Want an easy, surefire, and inexpensive way to make a spectacle of yourself? Track the Coolhaus truck to a location in Midtown. Make sure the temperature is at least 88 degrees Fahrenheit and the sun is at its ornery peak. Order one ice cream sandwich, which will come to you adorned with an edible potato-paper “wrapper.”
Next, attempt to eat it in the middle of a sidewalk thronging with oxen-like tourists and men in ties. They will regard you with a mixture of pity and disgust as you race to staunch the flow of ice cream rapidly melting down your hands, arms, face, and clothing. You will have to use your tongue in ways that are legally prohibited in Kansas and Utah.
But you will have no choice, because despite the combined efforts of several napkins and the steadily decomposing wrapper, this is an ice cream sandwich that refuses to be contained. It’s less sandwich than grapefruit-sized scoop of ice cream that just happens to have parked itself between a couple of cookies. It’s not eaten so much as it is confronted.
And it’s completely worth the dry-cleaning bills and accompanying loss of dignity. Or at least the sandwich we finally managed to consume was. Although we’d been hearing plenty about Coolhaus’s architecturally named varieties, we chose an anonymous combination of maple-waffle cookies with baked-apple ice cream. Given the weather, it seemed a bit perverse to crave something so suggestive of Thanksgiving, but, as we subsequently discovered, pretty much everything about eating this sandwich encouraged perversity. The ice cream did indeed taste just like apple pie, and the cookies, while not particularly waffle-y, were maple-y, and somehow managed to stand up to their hefty cargo both flavor- and structure-wise. They were chewy and pliant, and stubbled with bits of white chocolate. For its part, the ice cream, texturally speaking, tended slightly toward iciness, but was generally creamy enough that we just didn’t care.
The wrapper, incidentally, tasted like a wrapper. Its virtues are far more green than culinary, although the number of napkins you need more or less negates its environmental benefits.
The sandwich cost $5, which is a lot for an ice cream sandwich but a pittance for a meal, which it was. We ate it for lunch and weren’t hungry for the next eight hours, by which point we’d almost managed to wipe all of the ice cream off of our face.
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