Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fabulously artisan ice cream (Big Gay Ice Cream Shop)

Big Gay Ice cream Shop sign

If you've never used your tongue to gently undress a thin layer of crushed Nilla Wafers from the tip of one of Bea Arthur's milky cones... then you, my friend, have never truly lived. There are some dishes and places that every food blogger raves about. When you talk about fried chicken, it's pretty hard not to mention Bob White's and Pies and Thighs, when you talk about soup dumplings, Nan Xiang inevitably gets thrown into the mix, and if you ask about street meat, almost everyone will have something to say about the cart at 53rd and 6th (although I really don't think it's that remarkable). More often than not, they're chock full of mediocrity and disappointment, leaving me utterly confused as to why so many people I barely know would lie to me about food. Far less frequently, these places are downright spectacular and actually live up to the lofty expectations set by every assclown with a keyboard who sets out to write about food (that includes me!). Sometimes. The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is one of those places where "the juice is worth the squeeze."

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop does a lot of fucking things erotically well. To a scary degree. Yeah, they have the 'Salty Pimp,' a chocolate, sea salt, caramel mashup that violently fists the line between salty and sweet, playfully toying with your mind while delighting your taste buds. They also have the 'Monday Sundae,' a brilliantly decadent sundae topped with dulce de leche and sea salt set atop a Nutella covered waffle cone. Pretty much all of their menu qualifies as 'the tits.' But there's one item that's a classic beyond all others, and that's the one and only... Bea Arthur.

Bea Arthur

This Golden Girl truly sets the gold standard here. I unabashedly admit I was a fan of the show growing up, possibly because my Grandmother would always watch the marathons of the syndicated episodes. Everyone always said that Betty White was the comic relief, that the mother provided the wit, and that Blanche was just a slut - but the true crux of the show was undoubtedly Bea Arthur's character. As I mentioned, there are some truly attention-grabbing items on the menu, but the one I always end up defaulting to when it's game time is the Bea Arthur. It's simple, nothing more than vanilla ice cream swirled with dulce de leche rolled in a generous helping of crushed Nilla wafters - the preferred cookie of the geriatric crowd (very apropos) - but that's all it has to be. The ice cream is appropriately consistent in texture, the infusion of dulce de leche brings the sweetness to a more intense level, and the crunchy, sweet yet mild flavor of the Nilla wafers mellows out both the feel on the tongue as well as complexity of flavor. Let's be honest, if you had to pick one of the Golden Girls to get it on with, it'd probably be ol' dependable, and you know it.

The 'Choinkwich'

Maybe it's not as fantastic as an intense session of lapping up some sweet vanilla + Nilla wafer action as above, but the 'Choinkwich' is a pretty fun little ice cream sandwich. Admittedly they're pre-made and not quite as awesome as the soft-serve, but you can't really deny some bacon on chocolate on chocolate lovin'. The implementation isn't great (again, because it's pre-made, the ice cream is pretty brick-like), but the amalgam of flavors undeniably just works. Anyway, in closing - allow me to summarize the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. I am lactose intolerant. When I eat even what most people consider a reasonable amount of dairy, I will probably be making sweet ass cheek love to the toilet that night. I will gladly pay that penalty if it means enjoying myself a Bea Arthur.

tl;dr - My body doesn't accept dairy well. I still shovel big quantities of gay ice cream in my mouth. My favorite is the Bea Arthur, possibly because my grandmother brainwashed me into liking the Golden Girls growing up.

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

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