Mutual Friend – a neighborhood ice cream shop

How homemade ice cream relates to coffee

Raspberry rosé sorbet, roasted banana and peanut butter cups, Madagascar vanilla ice cream at Mutual Friend
  • Raspberry rosé sorbet, roasted banana and peanut butter cups, Madagascar vanilla ice cream at Mutual Friend

Golden Hill has an ice cream shop, and it’s making me realize the sort of family neighborhood it’s become. Mutual Friend Ice Cream opened next door to Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, and I’d call it a sister shop, but it’s really more of a brother shop; started by a younger brother of the guys behind the coffee.

Mutual Friend Ice Cream

811 25th St #100, Golden Hill

But that’s not what I mean about it being a family neighborhood. From the moment I walked into the small counter shop, I saw young parents rolling through, babies strapped into carriers, toddlers spooning chocolate smudges onto their faces, and teenagers getting out of the house for an afternoon cone.

Ice cream makes making friends easy.

Ice cream makes making friends easy.

I’d actually shown up to Dark Horse to grab a cold brew, but through a set of glass double doors that connect the two shops, I spotted a pink, neon sign reading, “Friends and ice cream.” Coffee could wait.

It’s even better than I’d hoped. Mutual Friend joins the recent trend of made-on-premise ice cream shops that have cropped up in San Diego the past couple years, meaning each of the 11 flavors written on a daily chalkboard menu were smoothly soft including several vegan sorbets. I know, because the place is mutually friendly about offering samples: you may try strawberries and cream, mint chocolate chip made with fresh mint, and coconut spiced chai sorbet before you buy.

Still, rather than choose a $4.25 single scoop or a $6.25 double, I went with a $7.50 flight of four small scoops, the first three being Madagascar vanilla bean, Dark Horse coffee (flavored with a hefty dose of coffee beans from next door), and a raspberry rosé sorbet actually made with rosé (most of the alcohol burns off in production).

The fourth flavor is what really got me, though. I would never expect banana anything to be my favorite offering anywhere, but the roasted banana ice cream with chunks of peanut butter cups might be the ice cream flavor combination I’ve been missing all my life. If it’s not available next time I visit, I’ll be disappointed. For $9, you can take home a pint.

Mutual Friend brings an unexpected benefit. Open til nine o’clock and ten on weekends, the place serves coffee after 6 pm, when Dark Horse closes. A couple scoops of ice cream and a hot coffee isn’t how the neighborhood kids are going to do it, but roasted banana and roasted Guatemala sounds like a winning Saturday night to me.

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