Big Gay Ice Cream is one of my favorite ice cream shops and there’s a reason for the long lines that stretch down the block. And no, it’s not because it’s NYC. It’s because it’s damn good.
Started back in 2009, BGIC was operating out of a truck in Prospect Park. Co-owners and partners, Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff didn’t start BGIC to revolutionize ice cream or the food industry. Instead, they were looking for a fun summer activity. Most of us head for the beach. But luckily for mouths everywhere, Quint and Petroff loved operating an ice cream truck. Fast forward 2 years, rather than waiting for the seasonal truck to appear, New Yorkers rejoiced when they opened their first shop in the East Village. Less than a year later, a larger location opened in the West Village. BGIC also has a shop in Philly and plans are set so that LA will get a taste of salty pimps and Bea Arthur.
One of the most popular choices is the Salty Pimp, and as Quint says, “it’s the most pimped out and it’s salty.” The Salty Pimp is vanilla ice cream soft serve topped with dulce de leche, seasalt, and then dipped in chocolate. It’s both delicious and beautiful. Oh, and do you see the ingenuity here? From all slow eaters of the world, thank you BGIC for helping me catch all the melted goodness so that I can slurp it back up.
My favorite here is The Mermaid. Vanilla soft serve, key lime curd, crushed graham crackers, and whipped cream. If you like key lime pie, you’ll love The Mermaid.
The Shortberry Strawcake (I know, cute, right?) is birthed from vanilla soft serve, strawberry sauce, crushed Nilla Wafers, and whipped-up cream. This may be a seasonal ice cream though, so check the menu first.
In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, BGIC is all about soft-serve ice cream, which is served at about 20 degrees, unlike hard pack ice cream which is served at below freezing temperature.
For me, soft serve reminds me of childhood, carefree summers, and the musical ice cream truck that parked on my block and wouldn’t leave until my younger brother raced out with his dollar. That ice cream man knew our weakness, our love.
BGIC options include both cones and cups, but they also have shakes and floats on their menu, so be sure to check it all out.