To be honest with you, I've never been much of a fan of the ice cream sandwich. I guess it goes back to those mushy chocolate cookie-and-vanilla ice cream ones that used to get passed out at school and summer camp. I really had no idea why people found them tasty. I used to peel off the mushy "cookie" part and eat the ice cream by itself. But ice cream sandwiches are coming back, in a new way. At the start of each ice cream season I seem to find myself at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, where Good Batch has been a staple since 2010. Every time I've gone they're thisclose to selling out and I rarely even get a choice of which flavor to get, which, to tell you the truth, is part of the fun. Last year I ended up with their Laughter & Lemon, which was made up of their Brown Butter Salty cookie, Lemon Divinity (a lemon curd), & Vanilla Ice Cream, which I adored.
This year I hit them up twice (egads!) - once at the requisite Smorgasburg in early May:
(look at that line!!), where I got the Coffee Caramel - Brown Butter Salty Cookie with caramel crushed espresso beans, and coffee ice cream. It was delish! But on this trip I also found out that they had recently opened an actual brick and mortar store in Brooklyn!! How exciting!! So I held off writing until I could visit.
The new shop, opened in Clinton Hill in September 2014, is officially now where all the baking is done, and also doubles as a café for baked goods and coffee during n0n-ice cream season. I was VERY EXCITED to see where all the fun went down, but... kinda let down by the experience itself. The shop stands in a rather awkward stretch on Fulton Street, just beyond the cute Brooklyn-ness of hovering Fort Greene. Its signage is not great, and I passed it twice before realizing it. It didn't help that there wasn't much sidewalk traffic and certainly no tell-tale line outside, despite it being after 6pm. Inside was rather awkwardly quite and desolate as well. A young shy server had an "I don't know, I just work here" shyness to him when I hit him up with my usual questions. I would have adored to meet the founders Anna and Steve themselves, the way I just last week got to meet the owner of Victory Gardens.
There were only 3 flavors to choose from (what a ripoff! Even the booth at BK Flea had 4!) - and moreover I was told that these were the exact same offerings being made this weekend at Smorgasburg, how lame. I went with the most unusual, the Summer Strawberry: Coconut Macaroon Cookie, Strawberry Curd, Vanilla Ice Cream.
You guys. I was not a fan! And that horrified me. I am such a big supporter of the Good Batch, but this combo was the pits. The macaroon cookie was too dense, the strawberry barely discernible, and the vanilla was clearly there just to balance the other two. I also was just a little more than let down by the store experience in general. I almost preferred waiting in that Smorgasburg line for the grab-it-while-it-lasts game of choosing a flavor. Feeling as if I got something extra desirable when I nabbed one of the last five sandwiches for the day was part of the experience.
I'm gonna continue to go, but I think I'll skip the shop next year and just get it from the Flea like I've done the past three years. After all, why mess with what works?