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 - by ffic

i love french fries & i love ice cream…. i love them separately and i love them together…. i love them in each other….i love them on each other… i love them in other things and on other things…. i love french fries!…i love ice cream!

First Batch 2016: Update

 - by dfmv

My first batch turned out okay, but I’m going for a higher cream content and another two egg yolks next time around to get that velvety texture!

I received a few suggestions about what yo make next, but was intrigued by the idea my friend Tina put out there…. Blackberries and Brandy! Brilliant!. I’ve already started experimenting. I soaked blackberries in a 1/4 cup of Brandy and let them sit in the fridge overnight. The result: Brandy infused Blackberries! I added a touch more brandy and a 1/4 cup of sugar and mixed and let it sit in the fridge again. I now have something I can put in Ice Cream. It may not freeze well with due to the alcohol in the mixture, but perhaps it will be balanced against the extra yolks to get the solidity I’m after. I’ll keep you posted.

If nothing else, I’ve found discovered and excellent alcoholic topping for my chocolate Ice Cream.

First Batch: June 2016

 - by ffic

First batch 2016

After much roiling in my daily life, I’ve gotten back down to cooking up a batch of custard. The first boil is the hardest for me after sometime, not sure if I’ve cooked it too long then realizing I had because I was thinking about it too much… That said, I think it’s salvageable. I’ve started a base custard for some fresh fruit swirling… I’ll maybe make syrup of some and then mix in the whole or chopped up fruit as well.

{Note to self: keep the fruit cold, close to frozen to facilitate a good setting of the ice cream}

That’s all for the moment… I’ll write more as the cream cools and becomes ready for freezing….


 - by dfmv

A Loving Spoonful!!
In keeping with this year’s theme of making lists and thinking forward, I offer the same challenge to myself as with French Fries for the next 6 months. I will make my check list and tick off the tastes as they are made, and tell you what I can about the validity of their place on the “Best” List. I’m tempted to call it a “bucket list” as this would make a certain sort of sense considering it is Ice Cream, but I decline. Instead, I will call it Rock Salt Roll Call (unless ya’ll can think of something better) and do the same ticking of the list. Be not surprised if you find that these two lists intersect at some point, in only the way French Fires & Ice Cream could. Each accentuating the other in ways one could only describe as glorious!

So when my list is finalized, I will begin to turn my way through it and complement it with a regimen of exercise to counteract the inevitable effects of regular Ice Cream consumption.


The 10 Best Ice Cream Shops In NYC
The 10 Best Ice Creams in NYC
The Food Network


 - by dfmv

Today is National Ice Cream Day 2015!!!
It is a day for eating Ice Cream….it is a day for making Ice cream. I will be making my first Summer batch today!! Not sure what it will be, but I’ll post a report when I’ve had my first taste!

Check these out!

The 10 Best Ice Cream Shops In NYC
The 10 Best Ice Creams in NYC
The Food Network

And if you’re looking for a scoop of FREE Ice Cream (and who isn’t, really?) Check out the places below.

Carvel: Buy one cup or cone of ice cream (any size) and get one free on Sunday.

Baskin-Robbins: Extending through the end of the month, Baskin-Robbins is offering a free waffle cone upgrade with a double or triple scoop purchase.

Friendly’s: Out with a friend? Split a cup or cone of ice cream and get the second free on Saturday (Friendly’s 80th birthday!) and Sunday.

Hoffman’s Chocolates: Buy a cup or cone of ice cream and get one free at locations in Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and Hollywood in Florida.

Monkey Joe’s: Free ice cream for all on Sunday at Pembroke Pines and Sunrise locations in Florida.

Cold Stone Creamery: This buy-one-get-one-free deal (for members of the My Cold Stone Club—free rewards club) applies to the creamery’s shakes and smoothies and its new frappes.

Dippin’ Dots: For those who live near an on-site location, Dippin’ Dots will be handing out free samples of its newest flavor, Redberry Sherbet, which is made with Sour Patch Kids.



 - by dfmv

Dipping in the The Basket List!

Since I am a bit behind with getting it together in time for National French Fries Day, I’ve decided a different approach was in order… I’ve found some great written pieces about the “BEST” French Fries in NYC (see below), so I will make it my goal, to visit as many of them as possible in the next 6 months. Thus I will make it, my Basket List! of the best places to eat fries and tick them off one-by-one as I sample each, then share the results/reviews with you… I will publish the official list (if you have a favorite, let me know) at the end of the this Week of the Grand Convergence that ends with National Ice Cream Day!

In the meantime, enjoy the  day and partake with abandon!



NYC’s 8 Best Plates Of Out-Of-The-Ordinary French Fries « CBS New York

The 15 Best Places for French Fries in New York

Best French Fries NYC, Late Night Eats & Munchies | La Frite

The 10 Best French Fries in New York City, 2013 Edition | Village Voice

The 7 Best French Fries In NYC: Gothamist Best Fries In NYC Best french fries New York, NY

Summer Solstice is only the beginning….

 - by dfmv

Yes, yes i’ve heard, the Summer Solstice is today, and things are merging, emerging, transiting, etc, but I have my eye on another sign of Summer that is overlooked as far as I’m concerned. That is THE GRAND CONVERGENCE! “What is THAT?!,” you ask, surprised at having missed this on the calendar. Well, let me tell you. On July 13, 2014 we are treated to NATIONAL FRENCH FRIES DAY and the following week, July 20, 2014, we have NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY! Each falls on a sundae (misspelling is intentional). And in between the two? THAT, my friends, is the Grand Convergence!

Keep your eyes peeled for my blog post on this tasty subject, and mark your calendar in INK!


Harlem Food Bar – French Fries

 - by dfmv

Harlem Food Bar – Harlem, NY

2100 Frederick Douglass Blvd
New York, NY 10026
(212) 222-9570

In the menu, these are listed as French Fries, with no indication they are anything special, but when they arrived at the table, (piping hot), I was surprised to find they had a nicely crunchy, crisp crust on them!

Though I didn’t ask the chef, I believe these fries are breaded or lightly floured, to give it this crunch when deep fried. The down side is  some of the fries stick together in the process. But ultimately, this is sorta okay, because eating French Fries is such a tactile experience, one could embrace the sticking fries and enjoy it…. the upside to the breaded crunch of these fries is that they don’t become soggy over time, which is always a possibility and annoying. Some people like to cram the soggy fries in their mouth at the end, but I guess I’m a bit of a romantic/perfectionist and want the last one to taste as good as the first, otherwise I feel somehow “cheated” for having ordered food I can’t eat every last bite of. With these crunchy fries, I have my wish, and can enjoy the whole order.

This brings me to another point…..there were A LOT of Fries! One thing that I’m often disappointed by is the small portion,  served as a side with a burger or sandwich. I’m always thinking, if you give me a burger, then you better give me some fries with it, and not just a smattering afterthought. For the average $12 charge for your basic burger, I hope to be served a deserving side. In this case I was…and even though I didn’t think I’d eat the whole portion, I did! I couldn’t put them down…. these fries were salty, but in a tasty way, not overly so.

True Test: Good with and without ketchup (or dipping condiment of your choice).

I order a Turkey burger w/Swiss Cheese and Carmelized Onions (extras)…. served hot and juicy, nicely cooked. These deserve a review of it’s own, but since we’re about French Fries here, I’ll just tell you this burger was quite good and I’ll return for another in the near future. Burger & Fries together….worth the price I paid.


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itizy ice cream!

 - by dfmv



For the first time, I am writing before I’ve even finished my Ice Cream. Why? Cuz this is what I’m talkmbout.

I am eating two flavors Double Dark Chocolate and Mint Stracciatella ….DEElicious. The Mint Stracciatella is made with fresh mint. Which tastes as if it came from someone’s garden. And this chocolate is so rich and luscious, it is already among my most favored scoops. This is truly gourmet ice cream….! These taste excellent separately and together. Beautiful after taste. Not exactly what I expected from a truck on the street….that’s right, you heard me … A truck vendor served me these scoops. Big city truck vendors aren’t to be sneezed at anymore, but this is top notch among those. IMHO

I hesitated a moment at the $4.25 per scoop (2 for $6.50) price, but I am happy to report, this is well worth it.

Aaaahhhh….done. I want more! But strangely, I’m also satisfied. So few things have such an effect.

Sadly, I had to get a cup, as it was too hot outside for cones, which they make fresh in the truck. There’s is no doubt I will be returning to these folks for another scoop (or two…three?), when they have fresh waffle cones to serve them in.

They make the ice cream fresh each day in a secret kitchen, somewhere in Harlem. Okay there’s no real intrigue, but it is a kitchen only, no store…to bad for me. Too bad for us. But at least we have the benefit of this random pleasure on a 92 ( feels like 99) degree NYC day.

Sudden realization: Ha! I was so rapt with pleasure, I forgot to take a photo to share! Next time…and there WILL be a next time….tomorrow?

Pinkberry may have the line outside right now, but they need to follow the Teal truck for the extra good stuff.


Emack & Bolio’s Ice Cream

 - by dfmv

Emack & Bolio’s Ice Cream | 389 Amsterdam Ave, New York, 10024



The Theme is Green

My friend had a scoop of Grasshopper (Mint Chocolate Chip) on a sugar cone, and I did her one better, by seeing her scoop of Grasshopper and raising her a scoop of Pistachio. Served, of course, on a waffle cone (my favorite)

20120715-192527.jpg        20120715-192911.jpg        20120715-192933.jpg

The Ice Cream, good and tasty….the scoops, medium large. The Grasshopper scoop, was standard, good, not spectacular. As for the Pistachio scoop…the nuts were green, but the cream is not. Apparently, there is a tendency for purveyors of Pistachio to paint their pints an unnatural green. The nut is green, so shouldn’t the cream be green too? There’s some debate over this on the ice cream blogs. I’ve made this flavor several times and used fresh, fresh nuts, and the chopped up nut turned the cream a beautiful green. So I wonder if the white pistachio uses artificial flavoring. If anyone knows, please let me know.

So my low down on Emack & Bolio’s Ice Cream? Good. Serviceable….nothing special for me. But with Ice Cream, if it’s good enough, then it’s awesome! Why? BECAUSE IT’S ICE CREAM!

Just an FYI… this is a small chain of about 20 stores in Massachusettes, New York, Florida, and Illinois. If I come across another, I’ll certainly try it and compare….And if I find the original store, I’ll be sure to taste and review!

FFIC Initiative

 - by dfmv

On Friday July 13th it’s National French Fries Day and on Sunday July 15th it’s National Ice Cream Day. Perhaps apropos, Bastille Day is sandwiched between them. So with this in mind, I am requesting the talents of bloggers among my friends who wish to share their thoughts and obsessions regarding both French Fries and Ice Cream….separately and together. If you know of someplace you would like me to taste and review, or if you would like to taste and review a place of your own, I invite you to join the conversation.

I do not have a hard and fast set of criteria for evaluation and critique, and I’m reluctant to develop one as this is meant to be fun, with a minimum of flaming or contention in the process. Of course I’d be interested in learning about an establishment that is particularly lacking in serviceable fair. Especially if they claim superiority or their cuisine suggests that either French Fries or Ice Cream ought to be a priority, even if it isn’t their stock and trade. For instance, a burger joint whose fries suck…likewise, a place serving Fish & Chips, proudly or otherwise…..or a diner that advertises “Home Made Ice Cream” but their product is sub par, or embarrassing.

So with this in mind, I ask only that you give clear impressions, and if you wish to use the French Fries or Ice Cream scale I’m using, have at it. And like any sensual treat, there is a fair amount of subjectivity, so share with us your personal criteria, so as to help the reader make their own choices with your critique as a guide, not an absolute. Be fair, be kind, but don’t be blind.

For the sake of integrity and professionalism, I will be moderating reviews for spelling and the like. Postings from submissions will occur throughout the Summer and beyond. They will be posted to the Front Page and be listed in the INVITED GUESTS section. If you want to submit a link to your review instead, that’s cool too. And if you have an interesting factoid about French Fries or Ice Cream, please submit them to the DID YOU KNOW… Section and I’ll post them. I love photos when possible. If you have a question about the general format, take a look at what I’ve done so far and emulate as you will.

And hey, if you want to just submit a link and short recommendation, with or without the Scale Rating, send it along!

One last thing…. Ice Cream,  now and into the future, means all reasonable variations, normally this would mean it contains dairy and sugar as main ingredients, but I’m thinking it would be nice to hear about some non-dairy variants, so bring it on!

And French Fries?! Same deal…. various cut fries will work… use your discretion here… submit as you will, and I’ll find a place for it.

Okay, go forth and partake! (my next blog is about cupcakes!)


Brian Fitzhugh

Harlem Tavern – French Fries

 - by dfmv









View Larger Map
2153 Frederick Douglass Bvld
(at 116th St )
Manhattan, NY 10026

These French Fries were a nice surprise…truly unexpected. I had been wanting to try this neighborhood bar & grill since it opened last Summer, but only just got around to it. A friend took me to brunch last week for my birthday. I had a Portabella Burger which came with a choice of French Fries or Salad…. of COURSE I chose the fries!

They came in a steel cup with wax paper. I’m always a bit wary of this presentation, as it often means that the bottom fries are greasy and mushy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were well cooked and sturdy to the last. Fresh cut, check. Fresh fried, check. Not greasy/mushy, check & check. Well done, Harlem Tavern. I will be visiting this place again soon.

Anyone interested in indoor/outdoor dining, and Sunday brunch with a jazz quartet playing (not too loudly either), then check it out. Have the Fries, if you please, but give it a go… I think you’ll be satisfied.


Bellvale Farms | Creamery Home Made Ice Cream

 - by ffic

Bellvale Farms | Creamery Home Made Ice Cream.


MMMMMM good!

Fresh!Fresh!Fresh! The cream of this Ice Cream  is fresh! The Bellvale Creamery is an outgrowth of Bellvale Farms Dairy, and its roots show…that’s a good thing. The base has a thick, but not too thick texture that fills your mouth, glides over the pallet, slides down your throat,  leaving a sweet after-taste.

I had the Double Scoop Waffle Cone. One Scoop Great White Way (White chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate chunks and raspberry swirl)… Other Scoop..Chocolate. Sidebar here: I will always, always, always, choose chocolate… I’m not crazy fanatic, but I do enjoy me some chocolate ice cream….so you can expect that I will eat and blog about this flavor from every place it seems worthy to do so…more on that later.

My friend and host for this excursion, had the Bellvale Bog (Dark chocolate ice cream with brownie dough and fudge swirl).

The scoops were quite excellent and so far my favorite I think, but I’m willing to be persuaded.

And the view?…well that is unique thus far in my pilgrimages…we looked out over the pastures below, and with a slight haze of moisture hanging in the air between the trees, it was the essence of a pastoral painting, but in real time. Again, I say it…Fresh.


The Franklin Fountain
No. 116 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

 - by ffic

The Franklin Fountain | No. 116 Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19106.



As to be expected, and what I’ve gotten quite used to, is a long line for the good stuff. There was no exception at Franklin Fountain. Also, to be expected, the crowd was happy to be there and despite the heat of the day, everyone was in good spirits, because they knew it would be worth the wait? ….nearly 30 minutes? YES!


I went with family (Michelle & Z’ma) and they seemed as excited as I, to be there. I had a dual scoop in a home-made waffle cone… Scoop #1: Pistachio…Scoop #2: Maple Walnut. Scoop 2 is a new flavor for me, having never tasted it in ice cream form, but walnut & maple is my new favorite thing. The ice cream is thick and creamy, but melted fast. Not a problem as far as the taste and enjoyability is concerned, but on a day as hot as this was, meant it was dripping out of the bottom of the cone and thus a bit messy. (I’ve theorized that this is due to the lower egg content making it less custard-like, but I have no proof of this, so more extensive research is needed….all are welcome to join me in this endeavor.) Some say this is part of the fun, but I prefer to get every last bit of it in my mouth and not on the floor…or be force to dump any part of it. Still…..worth it.

The waffle cone was, in a word: THICK… probably the thickest one I’ve ever had… and crunchy…. which is good because it helped contain the quickly melting scoops.

Z’ma had one scoop each of Rocky Road and Banana. I wish I could have tasted hers because it looked excellent, but I had to tend to my own.

A quick note about all the scoops, which we all agreed, this ice cream had a very pleasant after taste.

Michelle had the Root Beer Float. This isn’t your corner deli soda pop, made of high fructose corn syrup with artificial flavoring,  this is the “real stuff.” A spicy concoction formulated by the proprietors. The real stuff is also the strong stuff, and being unaccustomed to the intensity of real sassafras root, she asked to switch it out for a Coca Cola float. The soda jerk was nice and told her it wasn’t for everyone and kindly made the switch.

Which brings me to a theory and a criteria for reviewing ice cream parlors. While it’s certainly true that it’s about the ice cream, I can’t ignore the level of enjoyment of the counter folk server it up. I have a feeling that it may be one of the most satisfying jobs ever, since everyone standing in front of you is so happy to be there, and you get to offer them exactly what they want and be reasonably certain they’ll only offer smiles in return. Not a bad summer job I’d imagine.

Look for my re-review in Summer 2012

Ice Cream Pilgrimages

 - by ffic

During the month of August, I will be reviewing a few Ice Cream parlors outside the isle of Manhattan…and I’m not limiting myself to the East Coast! Look forward to posts on Bellvale Creamery – Warwick, NY, Mitchell’s Ice Cream – San Francisco, CA, and Franklin Fountain, Philadelphia, PA.

If anyone has any additional suggestions, please send them my way!


First Summer Batch: Chocolate!

 - by ffic


I made my first batch of Ice Cream this past week, and the results were good… but not great. I decided on Chocolate, but my choice of Baker’s Chocolate was ill-advised. It left a bit of a granular texture on the finish (yes, I’m using wine tasting terms). The more I eat different kinds of the stuff, the more I realize how wide a range of preferences exist. For instance, I took the batch to work to feed to my Worker Bees (an affectionate term they appreciate, btw) and one commented on the grainy texture at the end as being less than desirable, while the other said that’s exactly what he likes! As they say, there’s no accounting for taste… everyone has their preferences, peculiar to themselves, thankfully.

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Tolani Wine Restaurant – Manhattan (UWS)

 - by ffic


410 Amsterdam Ave
New York, New York
10024 (btwn 79th and 80th)



I found some rather tasty French Fries while at a friend’s birthday gathering this Sunday at Tolani Wine Restaurant on the UWS. I checked out the menu ahead of time, just in case they had something that looked interesting, and I found  Rosemary French Fries.

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The Blue Donkey – Manhattan (UWS)

 - by ffic


487 Amsterdam Ave
(between 83rd St & 84th St)
New York, NY 10024
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
(212) 496-0777

I went to the Blue Donkey Bar to attend a birthday party, and got surprised by the fries. I ordered a basket each of the Handcut and Sweet-Fries for the table and truthfully didn’t expect much at all. Bar fries have always been hit & miss in my experience, and I figured I was simply getting something to stuff in my mouth in between conversation and sips of beer.

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Ample Hills Creamery – Brooklyn, NYC

 - by ffic

Ample Hills Creamery

623 Vanderbilt Ave
(between St Marks Ave & Bergen St)
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights(718) 670-3346

After attending an art installation in Brooklyn last Saturday evening, a friend and I began a search for French Fries. We found our way to Vanderbilt Avenue where we stumbled upon Ample Hills Creamery. It was quickly decided that we would have the Ice Cream first, then continue our search for a suitable basket of fries. I am happy we opted for the Ice Cream first!

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