Rolled ice cream is a marvel which I will always find completely fascinating. I can walk into a store and see milk turn into creamy frozen goodness on a chilled platter right before my eyes rolled into perfect cylinders. It is always uniquely creamy and soft with a texture you just can’t find in any regular ice cream. My friend Nick compares it to Hawaiian shaved ice, as he is from Hawaii and knows it well. This is not something I can speak to, but I trust him, if that’s a comparison relevant to you. Normally, these creamy cylinders are tucked neatly into a cup with various toppings, but I recently came across a revolution in rolled ice cream that I had to try: an ice cream taco. Not only is the ice cream rolled fresh and in person, but the batter is poured into a waffle iron at the same time to make a just-soft with a little crunch waffle cone in a taco shape to cradle the ice cream. An ideal taco make-up.
I went on this sweet treat adventure with the previously mentioned Nick after a wonderful rehearsal for a show we were in. We left our rehearsal and were bathed with the Saturday sun as we walked up from Brooklyn Bridge to Chinatown. Weekend walks toward food with a friend are probably one of my favorite states of existence. There is a comfort in being with someone you love experiencing the movement of nature around you about to eat something that feeds both the body and the soul.
We arrived at 10 Below, our rolled ice cream taco destination having almost missed it, as it was a below ground establishment. Luckily, Nick is more observant than I. It was totally empty and had that wonderful smell of an ice cream establishment, that smell of cold that one can’t quite explain, sweetness pervading the air. I got a cookie monster taco (cookies and cream ice cream, then topped with teddy grahams, an Oreo, and chocolate sauce) and Nick got a strawberry one (strawberry ice cream with fruity pebbles sprinkled on top and graham crackers). It was such a treat to be able to see every element being made, the liquid components of both the ice cream and the waffle cone turning solid and edible.
The tacos were larger than expected, and not quite stable enough to eat while walking, so we took a seat inside and consumed. Let me tell you, ice cream served taco style is a perfect combination. It perfectly holds the rolled ice cream and its toppings, which act as the salsa and guac of the ice cream taco. The only issue is, like with any hard shell savory taco, that the shell sometimes splinters farther than the section you are eating and the fillings can leak out.
The waffle taco itself was even full of flavor. It’s freshness truly made a difference and added another layer of awesome to the meal. Not only was this ice cream unique in style, but it did not disappoint in any way flavor wise. It’s fun, flavorful, and a great experience that I would definitely do again, and at a reasonable price for the labor that goes into the creation! Though it is now quite cold, with New York’s first snowfall of the season having happened just yesterday, I would still go back any day for this all-around treat.