SADLY, LAST LICKS IS NOW CLOSED.

I don’t know why baseball and ice cream go so well together, but it’s true. Maybe it’s because the magic of the All American sport and the sweet creaminess of rocky road are both the object of many young boys’ affections. But ice cream crosses gender lines, so shouldn’t we also have ice cream shops with Barbie dolls and My Little Ponies hanging on the wall?

Whatever the reason, little boys will forever want to eat ice cream in plastic baseball hats. One of my earliest memories was of this ice cream shop in Florida that would host birthday parties and I would always get to go home with sports memorabilia and a lactose induced tummy ache.

And if I was still a 12 year-old, I’m sure I’d want to come up to Last Licks as often as possible. I’m glad I’m not 12 years old anymore.

Last Licks is advertised as a sports bar for the prepubescent. It’s a great idea.  Kids can order their flavored vice and then lounge in front of televised sporting events, shop for baseball cards, or browse all the sports memorabilia. But since I showed up at an off time on a Monday evening, the only people hanging around were the thuggish employees interested in some game or another. I’m sure on Saturdays and Sundays (the kiddie Happy Hour), this place is flooded with Derek Jeter wannabes.

Okay so the store is cute and original, but how’s the ice cream? Well, first off, there were no prices on the wall. The guy could have charged me whatever he wanted. And he practically did: $3.50 for the smallest little wafer cone of ice cream. Maybe we’re paying for all the sports-centric puns like the Cookie-Dough Maggio Sundae.

The aforementioned distracted employees were completely apathetic as they informed me that most of the flavors were mislabeled. The Decaf Kids’ Coffee was not where it was supposed to be in the freezer. In fact, it was not anywhere in the store as they were out. This was not the place for a serious ice cream goer to stop. I stuck out like a sore thumb.

But I pushed on and asked for a few tastes. I decided to go with the kiddie theme and tasted one of my least favorite flavors: cake batter. I always found it so sweet and nauseating. I love cake frosting on cake, but do we really need to add sugar and cream? Any 12 year old would answer a resounding “Yes!” And the Superman is practically vanilla ice cream, but with so many artificial colors and sugar that any kid will be flying like a bird or a plane.

I settled on something called Ricky Road. It’s named after some sports player but bears no resemblance to actual rocky road. This is a vanilla base with a whole mess of stuff mixed in. It had pieces of Oreo, chocolate chunks, almonds, and caramel. I figured I’d cover all my bases (pun not intended) with that one.

All three flavors I tasted had the same soft, melty vanilla base. It’s creamy and sweet. So sweet it made me cough from all the sugar. And it tasted like a base – like a liquid base that comes pre-made. And I have no doubt this is what happens at Last Licks (especially since they have a handful of locations across New York state).

And the mix-in’s were a bit too much for me too. The rich caramel was so cloying that I am positive it came from a grocery shelf rather than a saucepan. All this lack of fresh ingredients is such the opposite of the new more adult-oriented ice cream that’s been popping up around the city and in Brooklyn lately.

The ice cream here reminded me of manufactured store bought versions, which is another happy memory from being a young boy oh so many years ago. So as low of a rating as I may give this, the boy in me would tell me to chill out (pun intended) and enjoy the delicious ice cream. He’d also be crazy enough to trade that 1986 Topps Jose Canseco card, so what do kids know anyway?

Is Last Licks the best ice cream in NY? Of course not. But for a boy of ten, this might be the best place on earth and for that alone, I can’t give it less than a 5 out of 10.

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Category: Ice Cream

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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