I want to say up front here that I accept all religions. I believe everybody should be able to practice whatever it is they believe (as long as nobody is being hurt in the process). However when religions become too organized or preachy, I tend to become a bit annoyed and uncomfortable.

But I’m somewhat of a hypocrite aren’t I? I preach the religion of food. And I’ve become a bit obsessive and tend to force my ideas on all my blog followers. Now just send me checks payable to the church of Eat This NY.

The reason I bring all this up is because the most recent ice cream shop I’ve discovered is connected to, funded by, and in support of The Father’s Heart Ministries. And you’d never know this about Alphabet Scoop unless you paid close attention to the motto: “Changing Lives One Scoop at a Time” or noticed the free bibles available on your way out.

And from what I can gather from their website, The Father’s Heart does some really great things for the community, the homeless, the elderly, and the youth. It may all be through the word of God, but if they can keep kids off the street and help feed the homeless, I’m all for it.

What I’m not all for is bad ice cream. And I find it telling that on their website, all the good things Alphabet Scoop provides for the people are listed first and then it basically says, “Oh yeah, we make quality ice cream on premises.” Not so fast.

God help me for saying this, but the ice cream here is pretty bad across the board. And the vibe inside is very strange. I guess it’s more suited for families early in the day, but it’s a very weird vibe for this area of the East Village. Pink and white ice cream cone drawings adorn the walls. The kids working there were friendly enough but seemed a little too wholesome for this neighborhood.

We asked for some tastes which they were very happy to provide in those little paper cups usually reserved for frozen yogurt sampling. Doesn’t quite make sense with harder premium ice cream. And this ice cream was very hard. I watched the guy trying to scoop out an icy taste and it looked like hard work. If this ministry provides nothing else for these kids, at least it’s keeping them in shape.

I first tried the Chocolate Almond. I was expecting chocolate ice cream with almond pieces, but it was the other way around. Almond ice cream with chocolate pieces. Anybody who knows anything about flavors knows this is probably not the best idea. Especially when they’re loading the ice cream with disgustingly sweet almond extract. It was cloying and almost inedible. The Coco Pine fared better with bland coconut ice cream enlivened by sweet pineapple pieces.┬áThe Coffee (my favorite ice cream flavor) brought us back into nauseating land. It was way too sweet and had a heavy thick mouthfeel with a flat coffee flavor. More extract, I’m sure.

For my cone, I got two flavors although the scooper had no sense of proportion as I ended up with a huge portion of Razzle Dazzle and just a smidge of Cookies n Cream. The latter also somehow tasted like a syrup and I’m not even sure there were actual cookie pieces in there. How hard is it to crush up Oreos and add them to the ice cream mix?

The Razzle Dazzle matched the wallpaper of the store. It was White Chocolate ice cream (I mean can it get any sweeter?) with a swirl of artificial raspberry swirl that I don’t think had any fruit in its origin. The only saving grace here was the dark chocolate pieces which just slightly mellowed out the sweetness.

It took me a while to actually taste the product because I was snapping so many pictures. Normally this is a problem as the ice cream warns me its time to eat by dripping down my hand. In this case, all that time worked in its favor because the icy treats needed some time to thaw. The temperature in the freezer is way too cold and I can tell by the hard, unpleasant texture.

A free sprinkle bar (just the rainbow and chocolate options) is a nice touch, but do we really need more sugar on these sweet treats? Also, the ice cream is the cheapest I’ve encountered on my journey (both in quality and price). Two small cones came to $4, which is usually the price of one cone. But who wants to spend any money on less than quality ice cream?

And then of course, there are always those free bibles. I just wish somebody would offer a free ice cream recipe book. God knows these folks need it!

Is Alphabet Scoop the best ice cream in NY? 3 out of 10 puts them at the bottom. And while good things are happening somewhere in the building, I can assure you it has nothing to do with ice cream.

ALPHABET SCOOP
543 East 11th Street (between Avenue A and Avenue B)

(212) 982-1422

fathersheartnyc.com/programs-alphabetscoop.php

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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.

One Response to HEAVENLY TREATS (Alphabet Scoop)

  1. Ha! This review was delicious. Clearly I spend too much of my life around food enthusiasts because when I saw “Coco Pine” I thought you were going to mention some bizarre chocolate-pine tree flavor.

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