I've been to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck before this occasion, where I had an cookie ice cream sandwich of sorts that I had really enjoyed. So when Groupon offered it as one of its "Featured Deals of the Day," I knew I had to hop on the chance to have an excuse to go back (besides, who can turn down $10 worth of two ice cream cones for $5?!).
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was started by Douglas Quint, a professional bassoonist, and his partner, Bryan Petroff. After acquiring a "big gay ice cream truck," Mr. Quint was "armed with a concept but no practical experience" at all. But this didn't discourage him. He began "he long process of developing a brand identity, researching unique topping ideas in his test kitchen, securing his Mobile Food Vendor License, and bringing his vision to life." Big Gay Ice Cream Truck has been brought to fruition since 2009, when the Truck debuted at Brooklyn Pride.
As The New York Times said the "operation doesn't aspire to be artisanal," as Mr. Quint "celebrates the Mister Softee tradition, with a wink." The "wink" that The Times describes refers to the unusual marriages of flavors and toppings (including sriracha, ginger syrup, olive oil, and wasabi pea dust to start) over the traditional soft-serve ice cream found in typical ice cream trucks.
The Groupon deal was only good for regular-sized cones and not for sundaes or waffle cones as well as a few specialty cones.
Mr. Quint (at least that's who I think it was!) methodically making our ice cream cones!
I went with a regular-sized cone of the Bea Arthur, which was vanilla soft-serve ice cream with crushed Nilla wafers and dulce de leche. Probably one of the best soft-serve ice cream and topping combination I've ever had, especially from a food truck! I love that the dulce de leche was squeezed onto the ice cream swirl going vertically (creating long strands around the cone) as opposed to a circular shape around the ice cream swirl. I felt this gave a better balance of dulce de leche throughout the cone. I also liked that the entire surface of the ice cream cone was covered in crushed Nilla wafers, where no surface was left uncovered, especially since I'm a "ratio eater" (i.e., I like to eat the different ingredients in a given dish in a matching ratio so that every bite is consistent throughout). The Nilla wafers gave a nice textural contrast to the smoothness and creaminess of the soft-serve as well as the sweetness and thickness of the dulce de leche.
Marcus had a regular-sized cone of the Salty Pimp, which was vanilla soft-serve ice cream, with dulce de leche and sea salt, all dipped in chocolate, creating a hardened exterior shell over the ice cream. Another hit in the ball park for me as well as for Marcus. The ice cream cone was done in the same way that the dulce de leche was done for Bea Arthur, only there was this awesome chocolate shell around it with couple pinches of sea salt. Just as amazing as it sounds. Only warning here is to eat it quickly, especially in really warm weather, as it melts quicker than the non-chocolate coated cones. If not, you will risk losing the soft-serve delight to the elements as it melts away over your shoes onto the sidewalk.
Findings: If you're looking for culinary creativity paired with a cone filled and swirled with soft-serve ice cream, Big Gay Ice Cream Truck has what you're looking for. With unusual toppings as well as some pretty outrageously delicious specialty cones (like our Bea Arthur and Salty Pimp selections), you're bound to come across something new and amazing that will satisfy your palate on a warm summer day or evening. And even without a Groupon, I still thing $3-5 for a soft-serve treat from Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is a steal of a deal! So get your butt over to the truck for a well-deserved treat today!
Price point: Bea Arthur regular-sized cone for $4, Salty Pimp regular-sized cone for $5; a total of $5 with Groupon!
--June 7, 2011
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
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Big Gay Ice Cream Truck deal available here*!
* This deal is no longer available at the moment, but keep your eyes peeled! Sign-up for Groupon, and maybe they will offer the deal again soon.