Ample Hills

Ice Cream truly is better at the beach

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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.

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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.

Someone told me it was summer? Or, Hello 2015.

Here at the Ice Creaming, I always want the beginning of ice cream season to be some big Hurrah.  For normal people, that's usually Memorial Day Weekend, packed with beach, picnics, beers, backyards, sunshine, that extra day off... but ya see, I work that weekend.  I'm a tour guide.  I work when you're off.  Don't get me wrong - I have the best job in the world and I love the people I work with and for.  But that weekend came and went and suddenly it's June and I'm like, Oh.  I guess here is where we start eating ice cream again, right? And then the weather dropped into the 50's.

So here we are June SECOND (egads!) and I'm very embarrassed to have a half-celebratory-ice-cream-season-has-started post to begin our feasting once more.  Cue sad trombone.

So since the post isn't that exciting, let me let you in on my plans and goals!!  WHEEE!

  • TWENTY-TWO old faves to return to (see "The List")
  • TWENTY places that have been on my bulletin board but I haven't blogged about yet (I know)
  • FOUR new foodie raves that incorporate awesome ingredients like peppercorns, manchego, beer, fig, and maple syrup ( I KNOW)
  • Ice Cream Sandwich shops.  New category?
  • I might go into Queens once more?
  • Morgenstern's.  No one can stop talking about Morgenstern's.

I'm excited.  I hope you are too.  And with that, I'll tell you where I DID go Memorial Day Weekend, while I was working, cause it is a little worth talking about.

Gotham Food Market, the beloved new food-hall of the West Side, now has a new resident:  Ample Hills!

The Brooklyn-based scoop shop took over the booth where Jeni's ice cream hosted its five month pop-up (wah!  Rumors abound that Jeni's moved to the Gansevoort Market, the NEW-new food hall, but I don't see them listed.  I will find you.)  This is the second expansion for Ample Hills in recent months, following the opening of a two-story mega outpost in Gowanus this past summer (which I didn't visit last year cause I got Ample Hills in Brooklyn Bridge Park instead, so there).  I can't even keep up with our city's loving obsession with Salted Crack Caramel, which I didn't like.  This time around I got Bananamon, Banana-Cinnamon Ice Cream with Homemade Vanilla Wafers.  It didn't blow me away but it was delish on a hot day.  And now I have a new fave place to get ice cream in midtown, when I'm with the tourists.

Welcome, Summer.