ice cream shop

When I go vegan, I'm going Van Leeuwen.

The only thing new and different between this year and last year's ice cream season for Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is that they published an ice cream book.  NBD, right??  Everyone and anyone has a cookbook out nowadays!!  I mean, there's a cookbook out for learning how to cook on your car engine!!  (Please don't buy that, that's just annoying.) But seriously.  Even with the proliferation of cookbooks being released on what feels like a daily basis, that's not to be scoffed at.  It means that by now, seven years into their endeavor, Van Leeuwen's has gone from street truck to a valuable, recognizable name.

One of the things they are getting praise for is breaking down how to make your own vegan ice cream using cashew milk.  I think that's kinda fun and interesting in theory and I went into Van Leeuwen's this year thinking I might make this my inaugural year tasting vegan ice cream, but then.........

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Banana Cream Pie!! 

Okay, fine it was sold out.  The Red Currant Wedding Cake was juuuuuust beginning to win me over when I saw that the Honeycomb flavor had crunchy honeycomb pieces in it.  I mean.  C'mon.  That's cool.

So the Honeycomb won out.  And just so you know?  OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  It's GOOOOOOD.  It's really, really good.  The Sweet Cream ice cream had swirls of what almost tasted like (really good) sea salt caramel.  And combined with the rich creamy flavor of the ice cream and the satisfying crunchy bits?  This was one A+ ice cream.  In fact, when I think back on it, none of their flavors have ever been close to disappointing.  And you know what that means, kids:  Next year, we go vegan.

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.

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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. :)