Humphry Slocombe Challenges Ice Cream Conventions

123020081646.jpgNotes and Photos by Tamara Palmer

This week marks the anticipated opening of Humphry Slocombe, an ice cream parlor featuring inventive flavors from owner/chef Jake Godby, who has worked as a pastry chef for more than 15 years for fine restaurants like Fifth Floor, Boulevard and Coi. The name comes from Mr Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe, two colorful characters from the classic Britcom Are You Being Served? and is a perfect odd moniker to go with these leftfield flavors.

Inaugural ice cream offerings include the pleasantly sweet Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee, a rich Balsamic caramel, the yin-yang of Guinness gingerbread and, in a nod to Fifties housewives everywhere, Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with caramelized Corn Flakes). After trying everything, I ultimately chose the Thai chili lime sorbet (which warms without shocking with spice) with some super-smooth coconut sherbet, a soothing after-lunch choice.

123020081655.jpgThe Web site lists many other flavor possibilities to come, and I also heard a rumble about sandwiches made with ginger snaps and -- brace yourselves -- foie gras ice cream.

For today (if not the rest of the week), the shop is still operating on a "pay what you like" basis as it gets its footing. For now, there are only double-scoop "singles" in cups (normally $3.25), with pints and cones to come later. Sundaes ($6) are not yet available, but will have names like Hot Mess (vanilla ice cream, butterscotch, bananas, marshmallow fluff) and Gabba Gabba Hey (Balsamic caramel ice cream, brownie, amarena cherries, whipped cream).

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Both Godby and operations manager Sean Vahey are very camera shy. But Godby did let me capture his ink in order to show you another level of his dedication to ice cream.

123020081658.jpgHumphry Slocombe is located at 2790A Harrison Street (at 24th St) and is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

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