So.... remember that thing I said about lines? In actuality, they're a wonderful, helpful informer. They alert us otherwise distracted New Yorkers: "HEY! Something awesome is RIGHT HERE!" Forget reviews - in New York, it's the lines are the mark of approval, the stamp of assuredness, the flag-marking entrance taunting that they have arrived.
Cue (ha! pun! get it?) Sunday night, East Village, around 7pm. A perfect night for a off-peak little treat. Whoops..........so thought everyone else on the planet, apparently. No less than 15 people stand outside the tiny shop on E 7th St. Le sigh. I return home empty handed, but I can't stop thinking about it. So I endeavor to return a mere two days later, in the middle of a perfectly gorgeous, sunny, Tuesday afternoon. NO LINE! Huzzah! We outsmarted the ice cream gods at last.
BUT. A few words about that line. Cause this ice cream is WORTH waiting for. It is what you dreamed of every day as a child, when you whined whencanwegeticecream??
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop began as the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, a summer experiment by founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff that began rolling the streets of New York City in June 2009. Described by The Village Voice as "a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali" the menu combines traditional soft-serve ice cream with imaginative toppings such as wasabi pea dust, Nilla Wafers, Dulce de Leche, olive oil and sea salt, and other rotating offerings. Mr. Quint, who previously played the bassoon in various orchestras, said they stumbled into the ice cream business by accident. In 2008, he jumped on an opportunity to rent a used ice-cream truck through a friend. “I was keeping my ears and eyes open for weird things to do,” he said. Mr. Petroff hopped on board both with moral support and by helping serve ice cream nights after work.
And then came the Foodies. A nominee of both the '09 and '10 Vendy Awards, a contest which awards the best street vendors in NYC, BGICT also hopped on the Twitter bandwagon to tell people where they'd be. Why have a shop when you can be everywhere at once? This, amongst a katrillion accolades ranging from New York Magazine to Zagat to the Sunday Times of London (?), helped the duo open their first shop in the East Village in 2011. What an awesome New York story, right??
Now, back to the ice cream: The Salty Pimp, the hero of BGICS is a magical treat made up of vanilla soft serve with caramel sea salt topping, all dipped in a Magic Shell-like chocolate layer. And the best part?? That awesome caramel sea salt is dripped inside the cone too! So, just when you think you've reached the boring part, au contraire. It rocks till the very end.
I know I've mentioned that this blog will only exist from Memorial Day to the official end of summer, but there's this combo I have my eye on: vanilla soft serve, pumpkin butter, maple syrup, PIE PIECES, and whipped cream. For this, I will make an exception.
I'm official a Big Gay Fan! :)