Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

Yesterday I planned to try a gelato popsicle from Popbar in Greenwich Village, but I was seriously craving a Salty Pimp from the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. What to do? Well, do what any normal person would do. Get both.

Was it worth it?

Heck yeah. Because otherwise I would have missed out on THIS.

A Salty Pimp from Doug Quint with a Side Order of Middle Finger

A Salty Pimp from Doug Quint with a Side Order of Middle Finger

Now you’re probably wondering how this photo came about.

Here’s how it went down:

My friend (excited to be recognized as a frequent customer by Doug Quint, owner of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck) and I walk up to the window and I say (to Doug): We’ll get two Salty Pimps.

Doug (solemnly shakes head from side to side, as though he just ran out of the Salty Pimp)

Us (with crestfallen faces): Whaaaat?

Doug (cracks a smile, indicating he is messing with us, and turns around to start making the Pimps)

Me (with sigh of relief): I’ve been craving it for days!

Friend (looks at the menu again, turns to me): Hmm, or should I try the Monday Sundae?
Friend (calls to Doug): Should I try the Monday Sundae?

Doug (pops head out the window and sternly points to my friend): Get the Salty Pimp and shut up!
Doug (cracks smile again): The Salty Pimp is so good!

The Making of a Pimp

The Making of a Pimp

As he starts drizzling dulce de leche and salting the Pimp, Doug tells us how Gourmet magazine had written an article last year in which he was named as the friendliest street vendor of all time, and then soon afterwards the magazine folded. In retaliation, he wasn’t going to be nice anymore. He popped his head back out the window and called out to the growing line of customers, “F— you!” Coming from the friendliest street vendor of all time, this show of ‘anger’ was met with cheerful laughter.

It was a good attempt, Doug, but a failed attempt. You’re still pretty darn friendly.

Here’s what Doug usually looks like when he passes a Salty Pimp to the hands of an eagerly waiting customer:

A Cheerful Doug Quint with a Salty Pimp

A Cheerful Doug Quint with a Salty Pimp



Playful banter with a super nice guy could be reason enough to visit this sweet oasis, but the ice cream creations are not to be missed. The Salty Pimp is a customer favorite, consisting of vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, and a sprinkling of sea salt, all dipped into a chocolate shell. I am a confirmed addict of sweet and salty desserts, so this is the perfect ice cream cone for me.

Salty Pimp - vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, sea salt, chocolate dip

Salty Pimp - vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, sea salt, chocolate dip

The Inner Goodness of a Salty Pimp

The Inner Goodness of a Salty Pimp

The Bea Arthur is also delicious – vanilla soft serve with dulce de leche, coated with crushed Nilla wafer cookie crumbs. If you like cake batter ice cream, you’ll like this one – the crumbs add a really nice texture to each bite. It was so hot the day I got this that all the crumbs were quickly dripping off while I frantically ate, but I immensely enjoyed those 30 seconds. If only I had the stomach capacity to have a Bea Arthur in one hand and a Salty Pimp in another.

The Bea Arthur - vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, coated with crushed Nilla wafer crumbs

The Bea Arthur - vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, coated with crushed Nilla wafer crumbs

My first and only foray into the specialty toppings menu so far has been the L’Herbier de Milly Peppermint Syrup & Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs. Actually, I had read about the contest where Scharffen Berger was going to give away 10 packs of cacao nibs to Twitter followers who ordered this topping from the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and that actually pushed me to finally go track down the truck. (Given that I live in Jersey, this is no easy feat.)

When I arrived, I was torn. I was so tempted to get that Salty Pimp, but I stayed the course and got the Peppermint & Cacao Nibs topping. This may seem silly, but I didn’t have a Twitter account at that time so I didn’t even enter that contest, but that blog post made me crave this so badly I had to get it! Of course I still took a ton of pictures. And it was refreshingly satisfying. There’s nothing like cool peppermint syrup and crunchy, deeply bitter cacao nibs on creamy ice cream!

Vanilla Soft Serve with Peppermint Syrup and Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs

Vanilla Soft Serve with Peppermint Syrup and Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs

Now, every time I frequent the truck, I am faced with a dilemma. Should I try one of the many other tasty-sounding creations, like the Monday Sundae – twist soft serve in a waffle cone with Nutella, sea salt, dulce de leche, and whipped cream? The Belgian slipwich – Nutella and vanilla soft serve sandwiched between two thin chocolate cartwheel cookies? One of many delectable special toppings like ginger syrup with curry powder or olive oil and sea salt? OR just give in to the gravitational pull of the irresistibly delicious and crave-inducing Salty Pimp??? Something else must be sprinkled on top of that soft serve before being dipped in chocolate, because I inevitably start craving another Salty Pimp a few hours after eating one.

Toppings Menu

Toppings Menu

Too many things to try, too little time. I dread the time when the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck closes shop for the season. Not only will I start counting down the months until my next Salty Pimp, I’ll also regret not having had the time to try everything else on the menu or the opportunity to snag a bite of the elusive choinkwich (caramelized bacon with chocolate soft serve sandwiched between chocolate cartwheel cookies)….

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

To learn more about Doug Quint, a professional bassoonist-turned-part-time-ice-cream-guy, and how he got started in the biz, check out these articles on the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck’s website.

Here’s the rundown:
Big Gay Ice Cream Truckfour_cones
Locations change, but most often I’ve found the truck here:
Broadway & 17th Street
New York, NY 10003
For more accuracy, check the Twitter feed!
Map It!
Hours: These also change, but generally the truck is open for business from 2pm to 8pm

Follow the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck on Twitter!

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