Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Soft-Serve Strife

I was taking a stroll through the Mission last weekend with fellow Wino Erika, when we came upon one of my favorite San Francisco establishments: Bi-Rite Creamery.  In case you're not familiar, it's quite possibly the most amazing ice cream shop in the world.  They have incredibly unique flavors... Salted Caramel, Balsamic Strawberry, Coffee Toffee, OH MY!  Instead of waiting in line for a big cup full of caloric-goodness, I actually stopped myself and thought, "Is there a better choice?  I wonder if the soft-serve is any good?  It's probably fewer calories."  I had only eaten about 8 points of food that day and figured I had a few points to spare, so maybe I'd give it a swirl.

But instead of diving in head first, I opted to ask the flannel-clad hipster behind the counter if he knew the calorie count in a small cup.  He didn't, but offered to call the owners.  What a happy, helpful hipster!  I patiently waited while he headed to the back to make the call.  I stood patiently, biting on my lower lip, trying to calculate how many points I thought I could afford to waste on these empty calories... 3, maybe 4, I decided.  So if the calories were above 200 or so, I promised myself I'd walk away soft-serve-less.

The happy hipster finally returned with a smile on his face.  Optimism surged within me.  And then the answer: "Well, we're not entirely sure.  But since a small cup of ice cream is about 400 calories, an educated guess is that a small cup of soft-serve is probably about 325 calories because it has a lower percentage of milk-fat."  Instead of the excited reaction and prompt order he must have been predicting, I stood there stunned for a moment before I could respond.  How could 4-6 oz of soft-serve equal almost the sum total of everything I had eaten for brunch that day (2 scrambled eggs w/ 1/8 cup of reduced fat mozzarella and chives, 2 pieces of low calorie/high fiber toast, 1 cup of light OJ and a skim cappuccino)???!  This was truly tragic.  I finally recovered from my flabbergasted state, thanked him for the information, and told him I had to pass on a cup of creamy deliciousness today.  I dropped my head in dismay as I stumbled through the crowd of Dolores Park revelers and wondered if there really was a God.

As I turned the corner and began to think clearly again, I remembered that McDonald's also has soft-serve.  And I remembered how much I love their soft serve.  And I wondered how many points was in a cone of McDonald's Reduced Fat Vanilla Soft Serve.  So I looked it up.  3 POINTS!  There is a God!  Hallelujah! 

Next time the sun is out and the line to get a taste of Bi-Rite's famous ice cream stretches around the corner, I think I'll head to the Golden Arches with the smug smile of a Weight Watcher stretched wide across my face and order up the smarter choice.


  1. Hi Miranda,
    When you do go to get your soft serve just becareful of the serving size they give you!
    When my daughter was stationed in CA and we went to the Mickey D's on base, the server made our cones way too big! He was smitten with my daughter and thought he was doing us a favor. After that we figured that each "swirl" was worth about 1 point! It is very good good soft serve though!!

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the McDonald's ice cream cone!!!! :)

  3. And I was just about to head to Coldstone but Mickey D's is closer, cheaper and far more WW friendly. Glad I read this first!