Monday, April 12, 2010

I Screme for gelato

A while ago, I heard rumors about a secret gelato place tucked in the lobby of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Generally, I pride myself on being up-to-date on all the frozen treat locations in my neighborhood, so I didn't think too much about it. But recently, I've heard a couple of bits of news about Screme gelato, this mysterious alleged gelateria, so I decided it was high time to check it out. Plus, it was 90 degrees out, and this girl needed her ice cream.

One fifteen-minute fight through the sweaty masses on 42nd Street later, I was standing face-to-face with a case of incredibly alluring gelato flavors. It looked a little something like this:

Beautiful little jewels

The man behind the counter instantly began plying me with samples, even before I asked. Once I had a fistful of used gelato tasting spoons, splayed like colorful pick-up sticks in my hand, I decided it was time to pull the trigger. Technically, you can only get one flavor in a small cup, but if you're nice and perhaps a little charming, he might add a big "taste" of another flavor as a garnish on top. So, $5 poorer, I walked away with a rapidly melted cup of nutella chip gelato with a small jaunty crown of caramel coconut.

Oh man, this was good. I tried to eat it as fast as I could, dodging tourists while rivulets of melted nutella ran onto my hands and down my arms. The nutella was the classic flavor, smooth and creamy and bursting with chocolate and hazelnut essence. The caramel coconut had notes of both flavors, without the distracting texture of coconut shards.

Nutella on bottom, coconut caramel on top, mockolate chip in middle

Would I recommend Screme? Absolutely, with two qualifications. 1) It's expensive. Yes, it's in the heart of Times Square, but $5 for a small? That's a lot. Even when supplemented with a fistful of samples. 2) The chocolate chips/bits/shards/coating in the flavors I tried is clearly mockolate, not real chocolate. It had that disconcertingly greasy texture that pretty much refuses to melt in your mouth, instead demanding to be chewed like chewing gum and then swallowed whole. So in all, I'd recommend avoiding the flavors with chocolate chips or garnishes, and you'll be happy as a pig in...

Well, let's say a pig in melted gelato. We'll leave it at that.

Screme Gelato Bar
234 W. 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, inside the lobby of Madame Tussaud's

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