The Scoop Swich-es It Up

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

At a recent residency interview, a program director asked me if I had tried Swich, a new dessert destination in the Central Sunset.

As a Scoop writer, I was embarrassed to say I hadn’t even heard of it. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Swich took over the storefront that formerly housed a well-loved TuttiFrutti frozen yogurt shop. It is part of the trend of pick-your-own-combo ice cream sandwich shops infiltrating The City.

Despite our horrid experience at CREAM, that insufferable Bay Area ice cream sandwich chain, Theresa and I decided to cast aside our doubts about ice cream sandwiches and give it a whirl.
Before I go any farther, I should make one thing clear: Cookies are at the bottom of my dessert hierarchy. Ice cream is stuff of the Gods; why ruin it with a cookie that neither enhances the flavor nor serves as an appropriate vehicle for eating more ice cream?

Swich offers a selection of pre-made sandwiches as well as the create-your-own-combo variety ($3.75). They have five varieties of square-shaped cookie to choose from—chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, red velvet, butterscotch and walnut fudge. Ice cream selections include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee and mint. For an extra 25 cents, you can choose to have your “swich” dipped into your choice of rainbow sprinkles, toasted coconut, chocolate pearls or slivered almonds.

Theresa opted for walnut fudge cookies, chocolate ice cream and coconut. I went for chocolate chip cookie, coffee ice cream on the inside and all topped with chocolate pearls.
Now, the worst part about an ice cream sandwich is that if the cookies aren’t just the right consistency, one bite can cause the ice cream to squish out the back end, leaving you with a horrible mess, panicked feeling of I-have-to-finish-the-rest-of-this-right-now—and wasted, precious ice cream filling.

Fortunately, these cookies didn’t do that—not quite. Theresa’s walnut fudge cookies were warm and straight from the oven. They caused a little bit of a cascading melting effect, but it wasn’t too bad, particularly because they were deliciously fudgy. In fact, the crunch of walnut in a rich, dark chocolate cookie might have been the highlight of the sandwich. The chocolate ice cream itself was rather tasteless but provided the variety of texture and temperature that one seeks in an ice cream sandwich. The coconut dip was a nice addition for just a quarter, but definitely wouldn’t be worth anything beyond that.

The ice cream is made with a generic base, which was a little discouraging given San Francisco’s hot ice cream scene. I was also disappointed by the amount of extra topping given to my sandwich—it only covered one side. On the plus side, the presentation was pleasing, and all of the flavors went well together. You’d be hard-pressed to order a terrible flavor combination.

Swich also offers other dessert options, such as pudding, tapioca and slices of pie.
Overall, Swich is a decent place to stop by if a) you’re a child, b) you need to placate one or c) if you happen to be in the area. Personally, I’d rather sandwich my ice cream between layers of more ice cream—but, hey, to each his own.