There was a time, not that long ago, that I had a dream of opening my own ice cream shop. I went to ice cream school for a weekend at Penn State. I would spend many hours at work just writing down concepts and flavor ideas. I even went so far as to think about the music I would play in the shop.
The dream lives on and one day (after I’ve made a fortune from my food show), I would love to have my own ice cream shop. And every time I walk by and peek into Sundaes & Cones in the East Village, I always think that’s what I want my shop to look like.
It’s a pretty open space (surprisingly big for a NYC location) with room to linger and it sort of transports you out of the city and into the suburbs somewhere. But on a busy night (which is not unusual in the summertime), it feels just as rushed and hectic as a street in midtown.
I ignored the young staff’s pushiness to order. Nothing rude was said (not much was said at all in fact), but I could tell they were getting annoyed at my indecisiveness. I was looking for coffee ice cream, which I think is the perfect flavor. I was surprised and disappointed that they didn’t offer it, but I was excited by all the unusual and ethnic flavors they did offer. I had been here before and remembered both the black sesame and the corn.
Thanks to the fact that there were two of us, I got to sample about six different flavors. The corn was first on my list and wasn’t as strong of a corn flavor as I hoped. Corn is rather bland to begin with but if you’re going to put vegetables in ice cream, I expect something cool (no pun intended) to happen. I was intrigued by the honey dew (which was ice cream, not sorbet) and found it light and refreshing. The triamisu had a strong, boozy flavor but was bold and delicious. And the banana tasted like real bananas! Imagine that! Oftentimes, I find fruit flavored ice creams to taste more like syrup than something that came off a tree (and not the syrup that does come off a tree, mind you!).
I finally settled on my childhood favorite: cookies and cream. Isn’t that everybody’s childhood favorite? That and mint chocolate chip – right?
The ice cream was incredibly creamy and soft. They seemed to have nailed the texture. It even melted very fast, which I believe is a good sign that they’re keeping it at the right temperature. There’s nothing worse than rock hard ice cream. And who cares if it melts fast? It’s gonna get eaten pretty quickly anyway.
I would have liked maybe a few more cookie chunks, but it had that deep cream flavor and the cookies that were present were chocolatey and even tasted freshly baked. I was impressed by the smoothness and freshness of all the flavors. When the dream to open my own ice cream shop is finally realized (and I’m playing that annoying Tom Waits’ Ice Cream Man song), I can only hope my product is as good as the offerings at Sundaes & Cones.
Is Sundaes & Cones the best ice cream in NY? Despite apathetic service and a very non-NYC vibe, this place gets an 8 out of 10 for making some interesting flavors and succeeding in a quality ice cream product.