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Garrett's, Ciro's and lots of happy kids


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Posted by Jim Carroll on Sunday, July 01, 2007 at 17:00:53 :

One of the nice things of those old days was each district in The City had a special ice cream parlor. For those of us that have left San Francisco, we remember that as the heat moves up in the thermometers in July; but not in San Francisco because it is cooled by that wonderful fog that rolls in every afternoon during the summer months because of the off-shore currents

They were family attractions and the ice cream store existed for warm days (anything over 75 degrees in San Francisco) and they would line up for blocks. All of these great ice cream stores had one thing in common; they were not stingy when it came to butter fat content. Each one of them had a milk fat content of 16 to 18 percent and that made a really smooth and delicious

I worked for a while out in the outer Mission at one called Ciro's. At the time I was in High School; I think that it was Balboa at that time but there were too many to remember - every six months and a new high school due to the moves that took place. Anyway, it was half-way between my aunt and uncle's place on Shakespeare in Daly City so it was convenient.

I learned a lot, and like a lot of teenagers some of it was hard to sink in. For example, we were taught how to roll the ice cream from the freezer so that there was a void in the middle and the customer thought they were getting a giant cone. There were other things and I was impressed with myself (I had a hat and a uniform) and getting to know girls.

Anyway, one afternoon I invited some girls back into the store, where we made ice cream and showed off the ice cream making equipment., and paid little attention to the lights as it grew dark outside. They learned how much air was pumped into the ice cream and what the minimum weight had to be. We yakked for a while until Old Man Ciro came downstairs to find out why his store was dark; and he fired me on the spot.

I forget the name of great parlor out near Lombard, but it had real long lines of customers. But the longest were the ones at Alemany, by Balboa High School – the great Garrett’s. At Ciro’s we tried to keep up with their quality product and the old man would sneak off to Garrett’s to purchase a cone every once in a while. Then there was the one at the Washington Plaza Park near Green Street. But the ones I liked were like Zeiss’ (and I really don't know if that was the name), out on 25th Street because it would be a big adventure to go there for the whole family. Maybe because I was younger and it was a great adventure in those times compared to those stores of today. But it was mostly because they had higher butterfat contents, even if they did roll their cones.



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