Monday, November 03, 2008

SBSC Nov Ride Destination = YUM!

This past Saturday, November 1st, the SBSC went on our usual monthly ride, which is every first Saturday of every month. We went for our usual ride through Palos Verdes, up the switchback road, then around the south side of PV and headed north until we hit Redondo Beach. At that point, we started cruising the beach cities, going north until we hit Hermosa Beach.

Once we hit Hermosa Beach, we cruised to our ride destination, which this month was Paciugo's Gelato Cafe, located at 1034 Hermosa Ave. I had received an e-mail from Brittny Tacker, the manager/co-owner of this Paciugo's location, inviting our club to stop in at the end of one of our rides, with the promise of a 20% discount. So, I decided to take her up on it and patronize a local South Bay small business. And, let me tell ya, everyone who came in was glad they did...

Upon walking into Paciugo's, you are struck by the great display area of the flavors of gelato offered that day. The display has open trays of Gelato, and the flavors are uniquely displayed inside of them. In a way, kind of like Cold Stone, only better, because you can openly see the different ingredients within the flavors. For example, the "Bubble Gum" flavor had actual pieces of pink bubble gum mixed in with the gelato, and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough had HUGE pieces of chocolate chip cookie dough mixed into it (see pic below).

And, even though each flavor looked like it would add another three inches to your gut, we were surprised and relieved to hear from Brittny that most of their flavors have only 150 calories, with 3 to 6 grams of fat (50-70 percent lower than regular ice cream), while their sorbets have only about 100 calories with ZERO grams of fat. She said they can do this because they make their gelato with no cream, butter, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Nice!

Another nice feature is that with each size cup that you get, you have the option of choosing multiple flavors. The "Piccolo" (small) lets you pick up to 3 flavors; the "Medio" (medium) lets you pick up to 4 flavors; and the "Grande" (large) lets you pick up to 5 flavors. Most of us picked the "Medio". The hardest part was picking from the daily-made flavors they had. Every morning they make the day's new batch of flavors. And they have over 200 flavors that they can make! So, they decide what they are making for the next day late in the afternoon, and if you want to see what they'll have, they will post the new flavors menu on their location's web page that morning. Welcome to gelato in the information age, huh?

And, speaking of the information age, another nice amenity offered is free wi-fi service for all their customers.

Not to be overlooked, also, is their full espresso bar for all the coffee lovers out there.

All I know is that I was in heaven with the flavors I picked for my "Medio" cup: Tiramisu, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookies 'N' Milk. WOW! One flavor I did notice, that I didn't even want to sample, was one called "Black Pepper Olive Oil"... Huh??? Brittny said it was a popular flavor. I just had to take her word on it, lol.

I know this sounds like one big commercial for Paciugo's - but it was just THAT GOOD! I seriously challenge anyone to find a better tasting gelato in the South Bay. Everyone should go check this place out, and, with the low calorie count in their flavors, you'll feel a little less guilty about doing it...

And, to top off the good ride and the great gelato that day, I walked across the street and over to Hennessey's at the Hermosa Beach Pier to wash it all down with a nice tall Guinness. Ahhhhhh!

You can check some more pics of Paciugo's, and our ride, at this link.