Ice Cream truly is better at the beach

img_7897.jpg

Alright, alright, I admit it:  it's past Labor Day.  But it was SO EPICALLY HUMID & GROSS this past weekend that we squeeeeeeezed in one last beach day yesterday. In total, I made it to the beach SIX TIMES this summer!  Pretty impressive considering it's a good 1.5 hour travel for me from Queens, so it's not like I can pop on my flip flops and just head out the back door.  Our beach of choice is Riis Park, part of the National Park Service, and features an extensive sand beach and an art deco bath house built in 1932.  AND starting last year, it became home to Riis Park Beach Bazaar, an offshoot of the super popular Brooklyn Night Bazaar, which featured food vendors, indie designers, and upcoming musicians.

Which Beach Bazaar did too.  Including... dun-duh-na-na! - our favorite Brooklyn ice creamery, Ample Hills.

Look.  I went to Riis beach four times, but sometimes it's more of a French fry and beer kinda day, you know?  So I only got ice cream once.  I know, I know, how dare I!  But ohh, was it a doozy.

img_7896.jpg

The line was long and there were several flavors already sold out, but this one had me at hello.  Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is exactly what it sounds like:  Vanilla ice cream with hunks of St. Louis-style Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.  We all know I tend to lean towards the unique and original, and I'd never had such an ice cream before (even if it did seem a little less about the ice cream and more about the cake.)

.... Which is exactly what I got.  I swung for a pretzel cone cause I thought that would be the most orgasmic combination of salty-sweet on a hot summer day (instead, what I got was under salted and not very crunchy).  The ice cream was good, but my mouth kept getting interrupted by these huge chunks of cake!  And they were very gooey and very buttery and truthfully what I REALLY loved was the caramel-butter flavor they left in the vanilla in their wake.  THAT was good ice cream; you just have to take out the cake bits.

Listen.  I'm sure there are others that disagree.  I'm sure, like with Salted Crack Caramel, people DIE for this flavor.  But more importantly:  it doesn't really matter.  Cause we were at the beeeeeaaaaach.  And Ample Hills is here to stay, in every location.  And that line isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

So.  See ya there next year, Ample Hills.

It sucks being disappointed by ice cream.

img_8083.jpg

Maybe it was the rain, but I had a rather disappointing ice cream weekend.  It started off well - or what I thought was well: my friend Shayla had alerted me to the Ice Cream Museum, a new, temporary event created as an ode to all things ice cream, and we got tickets for opening weekend. The museum is a love child of Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora, a creative strategist/ investment banker couple, both of whom we met on our visit.  There's little info on their website (or elsewhere, for that matter) about what inspired this "passion project" - an obsession with ice cream, for example, or, I dunno, an ice cream blog - and this NY Times article addresses the fact that it's little more than dressed up social media bait.  As for us, after we waited 1 hour outside (yes, in the rain) despite having bought timed tickets, the whole darn experience took us only 45 minutes.  There were six rooms in total - a cone room, a scoop room, a chocolate room, a sprinkle room, and a, um, art room? - and the article will take you through why the rooms were lame in detail.  And the ice cream?  I'm glad you asked.  Yes there was a sample.  As in single.  Of Blue Marble Vanilla.  With Fruit Loops and a Passion Fruit glaze.  The toppings were fun and different but overall?  The museum was exactly that - a disappointing vanilla.

Next up was the NYC Blizzard Festival.  An Event advertised on Facebook at the UWS Grand Bazaar space to benefit "local public school children" - no information as to exactly how - it boasted FREE entrance + 12 Artisanal Ice Cream Vendors + 60 Flavors!!  The lineup was:

- ICE & VICE - Victory Garden NYC - melt bakery - Jawea Frozen Desserts - Mochidoki - LifeIce - Lezzetli Mediterranean Ice Cream - LizBeth's Dessert Boutique - The Paleo Factory - Enlightened - Citysticks - KINGLeche Creme Bars

Sounds AMAZING, right?!?!  The hours were listed as 10-530.  Now granted we did get there at 3:30.  But even still, by 3:30 only 7 of those vendors remained, and of those 7, only 4 weren't sold out, and of those 4, only 2 were actually ice cream, LifeIce and Citysticks being popsicles.  And of those 2?  The lines were INSANE.

img_8113.jpg

These silly people are waiting for ice cream sandwiches at Melt.  I want to tell them to get on the subway and go downtown to Melt's actual shop in the LES where there is never any line!!

So we left without any ice cream.  Aside from my sample at the museum, my weekend is still ice creamless.  So, since I found myself in Brooklyn tonight after said "festival," and now that I live in Queens that is a rarity, I decided to treat myself to ice cream from the REAL Blue Marble in Prospect Heights.  They have since closed down both of their prior Brooklyn locations, and despite the fact that they seem to be everywhere, I really do love visiting an ice cream shop when I can.

img_8117.jpg

Yyyyyyeah, I've had better looking ice cream myself.  From Blue Marble.  And that gross, sad looking panda teddy bear in the kiddie corner?  Don't even get me started.

Granted I DID walk in fifteen minutes before they closed, and so did four other couples/ families, but the lady behind the counter was NOT having it.  She gave us her best they-don't-pay-me-enough Starbucks barista impression.  So needless to say we didn't chat it up . I didn't get to ask her her favorite flavor.  So I chose the two most interesting - Blueberry and Sweet Corn - without testing them first.  Because, this ain't my first Blue Marble, people.

First of all.  There is NO EXCUSE for half melty ice cream.  Did she turn off the cooler at 8pm??  My blueberry was goo by the time I reached the corner.  Which was fine cause it was sickeningly sweet, more squeezy yogurt than refreshing organic berry ice cream.  I dumped it into a trash can.  A TRASH CAN, people!!!  What a waste.  The Sweet Corn was interesting but by then dear lord I was OVER IT and was so disappointed by what used to be one of - if not my first - my most favorite ice cream shops in NYC.

So, everyone.  It's not all fun and games here at the Ice Creaming.  My work is hard.  You know my hashtag, #igetfatsoyoudonthaveto.  Save your money and go to Morganstern's.