Price per scoop: $2.50
Most popular flavor: Affogato (a shot of espresso poured over gelato)
The person in front of me: Tourists in khaki pants and polo shirts
Best for: Showing off Portland to your visiting country relatives
Don't be fooled by this face. Spella Cafe is a treat.
Perhaps not the most discerning when it comes to ice cream in general, all gelato is delicious to me. My friend Rob, however, was born a grumpy old man. Not even the prospect of gelato at the universally beloved Spella Caffe puts him in a forgiving mood. Hoping he'd provide new perspective, I invited him along for today's blog post.
Out of its tiny shop on Southwest 5th Ave., Spella serves three flavors made by, confusingly enough, Eugene-based Stella Gelato. It's super small batch, made from scratch (a surprising rarity in the gelato world, where even places claiming "house made" often begin with a commercial base), and this is basically the only place in Portland you can sample it.
We ordered an intense mango sorbet and the smooth and creamy stracciatella (leaving the hazelnut for another time). I thought the mango packed a concentrated punch of flavor. Rob thought it was a strange color, something along the lines of "too orange."
To me, Spella is an Italian daydream. The baristas are friendly, the decor is European and the gelato comes in adorable little espresso glasses. And even though the shop doesn't have indoor seating, I found the bright red outdoor bistro sets charming. To which Rob said, "What if it rains? This is Portland, after all."
More Scoops' out for Summer
Day 2: Oregon Ice Works
Day 1: What's the Scoop?