The Next Liquid Nitro-generation

N you just have to wonder how she comes up with these. =) There better be seven chemists out there who can back me up on this joke. Bueller?

I first saw ice cream being made as part of a science experiment: put all the ingredients together in a bag and shake so vigorously that the only thing that can cool you down is that creamy concoction in the Ziploc. Now, it’s evolved into, well, another science experiment, a la liquid nitrogen that instantly freezes the mixture into ice cream.

No longer is it the stuff Terminator dream are made of, but how we satisfy our sweet-tooth on a hot summer day. A trend that began in Korea has now reached our coasts and San Diego has two new places where we can play with our food and eat it, too.

Today, we’ll be comparing Creamistry and Bing Haus.

Creamistry

This California chain has grown to 30 locations in Arizona, Texas, and even India, with 12 more on the horizon, including one in Saudi Arabia. Pst, San Diego peeps, San Marcos and Carmel Valley will be getting their own soon enough.

I love the sterile, lab-like look and although the options are overwhelming, the instructions are simple: 1) pick a size and base 2) choose a flavor, 3) select toppings and upgrades, and 4) the staff instantly blasts everything with liquid nitrogen. I love how exact they try to be with their scales as I’m a fan of consistency.

They offer non-dairy, vegan, and gluten-free options for those who are conscious, with 31 flavors to boot (Coincidence? Probably…).

The Clairemont Mesa grand opening was on Thursday, July 28, 2016, so Cleveland, JP, and I thought we were being clever going in the middle of the day. Incorrect. The whole process from waiting in line to receiving your order took about 20 minutes, and although it was a little sweet, the creaminess and flavors were still on point.

Cleveland got the pistachio while JP got the Elemint, and I had the Cap’n Crunch on a waffle cone, which was proudly dubbed Game of Cones, and got a ton of hits on Instagram. =)

On another visit, a hat tip to Chavez for suggesting the green tea Kit Kat combo that very closely resembles the Japanese candy bar. He got the affogato which wasn’t bad and Ajay’s Fruity Pebbles was decent, but more nostalgic than delicious.

Overall, I’d recommend it, and have gone back several times, BUT take heed of the following tips:

  • Try all the bases with the same flavor so you can know the subtle differences.
  • The Creatiions are huge, so share if you know what’s good for you.
  • There IS a difference between mixing in the toppings and adding them after. Mixing slightly freezes them, so I don’t recommend that for the harder ones like nuts.
  • If you’ve come from dinner, a single is good enough to share, honestly, but if it’s a mid-day snack, eat what you want.
  • Yelp gives you 10% off your order once, but after that, every receipt is good for the same deal within a week of purchase.

Bing Haus

Their soft opening menu is quite tiny: four ice cream flavors, seven coffee options, and six tea ones. We’ll have to see how they expand for the grand opening day. With their fun designs and sayings on the ground, you can catch folks taking photos of their food on the ground. Yes, it is so spiffy, you can practically eat off it.

JP and I went after a whole day of celebrating his birthday, and although we were full, we each got one, green tea (mochi and strawberries on top) and he got the strawberry (cheesecake, circus animal cookies, and whipped cream on top), with the clear winner being the latter. We’re both picky when it comes to green tea-flavored foodstuffs. The ice cream was also too frozen to eat right away, which was bothersome, but waiting a bit was all it took.

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This is my only visit, but it was subpar as it was a 45-minute wait, partly due to the trendiness and newness on a Friday night, but really, because they only have two ice cream stations where you pour their mixture onto an extra-cold surface. Luckily, we ran into some of my college friends, so we passed the waiting time playing cards.

The Verdict

To be fair, I’ll need to try Bing Haus again, but I think I already know my answer. Bing  Haus may have better, more interactive decor with a lot more seating, but those are only distractions for their inefficiency. Creamistry with its streamlined process, many flavors, and great taste, it’s clear the winner of this competition.

 

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3 thoughts on “The Next Liquid Nitro-generation

  1. Nice comparison. I’ve tried a rolled ice cream place in San Jose. Pretty good, but I gotta remember to not go on a weekend due to the wait. I’ll be visiting the Palo Alto Creamistry location today. I like how that waffle bowl looks like something out of Game of Thrones. 😅

    • Thanks for the comment, and yay for Game of Cones! Though tasty, it’s pretty expensive ice cream, in general. A cup with extras once cost me almost $10. Ouch.

      Which places do you recommend in San Jose? I’ll try them when I go to visit family!

      • Creamistry was amazing! Definitely like that better than rolled ice cream. SF has better spots in my opinion (Mitchell’s, Bi-Rite, and Humphrey Slocombe). The places I’ve tried in SJ are Milk & Wood, Treatbot, and Snowflake. Icicles and Marco Polo are pretty popular too from what I’ve heard.

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