After a huge summer rainstorm, ice cream isn’t likely to be the first thing on most people’s minds. I, however, was bent on finally getting my hands on some delicious vegan soft serve from Lula’s Sweet Apothecary on E 6th, just a block below Tompkins Square Park. I had heard about it for a long time and it was finally the day. I biked down avenue A after finishing my delicious family meal at Dirt Candy, the storefronts dripping onto the sidewalk and the smell of wet pavement peeling up in waves from the road. A quick turn onto the side street and there I was.
After trying a few varieties of their hand-packed ice creams, I settled on their classic and most popular item – a soft serve twist of chocolate and cake batter. It was impressively rich. They use a base of cashew milk for their soft serve, and it lent a depth of flavour that was completely unexpected. Even more surprisingly, the ice cream did not smack of nuttiness or cashewiness (though I would have been fine with that even if it did) – it was just smooth, rich, chocolatey, and slightly salty from the cake batter (à la cookie dough flavour). In short, it was just good.
It didn’t stick around either.
What was remarkable was the length of the flavour – it kept going on. And it was perfect with the sugar cone. My notes seem to say “YUMMM!!! so rich and excellent and lushious [sic]” or something to that effect (it gets a bit illegible near the margin; I don’t think I was paying attention)
Other pluses include the miniature metal spoons they give for tastes and the sweet playlist of gypsy jazz, bebop, and swing.
After my ice cream pit stop it was back up to E 13th for an espresso at Everyman. Grassy notes on the nose, balsamic reduction and cocoa husks with a medium body, and herbs, thyme, and galangal on the finish, with a lingering mouthfeel – full and astringent like a liqueur. It was good, though not my favourite.
I had some sweet and some caffeine so now it was time for art. I headed down to the Lower East Side to Culturefix, a gallery/bar/performance space on Clinton. They had this really cool installation up in the gallery space.
They were just opening the bar for dinner so I didn’t hang around too long – but I’m definitely going back when their new exhibition comes in.
Until then, stay tuned for more treats. Because there are always more treats to eat.