If you are a regular follower of mine you can probably guess what I am about to say. Scratch that. Even if you have read two or three of my food blogs you can guess where I am headed. That is right folks; I am going to talk about my favorite television show of all time “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. To be truthful until I started writing this all down I didn’t realize how much of an influence it had over my life. Sure I watch every week even if it’s a repeat. Yes I look up any restaurant in any city I might be interested in. Of course it then goes immediately on my to-do list and I closely monitor said list until I can proudly cross it off, blog about it, and move on. Ok this might border more on addiction than fan behavior. But I can’t help it. Lord knows the boring stuff I would be eating without their help. Plus I share and help spread their message of amazing eats. It is what separates us from the animals.
This is how I found out about “Big Gay Ice Cream” and it has been on my wish list ever since. It was on the episode Street Food where Gail Simmons host of Top Chef, shared of her love of the “Salty Pimp”. I would never be the same.
Contrary to the recent blogs, I am not normally an ice cream eater. I only go for it when it is something special. I do not like just anything. It has to be worth it and draw me in. This would be just the thing. On this episode I watched as the owner, a man named Doug Quint, took a popular concept- vanilla soft-serve ice cream in a cone and made it a work of genius. The “Salty Pimp” starts off with some homemade dulce de leche in the bottom, followed by the vanilla soft-serve, then some salt, with more dulce de leche, and the best part a layer of chocolate that hardens in seconds as a protective coding on this treat. It seems all so easy but oh so delicious. It is both salty and sweet, the pinnacle of desserts. But what intrigued me was that the bottom got as much attention as the top of the cone. That is where average ice cream stores like Carvel go wrong. By the end you are eating a dry, stale, flavorless cone. Who wants that?
“Big Gay Ice Cream” has one truck that rotates to different locations every day and one shop in the East Village. I had been following them on Twitter hoping to find a semi-convenient location to catch up with the truck but in the past few weeks it had been unavailable. That is when I decided just to go to the store. I didn’t want to wait any longer and although I wanted to meet Doug who is often on the truck, I had to have a “Salty Pimp” more. Sorry Doug.
As for our topic at hand, the day of, me and my eating partner (yes within our group when we are an even number of us we divide into eating partners so as to share food so we can try more things) decided to get both a “Salty Pimp” and a “Bea Arthur”. We had gone back and forth about what to do but this seemed like the most sense. We both wanted to try these and knew we could barely eat one as we had already gone to Pomme Frites at this point. A “Bea Arthur” is similar to the above description of the “Salty Pimp” but except for the chocolate, which in this scenario is now crushed vanilla wafers. I had been teasing my friend when we order we had to say we wanted to eat Bea Arthur. I found that amusing.
There is actual one other Golden Girl named dessert on the menu, it is the Rue McClanahan which is an ice cream sandwich containing bourbon ice cream and pecan cookies. This is only available at the store though.
So, the big question, how was it?? When we finally ordered our ice cream the anticipation was too high. I couldn’t imagine what the first bites would taste like. We got dishes so that we could lay them down without creating a mess as they melted. After a few photos we had at them. They were cool, scrumptious works of art. While I was already full and could argue there was too much ice cream, I have no proof do I? That cone was devoured within seconds like I was on a C.I.A. mission. It was too good but we both agree the absolute best part was the bottom of the cone. That final blast of ice cream and toppings in the crown of the cone was awesome. I could eat a bucket full of just cone endings, if that makes any sense. It was better than anything I ever tasted. Gail Simmons was right.
Now that I have checked that out I only have a few remaining questions. How do you make ice cream gay? Does that even matter? I know believe it does. It turns out the more gay the ice cream the better it tastes. I find that I love the gay community when it is involved in theater as well as ice cream. It is good to know. I wonder what else this will be true for.
I also wonder where the idea for the name “Salty Pimp” comes from. Then again do I really want to know? If this is what one tastes like no wonder Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” made being a hooker look like so much fun, “I say who, I say where, I say who”. If Doug needs more naming ideas just from this movie alone he can create “The Blue Banana”. I am just saying. Now I could kind of go for it.
In conclusion this is a place where you have to go at least once and then it kind of stays on your mind while you think of what else you should try. You will start making plans to go back. I already am.
Doug one last thing, this song is for you “because what you do you do so well...makes me want to yell…Let’s hear it for the boy”!
If you want to eat ice cream that is so good you have to yell and sing, I suggest a trip to the “Big Gay Ice Cream” truck or store. Trust me it will be hard to eat this and not have this song in your head. Go and try, I dare you!
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