July 2nd, 2012 | by JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG Food & Drink | Posted In: Scoops' Out For Summer

Scoops' out for Summer: Day 2

Oregon Ice Works

scoops out for summer logoILLUSTRATION: Casey Jarman
Day two of our month-long ice cream crawl, Scoops' out for Summer, and we're already switching to non-ice cream frozen confections. Just keeping you on your toes. Today, Jonathan Frochtzwajg visits a long-time WW favorite.

Oregon Ice Works
3221 SE Division St. (D-Street Noshery cart pod), 880-8229, oregonice.com.  

Price per scoop: $3
Most popular flavors: Marionberry and vanilla coconut 
The people in front of me: A twentysomething dude on a bike; a mom with her toddler; and a gay couple. It's Southeast Portland.
Best for: A cool treat on a summer's eve, paired with a brew from the neighboring Captured by Porches truck. 

Only a few years ago, it seems, you couldn't find a scoop of ice cream in Portland that hadn't been synthesized, shipped stupid distances and sold for corporate profit. (Full disclosure: In high school, I worked for a national ice-cream chain that shall remain unnamed. I still have a distaste for its 31 flavors.) In a town that likes to know its chicken had friends, this was weird. Today, the ice-cream market looks almost glutted, with concerns such as Salt and Straw and Ruby Jewel establishing fronts on either side of the Willamette in fierce competition over the sought-after zero-to-12 demographic. If they put even one of those 31-flavored fuckers out of business, I'll consider the battle won. 

The Oregon Ice Works cart

As the market for ice cream has grown, so have niches for its frozen-dessert cousins—including one from that most foreign-to-Portland of places: the East Coast. A born-and-bred Angeleno, I had never heard of Italian ice before visiting Oregon Ice Works, an “ice” (and soup and sandwiches) food cart in Southeast Portland's D-Street Noshery pod. You just don't see the sorbet-like dish much here on the Best Coast. Oregon Ice Works owner/nice guy Kevin Bell makes me wish that weren't so: he takes the sweet treat he fondly remembers enjoying as a kid in Philadelphia and gives it a Portlander's artisan swirl. Whodathunk, from a native son of the city that gave us the cheesesteak?

Marionberry sorbet

Bell dreams up cool flavor combos for the cart's several rotating menu options, from peach lavender to strawberry cardamom. One of the two permanent flavors, though, remains my favorite: marionberry. Made from locally grown berries, organic cane sugar, lemon juice and water, it's quite sweet—but not, as that ingredients list attests, artificially so. In fact, the cart's ices are delightfully natural; staining your tongue berry-red and getting seeds stuck in your teeth, they taste how summer feels. 

UPDATE: Kevin Bell tweets to tell is that his Oregon Ice Works cart is sadly for sale so he can move on to new adventures, but that it will still be open every day until he finds a buyer. So go! Now! 


More Scoops' out for Summer

Day 1: What's the Scoop?

Intro

 
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