I lied about the ice cream

Friday, October 21, 2011

I know I made a post about one last summer hurrah in August, but ... I lied. There's more. It's been mild in the city, what can I say!

After dinner at La Esquina, my friend and I went hunting for dessert. We were torn between visiting Van Leeuwen's again (their cinnamon ice cream was something I felt I just needed to experience again) and trying out the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, which used to be just a truck.

We eventually decided on the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and were greeted at the door by someone who recommended the Salty Pimp, which is apparently their specialty. It's vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt dipped in chocolate. This sounded good, but I'm a sucker for all things pumpkin and as such, went with the seasonal Gobbler (vanilla ice cream, pumpkin butter, graham crackers, whipped cream). My friend similarly decided to go for something a little more unconventional -- the Mermaid (vanilla ice cream, Key Lime curd, crushed graham crackers and whipped cream). Both were approximately $6, if I recall correctly.

But while we were waiting in line for our ice cream treats to be made, we saw the Salty Pimp in person and it looked magnificent. I think in that moment, we both regretted going for sundaes rather than chocolate-dipped cones.

This was made ever the more evident as we dug into our sundaes. Neither sundae was anything special. The vanilla ice cream was very rich, almost frozen custard-like, but that's pretty much where the distinctiveness ended. Both treats were overly sweet and much too much for us to handle about halfway through. I'm pretty sure both of us chucked our ice cream dishes away without finishing. And now we both want to return to try to the Salty Pimp.

The Gobbler

The Mermaid

What's gayer than a unicorn mural? I'm not sure, but they told
me they'd call out "Cher" when my order was ready.

On our way to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, we passed a makeshift popsicle stand. Of course, this is the East Village, so it was a gourmet popsicle stand. A bunch of gourmet popsicle/paleta trucks/stands have cropped up in the city over the past couple of years, and I'd been wanting to try them. I tried to say no, especially after the sundae, but I just couldn't. It was an exceptionally mild October night, my first Saturday off of work in about a year ... it was a celebratory popsicle, if nothing else.

I know this photograph is not impressive, but this People's Pops Raspberry Basil popsicle ($3.50) sure was. I was expecting a sort of lightweight, summery popsicle, but this was intense. Concentrated raspberry flavor with hints of basil. Loads of raspberry seeds, which I found simultaneously burdensome and hearty. I loved it.

The guy working the People's Pops stand had his work cut out for him -- another item on the menu that night was shaved ice, and the family in line ahead of me ordered a passionfruit-flavored helping of it ($2.50). I watched as the skinny hipster dude went to work on a nice block of ice until he'd collected enough to fill the cup. I'm not sure why that sort of labor-intensive work results in a cheaper product, but even so, I didn't feel $3.50 was out of line for my delicious popsicle. Not in New York City, at least!

125 East 7th Street
They also have a traveling truck

Stand location: 118 1st Avenue (at 7th Street)
Also at Chelsea Market, 425 West 15th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)

You Might Also Like



What I'm Reading