Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck
I've noticed more trucks selling food here on the Upper West Side. First there were the "Halal" trucks, such as the one on 86th and Broadway near the Citibank. Then there was the "Treat Truck," which, like a ghostrider, makes an occasional, unexpected stop near Barnes and Noble on 83rd Street. And now, in front of Zabar's, comes The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck, which sells, well, you know what it sells.
This truck clearly is not Mr. Softee. No jingle, for one. Second of all, they have a very fancy collection of flavors, including Giandujia, which is something with hazlenut. OK, the something is Michel Cluziel chocolate, which I stated was one of the few chocolates I really liked some months ago. They are more expensive than Mr. Softee, with a small cone/cup going for $3.95. In addition to their fancy flavors, they also have vanilla, chocolate and mint chip. In fact, if you go to their website, you can see all of their flavors, as well as when and where their trucks will located.
The real question is how good is the ice cream. I sampled the wares of the truck with two other people, who wish to remain anonymous (no, it was not the lovely wife). The answer is quite tasty, but there could be some improvements. I tried the mint chip, which I thought was a bit icy. The mint was pleasantly subdued, but the Michel Cluziel Chips lacked a certain crispness. The other flavors we sampled included chocolate, currants and cream, and ginger. The overall consensus was that the ice cream was good, but could have been creamier and a bit more strongly flavored.
I think its clearly worth going back to the truck and seeing how things are going there. Although not cheap, its a good cone that you get for $4, as opposed to Grom, which was way more for way less ice cream. Ironically, I thought that Grom's ice cream was too creamy and too strongly flavored, proving that I am probably a pain in the butt in general. Final verdict: worth a try, but not a repeat if you don't like what you first had.
Let me know if you tried, and if you liked!
Also, leave me a post if you see any other trucks here on the Upper West Side.