Critic's note: This occasional entry is about stuff that I eat or drink that you should eat or drink, too. It may be about items that are locally made, or they may not be, but you'll be able to find them in town. And you should.
I RESERVE the right to rep my 'hood Woodlawn. I won't do it if it's not deserved, but Bassotto Gelateria, opened next to Tamale Boy in early June, has produced my favorite combo-scoop of the summer: gianduia, a traditional chocolate hazelnut flavor, mixed with caramel variegato.
Don Hill, who owns the shop with his wife Angie, says that because gelato has less fat than ice cream it makes the flavors shine more brightly. That seems true for my new fave scoop: the chocolate hazelnut is a creamy cold Nutella, while the caramel isn't oversweet, adding just the right hint of salt and complexity to the chocolate. Also, I fully plan to get a margarita at Tamale Boy, walk it next door, and have Bassotto add a scoop of the lime cream with raspberry. It will be epic.
Hill attended courses at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, and if he's not busy, he'll take the time to explain how gelato settles over time, like a pastry—meaning you can tell how fresh it is by how high in the metal pan it rests. So far, I've seen very few flavors riding low in their freezer.
Bassotto Gelateria, 1760 NE Dekum, Tues-Fri 10 am-9:15 pm, Sat 10 am-10:15 pm, Sun 10 am-8:15 pm, bassottopdx.com