If summer sends you in search of ice cream, there’s a new shop to cool your taste buds in Moscow.
Panhandle Cone & Coffee opened this spring in the heart of downtown. It features gourmet flavors in intriguing combinations. Some, like Wildflower Honey & Lavender, are easy to imagine. Others, like Sweet Basil & Pine Nut Praline or Buttermilk Huckleberry can only be fully grokked by eating.
The ice cream comes from Sandpoint, where the first Panhandle Cone & Coffee was established four years ago with an emphasis on local ingredients. In Moscow, selections and descriptions are displayed on rows of clipboards that hang behind the counter. Servers wearing “Bad to the Cone” black T-shirts will provide samples so you can decide how to best invest your scoop.
Orange Dark Chocolate Freckles, blood orange ice cream with Askinosie Chocolate flecks, is a favorite (Askinosie is a bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Springfield, Mo.). For the more traditional, “Just Plain” Chocolate comes with the explanation: “We use direct-trade, single origin cocoa and chocolate from Askinosie to create this timeless classic that is anything but plain.”
There are rotating seasonal flavors. The features earlier this month included Toasted Coconut & Marionberry Swirl, coconut flavored ice cream with toasted coconut and a swirl of Marionberry jam. There are also nondairy and vegan choices like Honey & Matcha, made with coconut cream; and Straw Lime Ocado, organic strawberry jam sorbet with key lime juice and avocado.
If choosing one is too difficult, there’s the option of a split scoop — a single scoop ($3.95) with half of one flavor and half of another. Get a double split scoop, and you can try four flavors without busting your belt buckle.
Maybe you’re wondering how Panhandle compares to Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe at Washington State University. In my opinion, Panhandle’s ice cream has a lighter texture, where Ferdinand’s revels in creamy and rich. While Ferdinand’s is rooted in traditional, indulgent flavors, Panhandle explores new culinary terrain, which can make for a fun adventure with friends.
Panhandle Cone & Coffee, 511 S. Main St., Moscow, (208) 265-8996.