There's a new kid in town. In Manhattan town, that is. I know, I know, I keep writing about these fantastic places to eat in NYC, leaving non-New Yorkers cranky. Sorry -- now you have even more reasons to visit the Big Apple.
What am I raving about this time? An all vegan ice cream parlor, that's what. Lula's Sweet Apothecary, located at 516 East 6th Street (at Avenue A), is a scoop of heaven smack dab in the center of Veganville, NY (AKA the East Village). A cute little place that gets crowded quickly, Lula's sells frozen desserts (sundaes, floats, malts, etc. too, of course) with all the toppings (marshmallow, hot fudge, you name it), candy, and other sweets. Did I mention everything is vegan? Fortunately they're open late; check out their hours on their site, but don't plan to go on a Monday, because that is the one day they are closed.
The store's wonderful and charming wife-husband owners, Blythe Boyd and Derek Hachett, thought nothing of our request for one small scoop of each of their NINE flavors because we couldn't decide which ones to try. So my husband and I were presented with dishes of tiny (we're talking melon scoop sized) samples of each and every flavor. (See photo above) Literally, a bite of each flavor for each of us. What a treat, and what a great idea! My favorites were the Cake Batter (yup, it really tastes like the stuff you used to lick off the spoon when you were a kid) and Cinnamon. Dan particularly enjoyed the S'mores and Peanut Butter Chocolate. Truly, the stuff had no soy aftertaste or weirdness that some nut-based ice creams have. The flavors are beautifuly balanced and the texture is just right -- creamy, without coating the tongue, and deliciously sweet without being syrupy. They had some really interesting flavors, most of which rotate (so it's best to visit frequently!). We had a lovely time chatting with Blithe and Derek, and left with a naturally sweetened pomegranate lolly for my 3-year-old (who told us the following day that it was his "favorite candy ever.")
This was the perfect dessert after our light dinner at nearby Pukk, an all-vegetarian Thai restaurant with fabulous prices and gorgeous, wholesome food (subject for another day).
Wondering why a dietitian is writing about ice cream? Because I truly believe that sweets in moderation are OK. They are an indulgence, a celebration, a treat. There's a place in the vegan diet for sweets now and then. And the best sweets are those made with love and care, and that's what you find at Lula's.
If you're going to indulge in ice cream, make it natural, make it dairy-free, make it organic, and make it Lula's. Gone gluten-free? All GF selections are highlighted. Avoiding soy? Try their nut-based frozen delectibles. Into raw? They've got that too. There is truly something for everyone.