Freeze your brain, and cool your body, with one of these icy delights, including an all-natural slush, a traditional Filipino dessert, and a beer-flavored ice cream sandwich, some of the best sweet bites in New York City. By Jessica Allen.
In Tagalog, halo-halo means “mix mix.” True to its name, the version at Mama Meena’s, a Filipino restaurant in Queens, mixes garbanzo beans, cubes of melon and various tropical fruits, white beans, red beans, and shaved ice. Perhaps its most noteworthy feature, however, is the giant scoop of purple yam (ube) ice cream, dense, almost chewy, and definitely redolent of yams. As it melts, the dessert becomes a lovely shade of lilac.
His store was ravaged by Sandy, but Steve Tarpin’s waterfront pie shop is in the midst of a resurgence. In honor of this treat, we’ve updated the classic nursery rhyme: Steve sells swingles down by the seashore. And they are not to be missed. Back and better after Hurricane Sandy, this Red Hook restaurant specializes in frozen key lime pies dipped in chocolate and served on a stick. Everything is made fresh in house. For variety, try the raspberry blonde, with has raspberry puree and white chocolate, or the diablo, with Mexican chili pequin pepper.
At Melt Bakery, the classic ice cream sandwich (at left) slides a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two chewy walnut chocolate chip cookies. Can’t go wrong there, no way, no how. The Elvis (at right) smooshes together peanut butter cookies and banana ice cream, while the bold has ice cream Sixpoint Brownstone Ale and salted peanut cookies. All ice cream and cookies are made fresh each day, and flavors change weekly.
Sometimes it’s too hot to chew, and you just gotta slurp. Enter Kelvin Natural Slush Co., which sells refreshment from a big blue truck. Updating a classic summertime treat, Kelvin begins with one of three base slushes (green and black tea, tangy citrus, or spicy ginger), then adds various mix-ins of your choice, including caramelized pineapple, white peach puree, pear, and chopped basil. Further enhance the cooling-off potential with a scoop of ice cream.
Chef/owner Fany Gerson brings the tastes of Mexico to the streets of New York via La Newyorkina. She makes ice cream, tamarind balls, brittles, and Mexican wedding cookies, among other treats, including the not-to-be-missed paletas (similar to Popsicles). The selection rotates, depending on what’s in season, but often includes watermelon and pineapple jalapeno. Every purchase helps Gerson rebuild after Hurricane Sandy destroyed her Brooklyn kitchen.