Amor by Robert Indiana on Sunday in Philadelphia

Amor by Robert Indiana on Sunday in Philadelphia

Amor by Robert Indiana on Sunday in Philadelphia

After having a splendid Saturday in Philadelphia with our friend Faith that included visiting the Barnes Foundation for the first time and dinner at our favorite restaurant in the city, all we had to do on Sunday was get up and do it all over again.  Did we have as good a day Sunday as the day before?  Well, if we didn’t, we came mighty close.  It all started with a trudge over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the first thing that we confronted was the Amor sculpture by Robert Indiana.

The last time we were in Philadelphia, we had taken a selfie in front of this sculpture’s sister (brother?) sculpture in the nearby aptly-renamed Love Park.  So I had to take a stab at getting another selfie.  As you can see from above, I didn’t do a very good job.  There was a tourist who offered to take our picture in front of the sculpture, but I was gritting my teeth, saying under my breath “MUST… TAKE… SELFIE!”  Oh well, you get the idea.

Now, we’ve been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art a couple of times together, so we didn’t need to do the grand tour of the whole museum – no Medieval and Renaissance art this time, no Impressionists.  We decided instead to focus on two areas: East Asian art, and American art (including furniture).  In the latter area, this museum has quite a lot of amazing holdings.  For example, they have quite a collection of butter prints, wooden molds that were used to make your blocks of butter look beautiful.  And they have some incredible face jugs, ceramic jugs made with people’s faces on them – the sort of grotesque ugly thing that is so homely that it’s beautiful.

In their east Asian wing, the thing that really impresses me are the rooms that are recreations of whole sections of ancient Asian palaces.  For example, the Chinese Reception Hall, an entire large room with beautiful painted woodwork all around and overhead – truly an awesome setting.  Therese was especially keen on seeing the museum’s Japanese Teahouse, a large room with the buildings of a traditional teahouse set inside of it.  Not only is it historically intriguing, but they have tea ceremonies in it regularly.  You can look through various windows and feel like you are eavesdropping on a sublime moment that is being done just as it would have been centuries ago.

Now we all know that culture-immersion is hungry (and thirsty) work.  After enjoying these two sections of this extraordinary museum, we were ready for some lunch.  So we took a taxi over to the Reading Terminal Market, with its plethora of food options.  Not that I needed to hunt around to decide what sort of cuisine I wanted for my lunch: it was German sausage for me, my friends, served up by our friends at Wursthaus Schmitz.

Bratwurst Sandwich from Wursthaus Schmitz

Bratwurst Sandwich from Wursthaus Schmitz

Bratwurst, crispy fried onions, cole slaw and sweet German mustard on a bun, supreme yumminess!  I got a container of curry ketchup, thinking I might want to spread some of that on the bun as well, but it didn’t need it.  There was already a lot going on flavor-wise, and I was fortunate to take it all in.

Our purpose for visiting the market was two-fold: to eat lunch and also to get some food to take with us on our evening train back to NYC for our dinner.  For the latter, I chose to get duck lo-mein from Sang Kee Peking Duck, one of the Market’s great Chinese food vendors.  Of course, I couldn’t forget dessert – once again, I visited Flying Monkey Bakery for its vegan whoopie pie.  On this occasion, that came in a lemon poppy seed variety, kind of a head-scratcher – shouldn’t whoopie pies be chocolate? – but I did not look my gift horse in the mouth, my friends, I just enjoyed it.

Our ride home accompanied by slurpy noodles and duck breast slices and good vegan dessert, we experienced that rare feeling of contentment that comes of the perfect balance between deep experience of culture, wonderful food and sharing it all with good people.  Oh Philadelphia, we will see you again soon!

Posted in Chinese food, Countries, Dairy Free, Dessert, Food, German Food, Markets, Museums, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Sausage, Travel, United States | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ben and Jerrys Dairy Free Ice Cream Finally Readily Available

Ben and Jerrys Dairy Free Ice Cream Finally Readily Available

Ben and Jerrys Dairy Free Ice Cream Finally Readily Available

Well, last time I was telling you how hard it could be to find Ben & Jerry’s dairy free varieties in New York City.  I am happy to report that these dairy free delights are now available at national chains like Whole Foods and local specialty grocery stores like Brooklyn Fare here in Manhattan, just in time for the summer season to really get going.  And not just one or two of the flavors, but all four of them.  Yay!

Now that I have tried all four, I can tell you that my favorite is the Coffee Caramel Fudge.  The coffee flavored ice cream is creamy with that rich coffee tang to it, the caramel is intensely sweet and salty simultaneously, and there are just the right amount of chocolate chunks to provide some good crunch (and chocolate flavor which is as we know an essential dessert ingredient).

Ben and Jerrys Dairy Free Coffee Caramel Fudge

Ben and Jerrys Dairy Free Coffee Caramel Fudge

The fact that this is a flavor that was developed for us dairy free folks, which does not exist in the dairy version of Ben & Jerry’s, makes it doubly awesome.  And hey, the fact that I prefer this one doesn’t mean that I am ready to throw the other three under the bus.  All three of them – P.B. and Cookies, Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Fudge Brownie – are also very very good.  In terms of mainstream, pre-packaged dairy free/vegan ice cream, this is probably some of the best I have had.  The texture is creamy and soft, not crumbly the way almond milk-based ice creams can be.  The flavor is plenty sweet – in fact, if there is one negative comment I would make, it is that this is probably the sugary-est ice cream I have ever tasted.  The flavors are intense, and very enjoyable.

Now we all have to buy lots and lots of these ice creams, so that Ben & Jerry’s venture into dairy free land is very successful, and then maybe they will offer us more than four flavors.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  In the meantime, I know what I will be eating for dessert this summer!

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Barnes Foundation Highlights Philadelphia Weekend Visit

Barnes Foundation Highlights Philadelphia Weekend Visit

Barnes Foundation Highlights Philadelphia Weekend Visit

Philadelphia is about halfway between Baltimore and New York City, and thus, on occasion it is the perfect place for Therese and I to meet up with her friend Faith.  On a recent weekend, we took the Amtrak Keystone line to Philly and spent Saturday with Faith, staying over at the Center City Embassy Suites before heading back home in the early evening.

When we arrived in town, we passed one of my favorite things in the city, the Spirit of Transportation bas-relief by Karl Bitter that unfortunately is known mostly as what you see when you’re on your way to the men’s restroom.  I have passed it so many times, but never had ever taken a photo of it.  So finally, I did.

Spirit of Transportation by Karl Bitter

Spirit of Transportation by Karl Bitter

After meeting Faith at the hotel, we were off to our first stop of the day, at the Barnes Foundation, which according to our map, was just across the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and on the other side of Logan Circle.  However, due to construction or repairs taking place on this major throughfare, it was a little more complicated than that. Negotiating our way through the two or three blocks we had to walk, which nevertheless seemed to take for ever, reminded me a lot of walking through the middle of Washington, D.C., where the monuments prove, upon walking, to be much further apart than they seem to be.

Our long three blocks walked, we arrived in front of (or actually behind) the Barnes Foundation.  I gather this museum is mostly designed with its founder’s wishes in mind (more on that later), which includes huge gardens surrounding a modest-sized building packed with art, with the entrance in the back of the building, which means that you have to walk all the way around it before you can enter.  And yes, like Boston’s Gardner Museum, this museum’s collection consists of the holdings of a wealthy eccentric who happened to be buying brand-new artworks at the time when artists like Cezanne and Renoir were quite prolific.  The eccentric part of the equation comes in that each wall of every gallery is packed with a cramped succession of paintings, the vision of Mr. Albert Barnes which apparently can never be moved or altered in any respect.  If Therese and I had our way, we would knock down this small building and half of the gardens, put up a bigger building (that hopefully is a little bit more attractive than the current box in which the museum resides), and spread out the art so it has the chance to breathe.  But it would appear, again like the Gardner, that the founder’s vision is inviolate.

Well, within that unreasonable confines, this still manages to be an extraordinary museum, mainly due to the huge number of early Picassos and late Renoirs and Cezannes.  By the end, I felt like I could never look at another Renoir painting – I think there are something like 180 in this museum.  But I certainly loved seeing the late large-format painting Renoir created, where he incorporated his earlier lush Impressionist style into a more universal style that harkens back to the Renaissance.

After all that art (actually in the middle of all that art), it was time for some lunch.  The museum’s Garden Restaurant is a marvelous option.  They have a number of small plates that you can either mix and match to make a lunch, or combine with a main course to achieve the same effect.  I went with the latter, enjoying roast chicken breast (with a dairy free pesto) with black bean hummus and roasted cauliflower on the side.  Some of the best museums have very nice restaurants, and I would put this up there with some of our other favorite museum cafes, like the Petrie Court Cafe in our home Metropolitan Museum.

Lunch at Barnes Foundation Garden Restaurant

Lunch at Barnes Foundation Garden Restaurant

With our stomachs full and happy, we spent a few more hours at the Barnes, wandering through every last gallery – some two and three times to make comparisons between some of the favorite paintings we saw.  More than once, I was separated from Therese and Faith, and when we found each other, one of us would say to the other, “did you see x? Wow, that is a cool one!” which would cause the other person to return to a tiny room to see a particular painting a second or third time.

When it was closing time and we were kicked out of the museum, we had a couple options.  We could take a taxi to a shop to have some afternoon coffee, but it was more humane for us to head back to our hotel and just relax before dinner.  Our suite had a little coffee machine as it was, so Therese and Faith used that to get their caffeine fix.  And when we were done chilling, we had reservations for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Philadelphia, Alma de Cuba.

Short Rib Ropa Vieja

Short Rib Ropa Vieja

Alma de Cuba is noteworthy for its outstanding array of ceviches, and you can easily make an entire meal out of just ordering a sampler of four or six of those (Therese and I have gone that route before).  But this time, each of us decided to order a ceviche as an appetizer and then a main course.  I opted for a special as my main course, short ribs ropa vieja.  If you’re not familiar with Cuban food, ropa vieja, which literally means “old clothes,” is a slow-cooked dish that traditionally features beef surrounded by vegetables.  My dinner substituted ribs for the beef, and it was rich, succulent and hearty, without being spicy (not a big spicy food fan).

This wonderful meal of Cuban food was not the end of our Saturday in Philadelphia.  We had bought tickets for the three of us to see the Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square.

Chinese Lantern Show

Chinese Lantern Show

This small park was packed with lit glass sculptures, dragons and flowers and Chinese creatures of all sorts.  Celebrating what, you may ask?  Why, the Chinese (or Lunar) New Year, of course!  Yes, the new year’s celebration takes place in February, and this was May, but apparently the rationale is that having this festival in Philadelphia in April/May makes more sense weather-wise (I have been in Philadelphia in February more than once, and once had to wait in a line outside for a couple of hours, and let me tell you, outdoor festivals in February would not be a happy thing, especially when said festivals take place after dark).

In any case, the festival was delightful, and a very enjoyable ending to our day in Philadelphia with our friend Faith.

Next time, I will post on our Sunday and finish up the weekend.

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McCormick Gourmet Smoked Sausage Jambalaya Mix Makes Impression

McCormick Gourmet Smoked Sausage Jambalaya Mix Makes Impression

McCormick Gourmet Smoked Sausage Jambalaya Mix Makes Impression

When Therese and I moved a year ago, a Therese’s friend Rochelle sent us a bunch of McCormick products.  I’ve been using many of the herbs and spices that were in that package, and loving them (of course).  But it was only recently that I thought I should try out some of the mixes that were included.  Most recently, that meant making a jambalaya that we really loved (thanks again, Rochelle!).  Unfortunately, it seems that McCormick (already!) no longer makes or sells this spice mix.  But I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with something to substitute for it.

Anyway, I wasn’t too keen on the proportions, so I decided to follow my instinct.  I know everyone is crazy about eating spicy food nowadays, and while I like a little zing to my food now and then, I am not into burning my lips off.  So, fearing that this mix might pack a little more heat than would be comfortable, I made some changes. I doubled the amount of meat and vegetables, but kept the liquid and spice (obviously) the same.

Sausage, Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
(feeds 6-8)

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
1 cup chopped celery (2 celery ribs)
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped zucchini (1/2 large zucchini)
1 lb. boneless chicken thigh, cut into 1-inch cubes (4 chicken thighs)
1 package McCormick® Gourmet Smoked Sausage & Pepper Creole Jambalaya Recipe & Seasoning Mix
1-1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
¾ cup water
1 small (14 ounce) can marzano tomatoes, with liquid
1 cup Whole Foods Wild Rice mix
½ pound (about 1 dozen) uncooked shrimp, peeled and cleaned

So first I chopped all my vegetables, got my large saute pan warmed over a medium flame, added the olive oil, and when that was hot, the vegetables.  I thought the zucchini would be a nice addition to the mirepoix, to give the dish a little more color and more vegetable flavoring (let’s be honest, with three different kinds of meat in this dish, it is pretty meat-centric).

Mirepoix with Zucchini

Mirepoix with Zucchini

When the vegetables were fairly well cooked, after 5 minutes or so, I stacked up the vegetables in one half of the pan, and used the other pan for browning the meat, first the chicken, and then the sausage.  When the meat was well browned, I mixed it all together, marvelling that it was already starting to look like a quite substantial dish.

Chicken and Sausage Browned and Mixed with Vegetables

Chicken and Sausage Browned and Mixed with Vegetables

Then I added the uncooked rice and the spice packet, and stirred it up.  Wow, how different it looked!

Chicken, Sausage and Vegetables with Spices and Rice Added

Chicken, Sausage and Vegetables with Spices and Rice Added

Finally, I added the liquid, gave it a stir, and raised the temperature to bring it to a boil.  When it began to boil, I put the lid on it, and lowered the burner to just let it simmer.  After 40 minutes, I added the shrimp, gave it another stir, and let it cook for another 7 minutes.

Here is my result.

We loved this jambalaya.  This was one of those times when we were glad that there is just the two of us at home, because it was awesome to have leftovers for lunch the next day!  Thanks again to our friend Rochelle for helping us make a special dinner!

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2016 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival Stuffs Metropolitan Pavilion

2016 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival Stuffs Metropolitan Pavilion

2016 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival Stuffs Metropolitan Pavilion

Therese and I attended our first NYC Vegetarian Food Festival this past Saturday, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street in Manhattan.  This celebration of vegan and vegetarian food products and eating is remarkable, and I am glad we had the chance to experience it.  However, I have several reservations about it, and I will get to those in must a moment.

Before I do that, though, let me tell you about some of the vendors that were my favorites. I had a vegan mushroom cheeseburger from Marty’s V Burger that was wonderful – in my opinion, that could easily supplant the McDonald’s cheeseburger (the only drawback being that, at $6.50, it was triple the cost of the McD’s variety).

Our favorite snack of the day was probably the Goji Berry crunch ball offered by Fresh & Co – with several Manhattan locations, we are going to have to check them out!

Fresh & Co

Fresh & Co

Of all the beverages I tasted – all the teas and tonics and kombuchas, etc. – the one I liked the best was the hibiscus tea from GoldThread – over ice with a slice of lemon, I could absolutely sip that on a hot sunny day.

GoldThread Beverages

GoldThread Beverages

Desserts are always hard to find vegan (or even dairy free), so I was eager to see what sort of dessert substances might be offered at the festival.  My favorite was Nicobella Chocolate – a chocolate mixed with shredded coconut, one of my favorite combinations (the coconut helps keep the dark chocolate from tasting bitter).

OK, now for my complaints.  Let me first offer the following caveat: I couldn’t help but compare this festival to the Grand Tasting at the Wine & Food Festival, one of our favorite events at a favorite festival every year.  That’s unfair, because that one has a ticket price of $100, and this one only costs $35.  Nevertheless, as I said, I couldn’t help compare the two.  So here is my comparison.

I was shocked at how tiny the tastings were.  It was not unusual for the beverages offered to be maybe a tablespoon of liquid.  And many of the snacks and foods were about a half of the size of my pinkie thumbnail.  If you wanted more of a tasting than that, you had to pay!  And some vendors only had food for purchase!

The festival was well-attended, and yay for them that it was.  But the growth of the festival didn’t seem to be anticipated – I heard one person say the number of people attending has doubled in the last three years.  The building was crazy crowded – everywhere I went, I was either bumping into people, or they were bumping into me.  And even though it was fairly early in the day – we arrived an hour after the festival opened, around 12:00 noon – there were numerous vendors who were running out of tastings.  If you were willing to stand in line and wait for a few minutes, there would be something available, but since we had never been and wanted to get the full sweep of the room, we moved on.

In addition, there were many tables that were for advocacy groups, and these folks short-sightedly did not have any food or beverages at their tables!  At the Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting, some of the best tastings are offered by advocacy groups (travel organizations, etc.).  Personally, I don’t go to a festival to stand around and talk with someone about issues, but I would be more inclined to give somebody my time if they first gave me, I don’t know, maybe a glass of juice or a cracker smeared with hummus.

As crowded as the festival was, I would say it has out-grown its home at the Metropolitan Pavilion.  It was a decent-sized space, but as I mentioned above, getting around the room was often an agonizing process.  Many popular vendors had long lines in front of their tables for their in-demand tastings, and it was generally so crowded that all you needed was for a couple of people to stop moving somewhere and in seconds it would be a traffic jam.

So, as much as I salute this festival, and as much as I enjoyed encountering so many products and vendors that were new to me, I don’t see myself attending next year.  If they would double the price of the ticket, move to a larger venue and offer larger tastings (and require that everyone who has a table bring food with them), I might do it again.

Posted in Chelsea, Dairy Free, Food, Food festivals, Manhattan, New York, New York City, Vegan food, Vegan Food Producers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vegan Restaurants Keep New York City Youthful

Vegan Restaurants Keep New York City Youthful

Vegan Restaurants Keep New York City Youthful

The crowd at New York City’s many vegan (and vegan-friendly) restaurants is an almost equal mix of young folks hoping to save the world and older folks (like me) who will gladly settle for saving themselves, hoping to live a little bit longer by staying away from the cholesterol and bad karma meat-eating brings.  While not a full-fledged vegan myself (I was for roughly ten years during the ’80s and ’90s), I always jump at the chance to go vegan for at least the odd meal, and am happy to support the city’s institutions that provide vegan fare.  Because not only do they all have their hearts in the right place, but many of them serve food that is absolutely dynamite, in some cases among the best food I have eaten anywhere.

For a dairy free character like myself, of course vegan food has the added bright side to it that I can eat everything on the menu – how often does that otherwise happen?  Not often.  Of late, I have been trying to catch up on some of the restaurants that I love, and exploring new ones, especially in Brooklyn (toward compiling my Dairy Free Brooklyn page, which is still in the works – stay tuned for that one).  So here is an overview of the vegan restaurants I love in NYC.

Manhattan

Red Bamboo.  My long-time mostly vegan friend Ed first introduced me to Red Bamboo more than a decade ago, and I have been going there off and on a lot in the intervening years.  A couple months ago, I realized that I had not been there in a while, so I have made it a point to get back to going there regularly.  Ed and I had a great time most recently chatting with one of the owners, Jade, not only about Red Bamboo but also about other vegetarian Asian restaurants around New York.  She is an encyclopedia of knowledge on the subject, and the restaurant’s blend of carefully crafted but also straightforward and pleasing food continues to thrill me.

Pure Food and Wine.  Fairly high-end and consequently one of the pricier vegan restaurants in New York City, Pure Food and Wine was a revelation for me the first time I went there, and I look forward to paying my annual visit there soon.  Before eating there, I didn’t know that raw food could taste so good.  Of course, having the sweet tooth that I do, I especially enjoy their fantastic desserts.  And – they serve wine (a raw food, I suppose).

Blossom Cafe/Blossom du Jour.  I have actually never eaten at the full-fledged Blossom restaurant, but I have been to many of their Blossom du Jour locations, including ones in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and the Upper Westside.  They serve mostly wraps and sandwiches, of which I have tried several, and enjoyed them all.  They also have great desserts, although the Chelsea location has the largest variety of those – some locations just have a couple different brownies and cookies for sale.  In recent years, they are opening more and more locations – I can’t keep up with them!

Terri Cafe.  I have only been to Terri’s Financial District location (they also have locations in Chelsea and Midtown East).  When I lived down there, it was such a joy having Terri’s so close by.  Like Blossom, they carry a variety of sandwiches and wraps, as well as some salads, bottled teas and cleanses, and awesome desserts.  Love their “chicken” quesadilla, with lots of Daiya cheese on it.  That, plus a bottle of their mint iced tea and a chocolate cupcake was my go-to.  Wouldn’t mind having that right now!

Atlas Cafe.  I will confess that I go to Atlas many for their unbelievable variety of top-notch mouth-watering desserts, which come to them courtesy of our friends at Vegan Treats from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  They used to get their delivery from Vegan Treats on Tuesdays, and I have more than once shown up just to have my mind blown by all the cakes and cheesecakes and pies and vegan doughnuts.  As for other offerings at Atlas, they do serve vegan sandwiches (as well as having a full menu of decidedly non-vegan stuff).  I have eaten their Cuban sandwich with vegan meat and cheese, and thought it quite good.  But can we talk about the desserts some more?  Coconut cake, brownie cheesecake, chocolate-covered strawberry shortcake, etc.

Brooklyn

I am just beginning to explore the many outstanding vegan restaurants in Brooklyn.  Here are the highlights of what I have seen thus far.

Bliss Cafe.  I had their vegan French toast, and loved it.  Will have to go back again soon – maybe I will meet my stepdaughter there for lunch (she lives in Williamsburg). Cash only, for those of you who, like me, are plastic-centric.

Vinnies Pizzeria.  Warning – Vinnies isn’t all vegan, just one section.  But oh what a section – several enticing vegan varieties of pizza slices filled with vegetable and veggie meat (and even fruit!) toppings.  Thrilling to know you don’t have to order a whole pie to get the vegan variety (although you could order a full pie too if you wanted).  Also cash only.

Sun in Bloom.  A friendly place in a neighborhood on the brink of explosion (not far from the Barclays Center).  I went there mostly to try their desserts, but they also have a full menu of breakfast/lunch/dinner food.

I realize, again, this is just a start.  In addition to exploring more restaurants in Brooklyn, I need to re-visit some favorites in Manhattan, like the iconic Caravan of Dreams.  After all, menupages lists 132(!) vegan restaurants in New York City (although I bet a lot of those are non-vegan restaurants that have the occasional vegan offering).  I any case, I have my work cut out for me!

I also want to write about vegan groceries (or if you prefer, health food stores) and vegan bakeries/dessert shops.  There are many of those in Brooklyn as well, such as the wonderful Riverdel (they call themselves dairy free, because I am guessing that they sell a couple things that have eggs in them, but they are most vegan).

Posted in Brooklyn, Dairy Free, Food, Manhattan, New York, New York City, Restaurants, United States, Vegan food | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dairy Free Three Little Birds Ice Cream Creative and Available

Dairy Free Three Little Birds Ice Cream Creative and Available

Dairy Free Three Little Birds Ice Cream Creative and Available

Back in the day, when I was a single fellow looking for ladies to date on Internet sites, I had a philosophy: it doesn’t matter how wonderful somebody looks on paper if you never get to meet them.  I have similar feelings when it comes to discovering new dairy free products – no matter how incredible they sound in writing, what does it matter if you can’t buy them in a local store? (for example, you may remember how hard it was for me to find Ben & Jerry’s new non-dairy ice cream flavors)  Well, the good news here is that Three Little Birds Ice Cream is sold, not only in Whole Foods stores in NYC, but also in Brooklyn Fare, which is just down the street from me.

A few days ago, when I looked in Brooklyn Fare’s ice cream freezers and saw the intriguing containers with their cartoonish simple depictions of birds on them, was not the first time I had heard of this brand.  Not long after Therese and I moved into this neighborhood a year ago, we went out for coffee to a shop that supposedly had Three Little Birds ice cream available by the scoop.  But when we got there, they told us they were all out of it.  Disappointment.  I put the name of Three Little Birds away in the back of my mind, until now.

Thrilled to finally be face to face with this brand, I bought the Black Chocolate Stout flavor for starters, and upon tasting it, I was mightily impressed.  When I dished the ice cream up not long after removing the container from the freezer, the consistency looked a little crumbly, so I wasn’t sure what the mouth feel would be like.  It was mighty creamy and smooth, and the coupling of the tangy rich stout swirl flavor with the chocolate ice cream is dynamite.

A few days later, I decided to try another flavor, the Peanut Butta Cups, and I enjoyed that one quite a bit as well.  The peanut butter ice cream base is the most peanut butter-y ice cream I’ve ever tasted.  Which is not to say that it sticks to the roof of your mouth – it is still creamy and light, with nice small chocolate chunks in it to complete the peanut butter cup experience.

A Bowl of Three Little Birds Chocolate Stout and Peanut Butta Cups Ice Cream

A Bowl of Three Little Birds Chocolate Stout and Peanut Butta Cups Ice Cream

Ice cream should be an occasional indulgence for me, so in that sense, I don’t mind too much that Three Little Birds is the most expensive ice cream by the pint that I have ever seen ($9.99 per container).  OK, I mind a little bit.

And incidentally, I must plead complete ignorance to the origin of the brand’s name.  Of course I have known the Bob Marley song for decades, with its reassuring refrain of “every little thing is gonna be all right.”  In fact, I read just the other day that Brazilian pop legends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil sang it as an encore at their recent concert here in New York.  I just never knew what that song was called!

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