That familiar tune… it starts out faint, growing louder and louder by the second. Your ears perk up, your posture straightens. Instantly, you bolt for the door, grabbing your wallet on the way. It’s Mister Softee, and the truck is heading your way! You walk (run) up to the truck to find that those familiar sprinkles have been replaced with the unexpected , including wasabi pea dust, toasted curried coconut, dulce de leche, pumpkin butter, and even sea salt. You realize this is no Mister Softee. You, my friend, have stumbled upon the greatness that is Big Gay Ice Cream.
Co-founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff began Big Gay Ice Cream as a humble ice cream truck experiment in the summer of 2009. The combination of serving up that nostalgic old-school soft-serve covered in new, imaginative toppings was an instant success. In September of 2011, the pair expanded into their own brick-and-mortar shop in the East Village, located at 125 East 7th Street. This is where I have been a frequent happy customer over the past couple of months. I find my car driving itself to 7th Street all the time, all by itself. Weird…
Big Gay Ice Cream, along with Coolhaus and Van Leeuwen, serves up some of my favorite ice cream in NYC. It’s not just my opinion: the sweet concoctions turned out by Big Gay Ice Cream have been thoroughly enjoyed by the media as well, with features by The New York Post, NBC, ABC, NPR Radio, Food Network, and a host of others. Check out some of the famous food personalities and celebrities that have visited Big Gay Ice Cream here.
And apparently a lot of New Yorkers are fans of the ice cream here as well. No matter what time I go to Big Gay Ice Cream, there is always a line. During the day…
And at night…
Don’t worry, the line goes fast. And the wait is always entertaining, as you overhear excited patrons talk about what ice cream creation they’re going to try this visit. “Maybe a Salty Pimp today… no, no. American Globs”. Then someone else chimes in, “You toootally have to get the Bea Arthur! It’s amazing!” Before you know it, you’re inside.
As you order, don’t forget to grab one of their cone cards. Buy 10 cones, get one free!
If it’s your first time at Big Gay Ice Cream, you definitely have to get The Salty Pimp. It’s a Big Gay Ice Cream classic…
Yes, The Salty Pimp. It’s spectacular. First, they grab a cone and drizzle a little dulce de leche into the bottom of the cone. It will be a welcomed surprise as your excitement turns to sadness once you realize the cone is almost gone… then boom, you’re hit with that deliciousness! Add in the vanilla soft serve, which is then studded all over with dulce de leche:
And then it’s finished off with a sprinkle of sea salt and chocolate dip. Once you bite into it, you’ll see this:
Just look at it. The slight crunch of the chocolate dip. The creamy vanilla soft serve. The rich caramel flavor of the dulce de leche. And ohhhh the sea salt! Wait, what? Sea salt?! Yes!!! Sweet and salty is nothing new, everyone who’s eaten a chocolate covered pretzel can tell you how good that combo is. Speaking of chocolate and pretzels, there’s a cone for that!
Ah, the American Globs! This creation has vanilla soft serve, sea salt, crushed up pretzels, and chocolate dip. Do yourself a favor and ask for it in a boat. After my first American Globs experience, I wondered if they would entertain the idea of adding dulce de leche, making it a combination of The Salty Pimp and American Globs. Maybe we could call it the American Pimp… or maybe Salty Globs?
In any case, they not only obliged to my request, the person behind the counter was elated at the idea… as can be seen by the generous amount of dulce de leche he added 🙂
As of recent though, my new favorite item at Big Gay Ice Cream is definitely the Bea Arthur.
The Bea Arthur sports vanilla soft serve with a generous amount of dulce de leche, smothered in crushed ‘nilla wafers. It’s pretty amazing, to the point where I’m considering putting down my computer, getting in the car, and driving there right now for one!
I’ve also really enjoyed their Monday Sundae… so much so that I forgot to take a picture of it before devouring it! The Monday Sundae is a generous-sized waffle cone lined with nutella and stuffed with twist soft serve, dulce de leche, sea salt, and whipped cream. It’s huge, but totally legit.
Something I haven’t tried yet but I saw the last time I was at Big Gay Ice Cream are The Salty Pimp Cupcakes. A collaboration with Robecelli’s Cupcakes, The Salty Pimp Cupcake layers vanilla cake around dulce de leche pudding, topped with dulce de leche buttercream frosting and drowned in fudge. Sounds pretty ridiculous…ly… awesome! I will definitely be trying one next visit.
So do yourself a favor and get to Big Gay Ice Cream soon. Start out with the Salty Pimp, then work your way around the menu. That’s what I’m doing, and enjoying every second of it!