You can count on the desert to get hot enough to warrant a trip to the ice cream store, even in the waning days of winter. And when in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area, there’s no better place that Sweet Republic.
Sweet Republic opened in 2008, and quickly caught the attention of local and national media (Bon Appetit named it one of the 10 best ice cream shops a year later) for its quality ice cream with exotic flavors – the most outrageous being Honey Blue Cheese.
During my spring training trip in Scottsdale, I visited Sweet Republic twice to get a cool break from the warm afternoons. Sweet Republic should be in a chic area of downtown Scottsdale but instead it’s in a tiny strip mall in the north part of town.
The flavors are definitely enticing, from the basil lime sorbet to the honey blue cheese. (The honey blue cheese actually tasted like a rich caramel.) I tried the watermelon sorbet (refreshing with bits of chocolate) and lavender (creamy and herbal). On another trip, I went for the famous Toffee Banofi ($6.70) featured on the Food Network.
The Toffee Banofi is an ice cream and banana sundae that’s topped with whipped cream and salted butter caramel sauce. Everything in the sundae was perfectly done, from the Madagascar vanilla ice cream to the light and crunchy waffle cup.
Sweet Republic is the type of artisan ice cream shop you see everywhere in the Bay Area (not surprising that one of the co-owners worked briefly at Berkeley’s former Eccolo). But in Scottsdale, it stands alone for its quality and innovative flavors, drawing fans far and wide in the Valley of the Sun.
Sweet Republic, 9160 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, Ariz. PH: 480.248.6979. Open daily from noon to 10 p.m. (till 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). www.sweetrepublic.com
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