Last week, we dipped into a Nicollet pot hole and brought out a spoonful of chocolate ice cream with fudge, truffles and sea salt with pieces of toffee. Where did we hit this delicious ditch, you ask? Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream on Franklin Avenue, serving iced goodness since 1984 to the TC. What happened next did even more extensive damage to our “undercarriage.” We packed in some Pavarotti, a banana ice cream loaded with chocolate chips and caramel, and Spumoni, a rich, lemony almond ice cream dotted with apricots and slivered almonds. Did we mention almost all their ice cream is Kosher? And fat free?! Okay, not totally true. Kosher, yes, but the ice cream is full of fat…delicious, creamy, dairy fat (which is supposed to be good for you, by the way).
So, how did three Italian brothers start making Kosher ice cream? “We saw it as a good thing to do,” said Greg Hefferan, the Production Facilities Manager at Sebastian Joe’s who has worked on and off with the company for years. “We learned that being certified Kosher is more about good, clean process, and realized that we could produce food in a better manner and be able to serve the Jewish community.”
The business got its Kosher certification in 2009. Rabbi Avi Olitzky of Beth El Synagogue through MSP Kosher worked with Sebastian Joe’s to ensure the processes were correct. The facility uses strict separation of Kosher and non-Kosher ingredients and produces about 97 percent Kosher ice cream. You’ll find Sebastian Joe’s served at events in local synagogues and the Minneapolis Park District’s ice cream socials. You can also visit either of Sebastian Joe’s locations on Franklin Avenue in Uptown or on 43rd and Upton in Linden Hills. Both locations serve premium, small-batch ice cream that offer classic flavors, such as chocolate malt and modern taste combinations (think strawberry basil).
When you go, we recommend starting with one of the most popular flavors, which are (according to our scooper) Oreo or raspberry chocolate chip. The shop also offers feature flavors; we tried the crème fraiche and dulce du leche. Both were insanely good, the creme de la cream. Greg mentioned they are experimenting with some new flavors, so be on the lookout for an avocado ice cream, a seasonal eggnog, and a pumpkin salted caramel. You can also put in an order for a pint of apple crisp for your Rosh Hashanah Celebrations. But of course, there’s no holiday necessary to enjoy a scoop, a malt or an ice cream cake…even if it’s not fat free. Fress on!