It's National Ice Cream Day (Weekend?) or something fake like that, as if we need an excuse to eat six servings of that miracle of a frozen treat in the middle of a hot, hot, hot day. Be that as it may, the Brooklyn Flea's annual Ice Cream Bonanza kicked off yesterday in Fort Greene and today the party moves to DUMBO, where they'll be scooping under the Manhattan Bridge arch.
The lineup of vendors is first-rate, with several special flavors and concoctions to tempt you further. I ate almost everything. Here are a few highlights:
• The winner of the day was an amazing sundae from Malai, the South Asian-inspired ice cream stand that wowed me last year as well. There are four sundaes from which to choose; I went with the Sweet Milk flavor as my base, served with rose pomegranate syrup and seeds, basil seeds, and the unexpectedly excellent addition of vermicelli noodles. Malai's affable founder Pooja Bavishi makes some of creamiest, richest scoops in town. Give this woman a storefront!
• Blue Marble is teaming up with Good Batch for the weekend, and they brought a bunch of different cookie ice cream sandwiches which were very popular with the Fort Greene crowd, but I wanted to try the collab's exclusive Ice Cream Day flavor, All The Cookies. There are at least four different kinds of delicious baked goods mixed into this beautiful scoop, so this is your move if you like ice cream that crunches.
• Fort Grace had an impressively extensive menu of flavors, and my double scoop of Sprinkles (which tastes exactly as you would hope) and Coconut Mango Pink Peppercorn (which, frankly, got a little lost underneath all the sprinkles sweetness) was satisfying, but there's also a great bonus at this booth: free Tattly ice cream tattoos!
• The nearly-peerless Underwest Donuts doesn't make ice cream, so they brought vats of the stuff from Il Laboratorio del Gelato for the occasion. The concoction here is fiendishly simple: maple syrup and maple-donut crumbles over a scoop of maple ice cream, on top of a maple cake donut, the whole thing flying a stroopwafel flag.
• Brooklyn Bell Ice Cream is one of those parlors I rarely get to during the course of my life, so it was nice to suck down a double scoop of intense Black Lava Caramel and even more intense MacaMoNana, a macadamia and banana combo that tastes like the best pudding you've had all year.
• Phin & Phebes sadly will NOT be in DUMBO today, but if you're ever offered one of their Root Beer Floats made with Vanilla Malt Cookie Dough just say "yes please, thank you!" and dive right in to this sweet refreshing delight.
Brooklyn Flea's National Ice Cream Day Bonanza will be going on today from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. under the Manhattan Bridge Arch in DUMBO