It is always gratifying when I stop in a shop where I haven’t been for a few months, to see that they have more dairy free options than the last time I was there! That was the experience I had when I visited Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream on 7th Street in the East Village recently.
The first time I visited Van Leeuwen, which was last summer, they only had two vegan flavors, chocolate and vanilla. But these were two of the most incredible dairy free ice creams I had ever tasted. So when I saw that they now are offering 6 dairy free flavors, I was thrilled. In addition to the chocolate, they now have salted caramel, mint chip, coffee, pistachio and banana nut (no more vanilla – I guess it was too boring).
In addition to the menu listing the flavors available (vegan and otherwise), there is a second menu now, offering sundaes and other ice cream treats. And lo and behold, there is one vegan offering mentioned!
I had to try the vegan sundae! I ordered it, and the counter person was a little flustered – he had never made it before. But from the description on the board – chocolate and pistachio vegan ice creams, chocolate sauce, cacao nibs and walnuts – he was able to give it a go. And here is what it looked like:
How was it? Very very good. Crunchy walnuts and cacao nibs, rich chocolate sauce and two first-rate vegan ice cream flavors. It was a little on the heavy side though – some vegan whipped cream and maybe some fruit on top would’ve made it truly awesome. Nevertheless, it was a solid vegan attempt at a sundae.
Next time I visit – which, believe me, will not be long from now – I will have to try the salted caramel and mint chip flavors – and maybe banana nut, too. Just for scientific purposes, you understand, to make sure that they are not too terrible. Knowing Van Leeuwen, I am sure they are wonderful. Even the scientist side of me can admit that.