I'm starting to be able to feel it in the air and see it in the shortening days that summer is coming to a close in Seattle. But, last weekend was absolutely beautiful, so we took advantage of what may (hopefully not!) be the final "summer" weekend by paying a visit to a classic Seattle ice cream shop: Molly Moon's. Molly Moon's is an institution in Seattle; there are shops in many Seattle neighborhoods (Wallingford, Capital Hill, Madrona, Queen Anne, University Village and 19th and Mercer) and even a Molly Moon's ice cream cookbook. When we moved here and started researching ice cream places to try, it was immediately obvious we couldn't neglect this ice cream empire.
We decided to walk to the Wallingford Molly Moon location on a beautiful evening. We clearly weren't the only people taking advantage of the beautiful weather; we were joined by many others, with patrons spilling out onto the sidewalk enjoying their ice cream. Although it was busy, the line moved quickly, with employees actively engaging customers in line. Forrest and I both tasted a couple of flavors. We had read online that the salted caramel was very salty, so we wanted to try it before deciding whether we wanted a full cone. True to the reviews, it was extremely salty; Forrest and I both found it unpleasantly so. The caramel notes were also very simplistic; the classic Bi-Rite salted caramel has a complex smoky palette that Molly Moon's was completely lacking, we thought to its detriment. The Scout Mint was the best flavor we tasted; it was light and minty, without being overly sweet or conjuring the essence of toothpaste. Balsamic strawberry was nicely balanced between two flavors and was bright and summery, but the balsamic flavor gave the ice cream a slightly odd savory element that I found somewhat off-putting. A maple walnut ice cream was rather uninspired; I found it bland and lacking maple flavor.
While Forrest and I both weren't very impressed with the flavors, the ice cream was technically excellent; it was smooth, creamy and rich. However, we overall both felt that although the ice cream was good and well executed, it was not exceptional. What we noticed about the ice cream was creaminess and sweetness, rather than exceptional flavors. So, while the ice cream was enjoyable, and we thought Molly Moon's was solid, classic ice cream, we don't think it's a player in the big leagues.
*Pro-tip- you get more ice cream if you do a single scoop with two flavors making it very good value!
Texture - 8
Flavors - 5
Cone - 8
Execution - 6
Taste - 6
Ambiance/service/etc - 9