Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Emack and Bolio’s

Last week some friends and I decided to hit the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. We had a late start, though, and by the time we reached the starting point at 44th Street and 5th Avenue we could see the tail end of the parade moving further away from us, traveling uptown. So we quickly made our way to Grand Central Station and caught the 6 train up to 77th Street and made it to 5th Avenue just in time to see a few groups of kilt-clad men playing bagpipes march past us. It was worth it. I like the sound of bagpipes.

Storefront on 1st Avenue, between 81st and 82nd Streets

Storefront on 1st Avenue, between 81st and 82nd Streets

Standing out in the bright warm sun, I started craving something icy cold and sweet, so after we had our fill of Irish good cheer, we decided to get some ice cream and the closest shop was Emack and Bolio’s on 1st Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets. I hadn’t been there in a few years so I was looking forward to it.

The Original Flavored Cone case and some crazy candy concoctions

The Original Flavored Cone case and some crazy candy concoctions

Upon first walking in, when you see the psychedelic drawings and hand-lettered menus, you may think you’re in some copycat NYC-itified version of Ben and Jerry’s, but Emack and Bolio’s is actually a chain of ice cream stores from Boston, Massachusetts, that was founded three years before Ben and Jerry’s. They also created the “Original Flavored Cone”, which is basically an ice cream cone with more stuff on it, so if you can’t decide between ice cream or a chocolate bar, well, you don’t have to, because you can have it all. I mean, there were cones with rice krispy treats packed around the outer edges. One friend called them monstrosities, but I’m sure there are some people out there rejoicing in these creations.

A Menagerie of Flavors - Deep Purple Cow and Grasshopper Pie

A Menagerie of Flavors - Deep Purple Cow and Grasshopper Pie

Several flavors sounded tantalizing, like Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Peanut Butter Oreo, and Mud Pie. But I decided to get a scoop of “Deep Purple” Cow – black raspberry with blueberry pieces and white and dark chocolate chips. How can one NOT order something called “Deep Purple” Cow?? Well, my friends didn’t, I guess. They got Grasshopper Pie, which also sounded good – creme de menthe with chocolate chips and oreos.

The verdict? I thought “Deep Purple” Cow was good, but not mind-blowingly great. Maybe there were too many things going on for me. The blackberry ice cream base was rather good, but the blueberry pieces were really tart, and the white chocolate chips were really sweet, which was a strange combination for my palate. That’s not to say other people wouldn’t enjoy it though. I know I’ve had better cones from Emack and Bolio’s so next time I think I’ll go for one of the peanut butter flavors. Peanut Butter Oreo has my name written on it.

As for Grasshopper Pie, my friend said it was solid, but he preferred Ben and Jerry’s Milk and Cookies ice cream (we had just gotten a scoop on Ben and Jerry’s Free Scoop Day.)

Still worth another visit!

Here’s the rundown:
Emack and Bolio’sthree_cones
1562 1st Avenue (other locations available)
New York, NY 10028-4004
(212) 734-0105
Map It!
Hours: Mon-Thur, 12:30pm – 10:30pm; Fri-Sun, 12pm – 12am

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