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Continuing our summer series touring ice cream shops in Manhattan, we ventured all the way to the Bowery for Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream. The pretentious name is as misleading as “Best pizza in New York” slogans in Times Square.
The location at Rivington and Bowery is a little seedy, but the best restaurants are often in bad parts of town, so I had an open mind. I walked in, and realized right away that it was run by hipsters with beards as bad as their hospitality.
This is Nicholas Morgenstern’s shop, who started selling ice cream in, you guessed it, Brooklyn from a cart. Just like the chocolate masters in Brooklyn who think they can finally make chocolate correctly after hundreds of years of lesser intellects doing it all wrong, Mr. Morgenstern does ice cream his own way, and he fails miserably.
The menu has five varieties of vanilla or chocolate, for examples. Remember now, they know how to really make ice cream, so they have five types of vanilla. Ewww.
But all that these pretentious concoctions are is ice cream with goopy honey or caramel drizzled over them. And by the way, they are not creative. “Salted caramel” or spicy chocolate were all started decades ago in Ohio at Jeni’s Ice Cream.
The cones are small and crappy. They are not made fresh.
I trashed my double-scoop cone on Bowery Street, found a Citi Bike, and rode to Sundaes and Cones on 10th Street and 4th Avenue. There, I found real ice cream bliss.