Day 24: Andy’s Italian Ices.
If I could have my cake and eat it too, I’d have said cake first thing every morning, and you bet I’d eat it too. As you may now know, my sweet tooth ultimately controls my every thought and action, and today was no different. A quick glance of my tweets told me Andy’s Italian Ices was a short walk up to Lincoln Center. Nestled comfortably on 63rd and Broadway, I’d have probably passed right by if I didn’t look carefully – Andy’s dessert van is discreet, and outfitted in regular commercial van clothing. I asked owner Andrew for my regular and was bestowed with a Smörgåsbord of eye and mouth candy – cannoli, chocolate chocolate chip, espresso chip, peachy keen, and frozen mango. I went for the créme flavors first, and was immediately blown away by espresso chip.
The cannoli had a cinnamony flavor with bits of real cannoli floating about, and the choc. choc. chip was chocolately, not too sweet, and tasted of full dark chocolate. The espresso chip was prefect. All three créme ices had the consistency of a creamy sorbet, unlike traditional ices that are always watery and icycly. The chocolate pieces were crunchy and extra fun to nibble on and the coffee flavors coming out of the ice were bold, creamy, and smooth. Think of this as your frozen cappuccino sans dairy (for the lactose intolerant peeps), loaded with chocolate pieces, then dialed up on the frozen scale for a thicker more indulgent treat.
By contrast, the peachy keen was way too sweet for me, and tasted like biting into a concentrated frozen Jolly Rancher. However, my favorite by far was the last one Andrew scooped, the frozen mango. It was unlike sorbets I’d ever had – the consistency of this was just spot on – and the real natural notes of mango really shined here. I felt like I was actually eating a frozen mango, but without the little bits of fruit that get stuck between your teeth. I knew in my mind this was dessert, but I felt healthy eating it. Check out this short clip to see yours truly scooping the dessert to show that velvety-smooth texture.
Before I left, I received a tour of their van, which was cleaner than any place I’d ever been to in my life. I also got a peak at their espresso machine and when Andrew saw my amazement, offered a sample of their iced Chococcino, a mix of hot chocolate and locally-sourced Demarco coffee infused with a double shot of espresso. I was blown away by both ices earlier, but this makes 3 for 3. The chocolate flavor was dark and slightly sweet, and the espresso was bold and flavorful, with a hint of inherent bitterness, but the entire drink was smooth. Check out their tweets for their most up to date locations, and if they’re in your hood, try out the frozen mango! They’re called “Heaven in a cup” for a reason! Thanks Andrew for quenching my sweet tooth and also for just being a super friendly guy. See you all again soon!