I Scream, You Scream…


Sunday is National Ice Cream Day! (As far as I’m concerned, every day is Ice Cream Day, but, hey, that’s just me.) I’ve already told you about the Big Gay Ice Cream truck and shop. So here are a few of my other favorite joints in the city:

Il Laboratorio del Gelato on Ludlow St. carries almost 200 varieties of ice cream. The “lab” part of the name stems from the fact that they consider themselves a laboratory for ice cream flavors, and chefs and other customers are encouraged to work with them to develop new ones. Scarf down a scoop or two of buttermilk and you may very well swoon.

Oddfellows has two locations: one in Williamsburg and one on East 4th St. All of the ice creams–even the waffle cones–are made from scratch. And while you’re enjoying your Chorizo Caramel Swirl or Peanut Butter and Jelly scoop, you can feel good about yourself, as with every serving Oddfellows sells, they donate 5 cents to the Food Bank of New York City.

The ice cream sandwiches at Melt Bakery will send you reeling right back to your childhood. The shop also has two homes: one on Orchard St. and one on the High Line in the Chelsea Market passage. Current flavors include Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies with Vanilla ice cream, Peanut Butter cookies with Banana ice cream (the Elvis, of course), and Snickerdoodles with Cinnamon ice cream.

Sundaes and Cones in the East Village specializes in Asian flavors, like Wasabi, Ginger and Black Sesame. Diet-conscious folks will appreciate the fact that they serve non-fat and no-sugar-added scoops as well.

Ronnybrook Milk Bar in the Chelsea Market sells fully organic ice cream, milk, yogurt and milkshakes. There is an actual Ronnybrook Farm upstate, with a slew of well-fed, pampered cows, and we lucky folks here in the city reap the benefits from their labor. The basil scoop is amazing; the cookies and cream milkshake to die for.

Have a great, lactose-filled weekend, everyone!

Image via Facebook

Black Seed Bagels


The latest NYC craze? Black Seed bagels. A small shop in Nolita (North of Little Italy) has introduced bagels baked in a wood-fire oven. Many folks believe that bagels found in NYC of late are way too doughy and the schmear (cream cheese) gets lost in the overly fluffy bread, like these from Murray’s Bagels on 6th Avenue by 13th Street:

Black Seed,  on Elizabeth Street, is a bagel from another mother. The shop hand-rolls its bagels, poaches them, and then bakes them in that hotter-than-hot oven. The result is a little thinner, kind of a cross between a Montreal bagel and NYC bagel:

Me? I like both kinds, not to mention bialys. But just to make sure, I should probably test all the bagels around the city, right?

Images via Facebook.



Sunday Is Pickle Day!


I always thought there should be a Pickle Day–and now my wish has come true! And fittingly, it’s being getting cipro without a prescription celebrated on the Lower East Side here in Manhattan.

A bit of history: Pickle barrels and pushcarts were pervasive on the LES a hundred years ago. Selling those lumps of brined yumminess was a relatively cheap and easy way to make a living for newly-arrived Eastern European immigrants. And there was most definitely a demand, as in the days before reliable at-home refrigeration, the process made vegetables last much, much longer. And so the Pickle District was born.

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So what better place to celebrate those lovely transformed cucumbers than The Lower East Side?

The fun takes place this Sunday, the 27th on Orchard St. between 12 noon and 5 pm. Over a dozen picklers will be present, plus a terrific representation of noted LES restaurants, like The Meatball Shop, Mission Chinese and Russ & Daughters. Local retail stores will also be hawking their wares.

Add to that a Home Pickling Contest with two categories: Pickled Pickles and Pickled Other. To enter, bring five jars of your goodies (one for each judge). Your work will be judged for appearance, flavor and texture; the competition promises to be stiff, so bring the best you’ve got.

Of course there will be live music. Plus a Halloween Costume contest for both kids and adults! (To enter, check in at the LES BID table (Orcahrd Street between Delancey and Rivington between 1:00 and 2:30 and be judged by Fantasy Grandma.

Apparently there is a National PIckle Day, but it isn’t until November 14th, but who cares. We New Yorkers are always ahead of the curve!