The unicorns have made it to Philly! And by that I mean, the duo from Big Gay Ice Cream truck have finally posted up in SouthStar Lofts and are now neighbors with Kevin Sbraga's Juniper Commons. As a native New Yorker and having sampled the original - the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck - I can't deny that I was hoping that a Philly outpost was inevitable.
The possibility seemed inevitable when I saw the frequent trips by owners Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff to visit the Vetri family of restaurants. OK, OK - Insta-stalked might the appropriate term. In any case, the Kimmel Center region of Broad Street just got a bit of sparkle baby.
The interior is sleek, retro, and natch, fabulous. The workers bees are on top of things, with sundaes and specialty cones churned out at record pace - almost as if they had been trained properly!
Hot Fudge Sundae [$6.20]
Vanilla, hot fudge or Awesomesauce, candied pepitas, whipped cream
Our friend decided to check out the Awesomesauce. It's featured in the Hot Fudge sundae as an alternative to your standard hot fudge. What's so awesome about it? We're talking about a melange of cinnamon, cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, and butter, kicked up a notch with some chipotle chili powder and cayenne! Creamy vanilla, sweet chocolate, and some light spice from the chili and cayenne hit the spot. And who can deny the extra texture from the candied pumpkin seeds?
Vanilla, key lime curd, pie crumble, Ronnybrook whipped cream
Key lime pie is one of my favorites and this sundae definitely embodied its sweet and tangy essence. The texture from the pie crumble really made it for me, with the creaminess of the vanilla soft serve providing some balance.
Rocky Roadhouse [$5.90]
Chocolate, toasted almonds, marshmallows, chocolate chips
The GF opted for the take on Rocky Road. Chocolate soft-serve was hand-studded with cocoa-dusted marshmallows, which provided that chewier texture you're looking for amidst standard Rocky Road. The toasted almonds offered some bite against the chew, and the chocolate chips offered some additional creamy sweetness. This ain't Breyer's baby.
Salty Pimp [$5.90]
Vanilla, dulce de leche, sea salt, chocolate chip
But if you're going to try one cone - I'd opt for the Salty Pimp. I enjoyed this before Anthony Bourdain showcased it on The Layover, and it still haunts my dreams. This is how all soft-serve should be. The simple sweetness of the vanilla is the base, with rainbows of salty-sweet dulce de leche coating the circumference. The entire cone is sprinkled with sea salt and only then does it get drenched in chocolate sauce, which hardens and provides the texture for each bite. While we might not all get invites to Bourdain's home-cooked meals with Doug & Bryan (my stalker levels are off the charts!), we can all enjoy a Salty Pimp.
Big Gay Ice Cream has also got Latin-American ice pops known as paletas - rainbow (naturally), mango-blackberry, and coconut were on offer recently. They've even got Mexican cokes and Sprecher's Root Beer. In the mood for shakes? They've got that too. So if you're looking for a sweet treat while near the Midtown Village or Broad Street areas, head on over!
Big Gay Ice Cream
521 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147