Friday, September 5, 2008

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and Dealers on Canal Street

We finally made it to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on 65 Bayard Street. We wanted to do this while the weather is still hot and sticky. This place was voted "Best Ice Cream in New York" year after year. When we heard what kind of unique flavors they offered, we knew we had to go. The two flavors we wanted to try were Avocado and the freaky Durian that managed to even frighten Andrew Zimmern, the man who has tried everything from beating frog heart to the balls, butts, and intestines of everything in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, they were out of the two flavors. Darn, I guess we'll have to make a second trip soon.

So we got the Almond Cookie and Lychee ice creams. They were buttery, gently sweet, and downright tasteful! The Lychee ice cream even had small bits of Lychee. It's a bit pricey at $3.75 for one scoop but this is the first time we've been to an ice cream shop that sells flavors like the above-mentioned ones, Black Sesame, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Red Bean, Taro, Zen Butter, and Rum Raisin. Apparenlty their Wasabi flavor wasn't too popular and they discontinued it. We also like that they've been a family owned and operated business for 28 years.

They offer custom ice cream cakes with three layers of ice cream such as a green tea/lychee/red bean combo. And if you have $42 to toss around, they'll deliver(within Manhattan and some parts of Brooklyn) a dozen of their Lucky Cupcakes consisting of red velvet cake topped with a pink cream cheese frosting. Apparently imitators have been popping up trying to match the success of this place but there's something special about the original one.

Does this dim sum sign look familiar?

After walking around Chinatown/Little Italy, on our way to our subway line, we were solicited by dealers on Canal Street. Literally, every step we took, they were trying to make deals with us, trying to point us into their back alleys. No, not that kind of dealers. The scary fake Prada/Dolce&Gabbana/Louis V dealers. "Come this way, we give you cheap, you like this one? We can put whatever designer logo you want on it." Store after store and alley after alley of handbags. Canal Street IS fake handbag street. Oh, but you can get nice $5 long scarves perfect for the months ahead of us.

In addition to dim sum houses and handbags, Chinatown is home to more gawdy jewelry stores than we've seen in our lives. Many of the large jewelry pieces show the image of Jesus. A rapper's delight?