In my five years in New York so far, I’ve had trouble finding a proper replacement for my favorite ice cream spot at home, The Custard Hut (which I mention here). There’s a frozen yogurt place on every corner and Mr. Softee trucks all over, but nothing really feels the same as the dinky little ice cream shack we would go to celebrate every soccer game, awards night, science fair, or choir concert.
I’ve been dying to try out Big Gay Ice Cream for years but the moment was never right whenever I walked by. The moment *was* right on Monday. Aubrey, Emmy, and I celebrated Aubrey’s birthday at the West Village shop at Grove & 7th Ave – the original location is in the East Village on 7th St between 1st & A. When I arrived, I attempted to convince a French bulldog owner who was leaving to stay for a few minutes to surprise Aubrey, but the arrangement didn’t work out. What *did* work out was the ice cream situation I had in my hand minutes later.
I have known what I would order at Big Gay Ice Cream since 2010, when they were simply a food truck. Their most popular item is “The Salty Pimp” – vanilla soft-serve, infused with dots of dulce de leche, sprinkled heavily with sea salt, and dipped in a hard chocolate shell. Read that again. Now wipe the drool off of your keyboard.
“The Salty Pimp” was everything I’ve been dreaming about. It was flawless in size and saltiness – another swirl of ice cream or one more grain of salt would’ve been too much. The Big Gay Ice Cream shop itself is adorable. Unicorns and Golden Girls references abound. You cannot be in a bad mood at this place. They even give you a plastic cone for your cone so your hand doesn’t stick for the rest of the night. Perfection.
I can’t just undo a twenty-year love affair with The Custard Hut, but I can absolutely dub Big Gay Ice Cream a suitable substitute. Go celebrate a birthday, an 8-mile run, or even just the fact that you haven’t said “seriously!?” to a stranger yet all week.