Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

A classic goes rogue

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory has been on The List since the very first year I started blogging about ice cream, and it was already an old favorite by then.  I lived in Cobble Hill between 2004 and 2007, back before Brooklyn Bridge Park became a brand, and the then-boyf and I would take walks down along the promenade in the summer and eye-roll at the Grimaldi's line. Nowadays it seems to invoke its own routine: for the past four years I've been lucky enough to tour with this great group from Watertown, SD.  They do a class trip every year at the end of May/ beginning of June (always, it seems, at the very beginning of ice cream season), and one of the first things they like to do on their first night in NYC is hire a double-decker bus out to take the whole group of 150+ on a night tour that covers Chinatown and then crosses the Manhattan bridge over into Brooklyn to admire the skyline at sunset.

The ice cream treat is just the cherry on top.

I was already deciding in my head which flavor I'd get (maybe coffee this year?) when - lo and behold! - this sidewalk sign stopped me in my tracks.


I'm sorry - does that say Raspberry Chocolate Chunk?!?  And Blueberry!?!  For YEARS, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory has stood firmly by their classic, non-rotating flavors:  Vanilla.  Chocolate.  Strawberry.  Chocolate Chip.  Coffee, Peach, and Butter Pecan were their only "different" flavors.  (In case you are curious, I have tried all of the above, with my favorite still being a strong Strawberry.)  If you go to their site, it doesn't even list these flavors.

I did a cursory search and no one seems to be talking about this on the internet!!  What!  IS THE INTERNET BROKEN?!  Their own Facebook page only shares news about who's playing live music at their newly curated "Buzz Bar" on the landing.  Was it a fluke?  A fever dream?  Cause it was FANTASTIC.

No clue how long this "experiment" will last, but, ya know, I'd go now anyway.  Cause it's worth going every year. :)

Brooklyn, we go hard


First day of July: bring on the humidity!  We had a LOVELY June, didn't we?  Bright days, soft breezes, cool nights.  Then - BAM!  That gross NYC humidity.  After a sweaty day touring, and a sweaty afternoon in my kitchen fixing a shelf, I decided to just go all out and head to a free hour of Pilates in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  And afterwards, I worked SO hard, ya know, that instead of dinner, I got ice cream.  I couldn't help it!!

I mean, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory was RIGHT THERE.  And there was NO LINE!!!!  And I mean..that sunset. . . Wouldn't you have done the same??

I got Strawberry.  Again.  Sorry!  It's just so good there.  It's like, the most satisfying Strawberry ice cream I know of in NYC.  Creamy.  Slightly melty.  And oh, that cone?  Is ONE SCOOP by the way.  Which brings me to my next post-within-a-post:

So listen.  Sant' Ambroeus is an adorably quaint little restaurant nestled in NYC's Greenwich Village.  I don't quite remember who recommended their Mint Chip ice cream to me (let's be real, it was probably Time Out), but it's been on my list since the Ice Creaming began.  I finally made it a few weeks ago, but there's a reason I haven't posted about it yet.

To begin with, the original Sant' Ambroeus was born in Milan in 1936, a genuine gelateria and espresso bar.  According to their website, "This celebrated pasticceria and confetteria became the meeting place for the local intelligentsia, whether beginning their day with Sant Ambroeus’s legendary cappuccino and cornetto, savoring panini at lunch, or spending their evening enjoying refined cuisine in the ristorante's elegant dining room."  (SO MANY FUN ITALIAN WORDS!  Moltoaffascinante!)

The original NYC restaurant "peddled high-end pastries, gelato, and pastas to a devoted clientele of lunching ladies and European swells on the upper reaches of Madison Avenue" (New York Magazine), but when the original owner sold his lease in 1999,  his son along with a partner decided to reopen the restaurant four years later on "a bohemian corner of West 4th Street".  The reviews for food waiver, but always praised is that original gelato.  I can find little online about said gelato, except vagaries such as "authentic recipes and time-honored techniques."  The girl at the counter was a bit more helpful, telling me that while the gelato used to be made in-house, the demand for their five locations has grown so much that they had to move their factory to Astoria.  Even though she couldn't exactly remember the name of it, she assured me that this factory only provides gelato for the Sant' Ambroeus restaurants.

But let's return to the matter at hand.  Didja see what I got for my $4 at BK Ice Cream Factory?  And how wee that teeny little gelato cup from Sant' Ambroeus sits in my hand in comparison?  I mean, I know gelato is supposed to be served in smaller portions, but, while tasty, let's just say it left me a little unsatisfied.

Brooklyn, you win this round.  All I'm saying is.......I know where I'm going to get my next dinner of ice cream.  And it ain't the West Village.