Big Gay Ice Cream Shop: Novel Novelty

September 23, 2012

So many colors! 

Rating: ◊◊◊ 

Ok, I admit, whenever I’m genuinely interested in something, I totally buy into the hype. Handmade in France and lovingly kissed by a hundred virgin nuns? So delicious it will permanently disfigure my taste buds? Great, you’ve sold me. I’ll take five!

Knowing this about me, it should be absolutely no surprise that I was excited to sample some of the fanciful concoctions at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (A. was dragged along for quality assurance and calorie sharing purposes).

When we arrived, there was an intimidating line about 12 people deep streaming out of Big Gay’s small establishment. Luckily, a friendly employee stood in the doorway and handed menus out to customers while they waited, expediting the traffic significantly. It only took about 10 minutes before we were ushered into the shop and allowed to order.

A mad dash to serve customers! No wonder only a few people could be let in at a time... (Also, notice the Salty Pimp cupcakes!) 
Now, going to Big Gay Ice Cream for the first time and not getting the Salty Pimp is a little bit like visiting Paris without going to the Eiffel Tower. So, despite some extremely tempting alternatives (the Mermaid – vanilla soft serve, lime curd, graham crackers, whipped cream), A. and I took the classic route and got our hands on a big, fat pimp-licious cone.

An inviting cone with a nifty drip protector. 
Comprised of vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, sea salt and chocolate coating, the delectable Salty Pimp is no doubt owners Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff’s most popular creation. The combination of these dreamy ingredients immediately reminded me of an elevated Mr. Softee cone. The salt sharpened the mellow, milky flavor of the other ingredients and the hardened chocolate dip allowed for some lovely textural contrast. On the whole, it showcased some serious creative energy, but still drew on the nostalgic novelty we love about classic vanilla soft serve ice cream. I can definitely see why people rave about this cone and this tasty place.

Ultimately, is Big Gay Ice Cream Shop worth the hype? In my opinion, it depends. In the novelty department, Big Gay’s got it all. Sassy menu items like the Gobbler (apple butter, bourbon butterscotch & pie pieces) and the Mexican Aflo-gay-to (spicy hot chocolate, chocolate shavings & cayenne) are practically leaping off of the chalkboard into eager mouths. This just goes to show: not only do Quint and Petroff deliver delicious, innovative ice cream, they do with it with such exuberance and glitz that it is impossible not to enjoy yourself when eating one of their desserts.

Ice cream and unicorns? This is a real-life East Village fairytale that you can relive everyday. 
On the other hand, the quality of the ingredients at Big Gay Ice Cream is only so-so. The vanilla soft serve is not even close to the thick, luscious ice cream you would expect when paying $5 for a cone. Also, the Salty Pimp's chocolate dip was waxy and slightly artificial-tasting. My 3 star rating was directly influenced by this.

This sign definitely improved my state of happiness. 
In the end, I’m really glad I followed the hype and tried out Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. Whether you’re a fan of kooky desserts or just on the lookout for a tasty cone, this little place has the kinds of treats that can add a bit of gaiety to any day.

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10009

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop: Novel Novelty

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

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