Monday, August 1, 2011

Je & Jo: A sweet goodbye to Hell's Kitchen

As I neared the end of packing my apartment for my move to Philly, I moved into the stage of trying to use up everything in my fridge and freezer. That included the ice cream that I always have on hand; once that was done, I had a few nights left to have some last desserts in NYC. When I heard the news that Je & Jo ice cream had opened up a tiny storefront just about a block away from me, I knew their innovative four-ounce cookie-dough ice cream cups would be one of my last NYC tastes.

I asked the friendly counter worker for her recommendation as I tried to choose among the vanilla (with chocolate chip cookie dough), peanut butter (with peanut butter cookie dough), or vegan coconut (no cookie dough). Upon her counsel, I chose the classic vanilla with chocolate chip.

Like a new-school Hoodsie

It comes in a cute little compostable container, and it's inherently portion-controlled, which is nice. My only complaint about the pre-packed cup format is that it precludes sampling, which is my usual way of choosing my ice cream flavor. That aside, it's cute and portable, if a bit pricey at $4 (that'd be $1 an ounce, folks). Of course, it's all-natural, hand-made, and all that jazz.

But how does it taste? Aside from the very top and edges of the ice cream, which suffer from a bit of freezer exposure due to the paper lid and container, pretty darn delicious. The vanilla flavor is pure and, well, natural: it tastes like vanilla and cream. The cookie dough, of which there were about two medium-sized chunks, was appealingly gritty, with tiny chocolate chip specks for a little chocolate flavor. The only problem here is the distribution; it seemed as they had partially filled the cup with ice cream, then laid a couple pieces of cookie dough on top, and then finished with another layer of ice cream, creating sort of a parfait, or an inverse ice cream sandwich, if you will. So it's tough to access the cookie dough when you're digging through a lot of ice cream; you sort of have to smoosh around the ice cream as you eat to get to that middle layer. In sum, I wish there had been a whole lot more cookie dough, and I wish it had been more evenly distributed.

Ice cream layer, then cookie dough layer

But that's only because it was delicious. Flavor-wise, ice cream and cookie dough were both noteworthy, and I support both the ethos of the company and the friendliness of the staff. Even though I'm moving away, I'm glad I got a chance to try Je & Jo, and I hope they thrive. Make the trek west to support them yourself-- your taste buds, if not necessarily your wallet, will thank you.

515 W. 47th, between 10th and 11th Avenues

No comments: