When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out — and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: Sweet Provisions
Location: 8120 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
Open: Several weeks
Eats: Baked goods and homemade ice cream
Price: $3-$8 per person
Did you know that the shopping center on Hayden Road and Via de Ventura is called “The Village?”
At this point, they might as well rename it “The Collins Center,” as chef and restaurateur Christopher Collins quietly adds another storefront to his Game of Thrones-style takeover.
Already in the Collins kingdom are Twisted Grove and Grassroots (sister to the Town and Country restaurant of the same name), not to mention Wally’s American Gastropub, just a little farther up the road at Gainey Ranch. On March 1, Sweet Provisions opened its doors to the public, just a stone’s throw from its older siblings in the same parking lot.
Sweet Provisions means Chef Collins can have his cake and sell it, too; the sweet little ice cream shop has a case filled with baked goods in addition to its ice cream. Key lime pie, salted chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate mousse were just a few of the items on display when we visited. While the decor is only so-so, and indoor seating is limited-to-nonexistent, the sweet treats and homemade ice cream more than make up for it.
And boy, is the ice cream here homemade. At the risk of sounding a little too Willy Wonka, the strawberry tastes like strawberries. The mint chocolate chunk is made with real mint leaves, and the chunks really are chunks of chocolate, not those wimpy chips you find in in the store-bought stuff. With space for at least six different flavors, and a menu that promises those flavors will rotate regularly, ice cream aficionados will be bowled over. (Sorry.)
If we may be so bold as to discuss cup size for a moment, parents will be delighted to discover that Sweet Provisions offers teeny-tiny cups for teeny-tiny patrons – smart, because now they will be inclined to buy each kid his or her very own (cha-ching.) There is also an assortment of cones, and plenty of pre-fab options on the menu, such as the Float Your Boat (soda, ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry, for $5) or the Rise and Shine (coffee ice cream, caramel, and whipped cream for $6). Toppings are reasonably priced at 50 cents each, and classic favorites, like whipped cream, sprinkles or a cherry are free.
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Sweet Provisions occupies the space that formerly housed a TCBY. It’s not hard to imagine the sugar-coated opportunity that Chef Collins and the team at Common Ground Culinary probably saw when that chain left town: Take the space (and maybe some of the equipment?) and create something local, using fresh ingredients and a great font scheme.
Hey, it worked for the rest of the kingdom. Long may they reign.