Van Leeuwens Wows in NYC

Our final New York City ice cream stop was a rather last-minute addition to our plans as we had to fit it in before catching Stew’s The Total Bent at the Public Theatre. But before experiencing this amazing show, I thought it was important to get one more amazing ice cream place in. And wow, am I glad I did! Van Leeuwen has a very unassuming exterior. It’s very small, and the bookstore across the street, for instance, is much more prominent. The prices aren’t cheap either, as you can probably make out from the sign. But they have classic stylings, fun specials and carry an outstanding variety of vegan ice creams, generally made from cashew milk. The special while we were there was Red Currant Wedding Cake. With a vegan flavor like that, who would choose the cow’s milk, right? 

Well, we tried a few flavors, for research purposes, and on a quiet Saturday morning we made our selections. We paid  $5.50/small (2 flavors), $7.50/large (3 flavors) and tipped $2 for their patience and awesomeness. 

Earl Grey Tea: Trust me – this is your new coffee ice cream. It’s an outstanding consistency, and an absolutely delightful tea flavor. It’s super-smooth, creamy and flavorful. 

Rhubarb Pavlova: Here’s all the rhubarb flavor you could desire. Amazing fruit and outstanding all around. Perfection in a scoop? 

Red Currant Wedding Cake: I was so tempted to get an entire scoop of this! Probably should have as the chocolate wasn’t my absolute favorite, but so it goes. This ice cream has a coconut-based wedding cake that gives you your fill of ice cream and cake all in one delicious vegan bite! 

Hazelnut Chocolate Rice Krispie Treat: This trio of flavors combines a light chocolate base, a hazelnut swirl ala Nutella and Rice Krispies, which get soft but stay delicious to give you a nice combo of flavors and textures. 

Honeycomb: Wow. This flavor is outrageously good. It’s sweet and creamy, with honey and honeycomb throughout. So, so good! 

Chocolate: My only slight disappointment from this outstanding business. It’s rich but also a tad harder than I like. But it’s still ridiculously smooth and not fudgy. This ice cream features super-high quality chocolate that reminds me of the best Ghirardelli’s. It also combines with other flavors phenomenally well. 

My husband and I fell in love with this ice cream. Be sure to pick up a copy of their recipe book/origin story across the street, especially if you tolerate cashews and want some vegan ice cream options. We couldn’t recommend a visit here more highly! P.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping via my affiliate link

Odd Fellows in N.Y.C.

This summer’s quick jaunt to New York City was fabulous. We fit in two shows and three ice cream places! (If you missed it, I reviewed Morgenstern’s last week.) The second stop of our trip was Oddfellows, nestled near Playwrights Horizons and other off and off-off-Broadway theatres. 

We knew from the moment we saw Odd Fellows that they were unique. They’re famous for their ice cream sandwiches, but we were already pretty full from our first ice cream stop! So we settled on sticking to ice cream. 

Lime Tarragon – It’s a sorbet! Ross thought it tasted like Pickety Place, known for using their own herbs in their lunches (and also where we got married, incidentally). I loved this, it’s unreal! The tarragon wakes you up and takes this to the next level. It isn’t watery at all…much more than I expected from sorbet. Almost creamy. 

Green Matcha – Ross tried this but passed. He said it just wasn’t the flavor he expected. 

Olive Oil Strawberry – The strawberry is very real, almost more sorbet-like, and it’s woven with olive oil ice cream which is really complex and has a real aftertaste of olive oil. It wasn’t my favorite but it’s super interesting, rich and creamy. Ross described it as everything he is looking for in an ice cream!

Our single scoops came to $4 each with tax, which seemed reasonable for New York City. They rotate flavors and keep eight in stock.  We were delighted to see ice cream and frozen yogurt trucks throughout our travels. If you have a favorite, let me know! And finally, it’s not ice cream-related, but we saw the amazing show Shuffle Along while we were in town. Phenomenal cast and production team, and an incredible story that brought back memories from my independent study in high school, where I wrote about the depiction of African-Americans in American musical theater. A few photos are below! 


p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link!

Morgenstern’s

Morgenstern’s has a wonderful reputation in New York City, so it made complete sense that they were being interviewed the day I was there. My husband and I made Morgenstern’s a destination and we weren’t disappointed. 

It was really hopping the afternoon we were there. A dozen people filled into the small store quickly as we waited, and they probably served forty people total while we were in the store purchasing and eating. 

Prices are significantly more expensive here than in other parts of the country, but for New York it felt reasonable. $6.50 for two scoops, plus tax, so we spent about $14 for two dishes of ice cream. 

The staff here was fantastic and super helpful. They let us try things, advised us and complimented our choices, and they told us to enjoy as they handed us our selections. It was impressive in such an overflowing, busy place. Despite the limited seating it turned over quick so we had a place to perch. 

Before commiting to a flavor I tasted lemon shiso espresso. As promised, you could really taste all three flavors! I loved it. It almost melts in your mouth thanks to the texture. 

Ross went with buttermilk and bourbon vanilla for his selections, and I went with raw milk and sweet potato mello. Here are our thoughts:

Buttermilk – Wow! The buttermilk has an awesome sour punch but a real sweet cream to it as well. A winner! It’s tangy.

Bourbon vanilla – Outstanding. This has a 40% booze content apparently. It’s delicious bourbon and the vanilla bean is the epitome of what vanilla can be. Due to the higher alcohol content, they struggled a bit with the texture which Ross wasn’t fond of – it’s a more slushy ice cream. But I loved the flavor immensely and seemed to overlook that. 

Raw milk – This is simple, sweet and creamy – but not too sweet. It’s so good! If you like plain flavors like vanilla, enjoy it as is, but it’s an excellent flavor to pair with something else. 

Sweet potato mello –  It’s like the innards of sweet potato pie. And it’s sweeter than you’d think. So, so good!!!

There are a lot of amazing ice cream places in New York City but I highly recommend a stop here! If you’re used to super sweet ice cream and giant portions, this place might change your expectations for the future. 

p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link!