July 10, 2009

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory has long been on my list of places to try in NYC, but for some reason or another, it's taken me years to get there. When I met Halcyon and her DH in the city a month or so ago, her DH told me he wasn't that crazy about it, so I moved it down the list to a lower-priority ranking. :)

As it turns out, that place is RIGHT around the corner from my favorite Vietnamese restaurant (post coming after this one) that my dear friend CPZ brought me to years ago. It's a favorite of ours, both because it is delicious and it is remarkably cheap. Win win! CPZ treated me to dinner (gorgeous AND generous! oy!) and so the very least I could do is treat her to ice cream. She mentioned CICF, and after a roundabout walk (took me a few minutes to google it on my blackberry), we found ourselves just steps away from the restaurant and sampling different flavors.

Chinatown I.C.F. has some basics, like mint chocolate chip or vanilla, but they also have more 'exotic' (as they put it) choices such as red bean, lychee nut, zen butter and almond cookie. I tried one sample of almond cookie and was instantly smitten. I am an absolute sucker for anything almond. Tortoni is one of my favorite desserts, but bad tortoni is pretty awful. That's when it's gritty or frostbitten or just plain cheaply made. This ice cream was none of those disappointing qualities. It was smooth and satisfying and just what my taste buds wanted. I ordered a small scoop with rainbow sprinkles. Carlota got the mint chocolate chip with jimmies (rainbow ones are sprinkles and chocolate ones are jimmies, as any self-respecting Yankee knows. Debate over.) We tried each other's ice creams as well and agreed we'd both picked winners. The ice cream is SUPER rich and creamy. I initially looked at the small portion and thought "4.50 for THAT? I could buy a whole pint of Haagen-Dazs for the same price!" However, it IS extremely filling and decadent, and when I scraped the very last drops out of my cup, I absolutely felt it was worth it. And later, I will probably still buy the Haagen-Dazs (have you tried their "Five" line yet?? YUMMMM!)

At 4.50 for a small scoop + jimmies/sprinkles, this doesn't exactly qualify as "Cheap Eats" in my book, but it was definitely worth the visit, and I would recommend it if you're in the neighborhood!

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
65 Bayard Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 608-4170

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