time, Emma also enjoys painting, reading classics, gaming, and studying philosophy.
Evelyn Du, Staff Reporter
Evelyn Du is a sophomore at Burlingame High School and a first-year journalism student. She can’t wait to learn more about her community and contribute to the school newspaper. Outside of school, she enjoys playing tennis, hanging with friends, watching movies, and baking with her sister. Throughout the year, she hopes to improve her interpersonal skills while interviewing and is so excited to be apart of journalism.
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