You may have read my first NYC Food Fads installment in February. Well, safe to say I still haven’t kicked my addiction to social media hyped munchies. It seems that every week there is a new innovative “must-try” taking up a third of my Instagram feed, and naturally I can’t avoid joining in on the hype.
If you’re wondering if some of the newest fads are worth going out of your way for, I’m here to tell you what’s “worth the wait” and what’s “not so great”.
1. Soft Swerve – 85B Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
Considering that Ube Kitchen was such a hit at Smorgasburg, which opens for the season each April, it’s no surprise that Soft Swerve photo shoots began easing on my social media feeds around the same time. I too went home after experiencing the magic that is ube ice cream in a dragonfruit bowl, and Googled “Ube ice cream in NYC”. Surprise, surprise, Soft Swerve is the first location that pops up; and for good reason.
The ube ice cream at Soft Swerve is just as creamy and delicious, and various toppings, specials, and cone flavors allows customers to customize their dessert. What I love about this new trend of flavors, such as ube, coconut, black sesame, and matcha, is that they provide new, unique flavors without straying too far from the classic feel. Despite it’s simplicity, I would definitely consider Soft Swerve worth the wait.
2. Tipsy Scoop – 217 E 26th Street, New York, NY 10010
Tipsy Scoop is making waves with their liquor-infused ice cream flavors based on classic cocktails, but we’re not talking “adding a little rum for flavor.” Ordering a scoop at this ice cream bar, each of which has about 5% ABV, actually requires you to provide proof of age.
I went in around 4:00 PM and while many flavors were already sold out for the day, I still had a decent amount of choices to choose from. On this day Dark Chocolate Whiskey Caramel and Cake Batter Vodka Martini won out. There was an obvious liquor taste in both flavors, but it was definitely a bit more noticeable in the Cake Batter, most likely due to it having a vanilla base. I wouldn’t deny the possibility that a quart of this stuff, which you can actually purchase online, could leave you with at least a slight buzz. But the liquor flavors only add to already delicious ice cream. Jury says Tipsy Scoop is definitely worth the wait.
3. Avocaderia – 238 36th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11232
Avocaderia, in my opinion, proves that social media hype can make anything trendy. Why Instagram your homemade avocado toast when you can choose from an array of avocado-centric dishes at Industry City’s new food hall? Customers can choose from various avocado toasts, with toppings like feta and smoked salmon, to salads with large helpings of the green fruit.
I decided to keep it simple and try the “Chill Out”, which is avocado toast topped with chili flakes and sichimi. I also ordered a side order of the “signature guaca” with baked pita chips. Despite the great taste and sturdiness of the multigrain bread, I have literally made more flavorful avocado toast in less than two minutes at home. Avocaderia guacamole is weirdly flat, lacking even the mildest hint of salt or lime. But hey, I did come across some pieces of chopped celery (#why). I’m sure some people will adore this spot just for the Instagram-worthy photos and maybe I should’ve tried one of the more topping filled toasts. But personally, if I’m going to drop almost 12 dollars on what is considered your “signature”, I want it to at least taste worth it. The only great thing about Avocaderia is that I was able to grab a mushroom slice from Table 87 right across the way. Not so great.
4. Ice & Vice – 221 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
Ice & Vice is an experimental ice cream shop, and a winner of a 2014 Vendy Award for best dessert. Innovative flavors include names like Blood Sisters, Olive Garden, Ants on a Farm and many others. But Ice & Vice are also known for their outlandish dessert arrangements. Want a slice of pie between your two scoops? Sure. Want to top off your sundae with an ice cream sandwich? No problem.
I kept it simple with a scoop of Milk Money (toasted milk, sea salt, chocolate ganache) and a scoop of their 21+ flavor Pickles of the Caribbean (rum, coconut, pickled pineapple jam) in a blue corn honey cone. My friend went with 9 AM (Vietnamese coffee, donut truffle) and Basic B (Mexican vanilla, black lava sea salt) topped with a Mexican chocolate fruity pebble brownie ice cream sandwich in a coconut almond macaroon cone.
It’s a mouthful, literally and figuratively. My Milk Honey flavor was delicious for what it was but the Pickles of the Caribbean was outstanding! The sweet pickled pineapple combined with the rum and semi-sweet coconut was the perfect combination. I already know I’ll make my way back here to try another combination by the end of the summer. All in all, I’d say Ice & Vice is worth the wait.
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