I've been extremely fortunate to meet some of the greats in the restaurant hospitality industry and I will now add Jon at Salt + Straw in Portland to that list. Barb, Sarah, and I visited the location on Alberta Street and dare I say... it changed our lives.
Jon cheerfully greeted us and asked us if we would like to take a tour of the menu. That tour included sampling almost all (I think we counted that we missed two) of the flavors offered at Salt + Straw. We started with the limited edition Thanksgiving menu, which boasted amazing flavors like Apple Cranberry Stuffing, Mince Meat, Pumpkin Custard + Spiced Chevre, and my favorite - Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey.
I dubbed Jon the ice cream sommelier because he passionately broke down every flavor in detail, telling us exactly what notes we were about to taste and why it all worked together. We spent a solid hour mesmerized by Jon and the spoonfuls of ice cream he kept nonchalantly handing over to us. I think I was in love.
Those are the remnants of our tour. And every single spoon represents a truly delicious bite of ice cream. Not a single bum in the whole bunch. Not even close.
I'm not sure that any ice cream experience will ever match our tour through Salt + Straw. It really was a afternoon to be thankful for. My true regret is that I won't be back to taste their Christmas menu. I can only imagine how amazing that's going to be. So, my dear Oregonians, please make a trip to take a tasting tour for me and report back imediately. Tell John that I sent you.