Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Nick visits NYC : Day 1

[By Nick] ‎I recently was down in NYC, the past two Mondays to be specific. While I was there, I made sure to make the most out of my time and hit up as many ice cream spots as possible. I'm going to go in order from each day to keep me sane.

Big Gay Ice Cream, OddFellows, & Milkmade (all in one day)

Day One started out with Doug from Big Gay Ice Cream and I tweeting each other back and forth. That ended up being my first stop in the West Village and I'm glad I did. As I was waiting for a friend to meet up with me, Doug came rushing outside. I stopped him to introduce myself. Within a couple of seconds of saying my name, Doug slapped me in the face. If it was anyone else, I woul‎d've felt the need to strike back but I felt honored. It's not everyday you get slapped by a unicorn. He had to get running to his shrink but I made sure to get a photo before he slipped away. What a glorious creature he is.

After that, it was time to try Big Gay Ice Cream for the first time in my life. There's a variety of options from the infamous Salty Pimp to the not so known Gobbler sundae. I decided to do a half and half. It was one half Bea Arthur and one half Rocky Roadhouse. Essentially it was all Bea Arthur since the ice cream design was the original mix with vanilla soft serve with dulce de leche. Then one side was rolled in the crushed nilla wafers ala Bea Arthur and the other in the Rocky Roadhouse mix of chocolate, almonds and marshmallows. I named it "Maud's Road House". And honestly, it was delicious.

First off, I'm not a fan of soft serve at all. It's something I don't go out of my way to get and can't remember the last time I had any. Big Gay's on the other hand is unlike any soft serve I've had. It's thick, dense and rich. This isn't your standard ice cream stand soft serve. You can tell Doug takes his product seriously and uses nothing but high quality ingredients. The dulce de leche was more of a sweet caramel, bringing out the floral qualities of the vanilla. The nilla wafers added to the vanilla flavor and added a nice texture to the cone. I can see why the Bea Arthur is a mainstay on the menu. The Rocky Roadhouse mix, while not on its usual base flavor, worked well here as well. All three components manged to standout and not dominate one another. Using a vanilla soft serve here made the chocolate in the mix pop more in contrast. I can't believe I'm saying this but I would have no problem trying more soft serve varieties from Big Gay's. Oh and I'm not saying this because I think Doug is going to slap me again.

Next stop was Oddfellows Ice Cream

The Monday I was down in Williamsburg was actually the last Monday that they were going to be closed for the winter season. Thankfully I have connections and I was still able to stop in to check some things out. First thing I noticed was that even though it was closed, all 3 of the owners were still working at the shop. I'm a big fan of Sam Mason and finally getting to meet him was awesome. I was able to pick his mind and talk ice cream with him. Who knows, maybe you'll see an On Second Scoop flavor in the future ;)

While I was there, I got to try their semi new ice cream sandwich. My word was this delicious. I couldn't quite put my finger on it at the time but it tasted so familiar. After getting home it clicked. The sandwich tasted like an 100 Grand Bar in the greatest way possible. The sandwich is sheer perfection and there's nothing I could say to do it any justice. Just know if you can get your hands on one, try it asap. It's just hands down the greatest novelty I have ever had.

I also got to get a couple of scoops in their house-made waffle cones. Before I get to the ice cream, I need to talk about the cones. I'm not a fan of cones normally just like I'm not usually a fan of soft serve but Oddfellows is doing something special here. They add cinnamon to the batter and it tastes like crispy cinnamon waffles. I love cinnamon and I love waffles. Add some crunch and you have a winning combo here.

The two scoops I got were the caramel chocolate toffee and pecan pie ice creams. The caramel chocolate toffee was my favorite of the two easily. We all know I love toffee and this might be the best toffee ice cream I've had. I might say that a few more times. The ice cream is just so pure and the quality of ingredients is obvious. These ice cream makers in the NYC area aren't messing around. The pecan pie wasn't too pie like to me but it had a great butter pecan taste to me. There just wasn't enough pie chunks in my scoop to give me that vibe. Still delicious none the less. Thanks again for Sam and the Oddfellows crew for letting me stop by even though they were closed.

Last ice cream stop was at Milkmade's new spot. I'm not going to delve into the specifics of the area or what Diana has in store but just know I'm very excited for her and the future. If you don't know her story or how Milkmade works, click here. She was making up some ice cream while I was there but had a few pints in the freezer that she wanted to send me off with.

While I was there, she had me sample one of this month's flavor‎s, The Cookie Dough. Saying it again, this was the best cookie dough ice cream I've had. It tastes exactly like raw cookie dough. Dubba would be happy with it because it would stop me from consuming the actual raw stuff. I had to get running to an event back in NYC so my time was short with Diana. Just know, big things will be coming soon.

After my event, it was time to meet up with another friend at Chelsea Market, trade foreign kit kat bars with Liddabit Sweets and break into the pints from Milkmade. Don't worry, I stored them in a freezer at my event so they weren't just chilling (melting) in my car.

The three flavors she gave us were Pretzel, Five Dollar Toast and Red Velvet. The Pretzel was my favorite of the bunch. It's pretzel flavored ice cream with peanut butter and milk chocolate covered pretzel chunks. The base tastes just like a soft pretzel. Not too salty but with that undeniable pretzel taste. While I wished the pretzel chunks were bigger, they still maintained their freshness and their crunch. I can forgive their size because Diana didn't skimp on the peanut butter. There was gobs of it everywhere. Next best was Five Dollar Toast. I'll be blunt here, it tasted exactly like cinnamon toast crunch with more butteriness to it. The chunks of toast were crisp yet still chewy on the inside which was awesome. The fact Diana was able to keep such a texture while suspended in ice cream feels like magic to me. It's just so awesome that she was able to achieve that. Last for me was the Red Velvet. It basically tasted just like cream cheese to me. I didn't get much of the actual cake flavor and I'm not too much of a fan of cream cheese normally. However, my friend loved it and was more than happy to eat what I didn't want.

Okay, this is getting long and Dubba is going to get mad at me. I'll save Day 2 for later. Let me know what you think of us hitting up and reviewing stores like this and if I should continue doing so when I'm in the bigger cities. ‎Until next time!


Danielle said...

I think you guys should definatly continue checking out local and not so close ice cream spots! I only wish I could have come out!

Unknown said...

How long you will be in NYC? I live in NYC!

Nick Rovo said...

Alek, I actually live in Upstate but I'll be traveling there more often. I'll be back down Saturday actually!

John R. said...

Great read. That milk made company sounds awesome. And the ice cream sounds even better. I absolutely love the fact that they appear to practice crafting their ice cream with the highest of quality. I'd absolutely love to try their stuff, but there's just no way I'd be willing to pay $30 for two pints. Damnit! Glad you got to indulge, though.

Nick Rovo said...

John R, the price point is pretty high but when you see how they're hand making and sourcing the highest quality ingredients, it make sense to me. The flavors are far superior to anything I've had from Jeni's which sells for around $12 a pint. Don't forget, they also hand deliver the pints to you each month. Don't worry, there's big news to come as well.

Anonymous said...

I am so jealous that you visited Big Gay! After hearing so many great things about their ice cream on the Cooking Channel shows, such as Unique Sweets, I've wanted to try their stuff. Do they sell ice cream out of state, by chance? I'm surprised you didn't try the Salty Pimp because it's supposed to be one of their best flavors.

Nick Rovo said...

Stride, they don't eel out of state but they are opening more shops so maybe they'll be near you soon enough. The salty pimp is on my list of things to try, don't worry.