Food & Drink
FOOD: End-of-Summer Ice Cream Coundown: Final Days
by Casey Feehan
So much good ice cream has been tasted already. So many flavors. So many subway rides. All with the hopes of discovering the very best this city has to offer. It threw a lot at me. I sacrificed my belly 27 times over in an effort to get as much as I could before Labor Day. Here are the final stops on this crazy journey to eat ice cream every day:
Monday, 8/26/13 – Mister Softee
Mister Softee trucks rule New York City, dominate Americans’ childhood memories, ruin before-dinner appetities of wee, young-ish humans, and rival any Top-40 Artist for the most recognizable tune on the streets. God, I love fancy ice cream. Obviously. But how could this classic be missed from the list? As I found myself in Queens one glorious afternoon, there was just one thing on my mind: Chocolate Merlin, please.
Tuesday, 8/27/13 – Williamsburg Creamery
What drew me here was the advertisement of “wine ice cream,” which, apparently you may need an ID and 21 years of ice cream eating experience behind you to sample. I did try the Cherry Merlot flavor – sweet and grapey, I’m not sure if Miles of “Sideways” would approve, but I definitely did. The popcorn flavor caught my eye at the last moment, though, and it was really unique: while simultaneously giving off tastes of butter, salt, caramel, and chocolate, I was most impressed at how different it was from the sweet corn flavors I had tried – it truly tasted as if I was eating freshly popped corn.
Each Milk Bar has their own flavor of soft serve besides the famous Cereal Milk – Williamsburg touts the “Cherry Suicide,” a combination of cherry and root beer that’s bright, bubblegum sweet and even a little bit fizzy on the tongue. They’re also more than happy to make a milkshake out of it, spiked with rum. Being an adult has never been more fun.
Thursday, 8/29/13 – Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.
Oddfellows, whatever planet you came from, please send more of your kind to us! The flavors they come up with look totally insane, and then when you taste them, it’s the ultimate “Why didn’t I think of that” moment. Somehow, they’ve managed to make tobacco leaf with smoked chili and huckleberry seem not only not odd at all, but perfectly coherent and extraordinary. All the better with buttermilk biscuit ice cream as a base. (Speaking of, buttermilk biscuit was their Sundae of the Day, and before I saw the tobacco leaf flavor, I was told of a bacon-scented whipped cream. And if you’ve never had impure thoughts about a banana split before, just click here.)
Friday, 8/30/13 – L’Arte del Gelato in Chelsea Market
Like a summer romance in Italy itself, the Campari e pompelmo (grapefruit) sorbetto at L’Arte del Gelato is just the right amount of racy, bitter, and sweet. And I would have liked to melt it down and have it on the rocks if I didn’t eat it so quickly.
Saturday, 8/31/13 – Butter and Scotch (Smorgasburg, Williamsburg)
To mix things up on the last day of my ice cream quest, I picked up a pie milkshake from Butter & Scotch. The summer fruit pie went right into the blender along with some of their homemade ice cream, and out came a thick shake of crust and berries and buttery crumbles and it is just. The. Best. It’s $10 a shake but enough for two, and well worth the price.
*I also visited The Good Batch to make up for that one day I missed (8/9/13) – the company is famous for their cookies, which, thankfully, they turn into ice cream sandwiches with a little help from Blue Marble Ice Cream. You can find their stand at Smorgasburg: this one to the left is the “Goodwich” – Oat Chocolate Chunk Cookie plus sea salt, drizzled fudge, and Blue Marble vanilla. The sum is far more delicious than its parts.
So, that’s it – Summer 2013 was definitely all about ice cream in NYC, but it seems like the love affair will continue into the fall – look what I spotted when out and about in the East Village:
(Davey’s Ice Cream, set to open next Friday, September 13th – lucky us)