Double Chili Cheeseburger
2008/05/12 17:56:31
I will be in Brooklyn next month and visiting the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Can anyone recommend which flavors to try? Also, does this place live up to the hype?

Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Brooklyn 2008/05/13 00:31:00
I like the place because of the combination of the view of Lower Manhattan (if you eat the ice cream outside), and the low butterfat, low sweetness freshly-made ice cream. While I don't know their formula, it tastes like they make it from fresh fluid milk products, rather than the "preserved" dairy products meant to travel great distances from the dairy to the ice cream plant. I stick to my day in-day out favorite flavors, which are vanilla and coffee. The only downside is the waits caused by people off the tour buses.
Filet Mignon
RE: Brooklyn 2008/05/14 01:16:10
I've been there a few times (I live just over the Bridge on the Manhattan side) and I can personally vouch for the strawberry and the peaches & cream. Very simple ice creams and the fruit flavors really shine through. I hope the weather is beautiful the night that you go. If you can, walk over the bridge from Manhattan and take in the views from the bridge and on the dock at the ice cream factory. Breathtaking! check out The Travelin Man's trip report for "Random NYC Experiences". Some really great shots!
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: Brooklyn 2008/05/14 02:20:42
I am an unabashed fan of Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. I feel like I have been going there since before they became a tourist bus stop, and it doesn't seem as though the quality has suffered, but there are a few things to know...

(a) Re: Hype - the problem with hype is that sometimes your reality don't live up to whatever mental expectations you have built up.
(b) Price - it is not cheap. These are NY prices - $5.50 for a double scoop, and the more exotic things like sundaes, splits and shakes only go up from there.
(c) Service - There is a line - expect to wait - any time of day/night.
(d) Location - There is very limited street parking nearby, especially at peak times.

These are the ways to combat these things...

(a) This is probably not going to be the best ice cream you've ever had. It is is really good. They make small batch, simple flavors, and use high quality ingredients. Still, you may think you've had better elsewhere. Part of going there is the whole experience. Walk out on the dock behind the store. My first visit there was at night in the spring of 2002. My buddy took me out to the dock and told me to look up. It was the first time that I had seen the lower Manhattan skyline without the Twin Towers. It was striking...and a moment that I will never forget.

(b) The price is not cheap, but I don't know many who walk away feeling like they didn't get their money's worth. I am spoiled because my friend's wife used to work there and about half the time I go, it is with them, so we end up not paying for the stuff. The last time we were there, we discussed the rise in prices...and their conclusion was that BICF has become so popular, it is almost becoming a game with the owners to see how much they can raise their price before people flinch. As long as they have a continual line out the door, it is tough to criticize their pricing.

(c) When you get to the front of the line, you should have had plenty of time to decide what you want. Don't gum up the line...or you will be ridiculed - not by the staff, but rather by the real New Yorkers in the line who think you are a moron!

(d) I recommend taking public transportation, or as billyboy suggested, walking across the Bridge. Their is a subway stop about two blocks away, too. The nearest parking garage is nearly as far, and will cost you a pretty penny. Street parking is almost non-existent.

I do think that it is a worthwhile stop, and I tend to make it there at least once whenever I am anywhere near the area.
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Brooklyn 2008/05/14 18:33:04
The water taxi is an excellent way to get from the West side of Manhattan to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

I suggest that you walk the 200 yards up to Grimaldi's for some great pizza and take on the ice cream for a cool down.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Brooklyn 2008/05/15 22:15:09
Thanks for all the advice. We will definitely be eating at Grimaldi's just prior to our ice cream - I was at Grimaldi's in 1997 and it's an experience I've never forgotten. I want to share it with my wife and kids.

I'll expect to pay high prices and wait in line. As to the skyline, I know - it's unwordly to not see the twin towers there, even after all this time. I was in NYC in January 2002 and wandered around the site - I still remember all the photos of missing people posted on the wall. In 1980, I went to the WTC observatory and was on the roof of the south tower. I never expected to look at the skyline and not see those buildings.

We're staying at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriot. I think that's walking distance from Grimaldi's and the ice cream shop.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Brooklyn 2008/05/15 23:00:29
Yes, it is within walking distance, or you could take the B25 local bus.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: Brooklyn 2008/05/16 00:44:30
It sounds like your expectations are reasonable, so I would figure that you will enjoy the day. Grimaldi's plus BICF is a winner. Also, there is a Jacques Torres chocolate store in the vicinity, as well, that you might try. I have not been there, but mean to go every time I am in the area and it just doesn't work out.