There are so many bad things going on in the world that it is hard to list them all. Of course, the various wars around the globe are sobering news and one would think that being isolated in Phoenix would at least make those wars seem abstract.
After all, Phoenix wasnâ€™t a focal point of some war. Well, not war in the conventional sense.
Phoenix became a hotbed of warring factions in 2006 when our own Valley of the Sun experienced the brief, but harrowing, Great Gelato War. Luckily, casualties were light and the cease fire seems to have been holding strong for two years now, but it seems like yesterday that broken plastic spoons and shredded paper cups littered the battleground where the forces of Lombardiâ€™s, Arlecchinoâ€™s, Angel Sweet and a host of others gathered to duke it out.
The final results werenâ€™t pretty and you can find a taste of the propaganda and â€œshots across the bowâ€ at this link. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and the battles stopped, the smoke cleared and there was peace across the land.
I was expecting the cease fire to fall apart when I heard of a new place in Scottsdale serving frozen desserts and worried that this would be another gelato business adding its name to the growing list of other places. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that this place didnâ€™t serve gelato. It served ice cream and sorbet.
J. and I wandered into Sweet Republic near 92nd Street and Shea Boulevard in North Scottsdale and found a bright, clean and cheery ice cream parlor with a decent-sized selection of ice creams and sorbets along with other concoctions made from the same. What did surprise us, however, were some of the flavors.
There was the jarring Cheese Course Duo featuring ice cream made with gorgonzola and figs. J. tried a bit and found it worked as a flavor but was more on the savory side of things. I took a nibble of the Bananas Foster and was very pleased. We studied the various flavors and felt there was a great mix of traditional and radical flavors.
In the end, we decided to go just for one scoop each ($2.95 each) and share some bites. J. went with the Pear and Ginger Sorbet while I couldnâ€™t pass up the Mayan Chocolate Ice Cream.
Our server grabbed her scoop and two small cups and went to work sliding the scoop through the milky layers of ice cream goodness that would soon take the edge off of the Valley summer heat. When the scoops landed in the cups, they were flawless. Almost perfectly round and plentiful.
J.â€™s Pear Ginger Sorbet was luscious. The combination of tart pear and spicy ginger were perfectly married together and had everything you could want from a scoop of ice cream. I liked the fact that the heat of the ginger was subtle but the tartness of the pear was shining through. J. seems to thoroughly enjoy it and was still talking about the Cheese Course Duo tasting.
My Mayan Chocolate was thick, rich and had just the right amount of cinnamon to enhance the deep chocolate taste of the frozen treat. I was also pleased the chocolate was dense and slightly bitter. The flavor combination was outstanding and I was rather disappointed that I only had one scoop, but the richness of the chocolate created a satisfying serving.
We mulled over the prospects of having additional scoops, but decided to keep it on the simple side. We did, however, linger a few minutes and take in the various flavors listed on the pamphlet next to the cash register: Salted Butter Caramel and Fuzzy Navel and Honey Blue Cheese.
Our total expenditure for the two scoops of ice cream was $6.38. We thought it was a bargain considering the quality of the dessert. Service was friendly, prompt and helpful. We had no regrets in what we ordered and pledged we would return to Sweet Republic soon, just to try some of the unique flavors.
We headed out to do some errands and I remind J. of the civility of our trip to Sweet Republic. It was a pleasant experience with great results.
And not a drop of gelato in sight.
9160 East Shea Boulevard
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Hours: Monday through Thursday – 11 AM to 9 PM; Friday and Saturday – 11 AM to 10 PM; Sunday – 11 AM to 8 PM.
Notes: Flavors vary from week to week.