07/17/18 11:54am

Our Favorite Frozen Confections in Queens for Summer 2018

Spot Dessert Bar’s Baked Alaska, fire and ice!                                     Photo: @spotdessertbar

Now that summer is here in full sweltering force it’s time for a listicle that’s as chill as an icicle. Herein, seven of my favorite frozen treats ranging from traditional Thai and Mexican icees to some decidedly highfalutin ice cream and other treats. Feel free to chime in with your favorite frozen treat in the comments!

1. Baked Alaska, Spot Dessert Bar
There’s something about fancy pants ice cream that calls for skipping the cone. It’s as if there is a voice in my head saying, “This Tahitian vanilla bamboo charcoal swirl is for grownups. You can’t let it dribble down your chin, plus how will you possibly get a photo of it?” Which is why I’m glad that Spot Dessert Bar’s Baked Alaska comes in a cone. It’s not ice cream either, it’s sorbet, your choice of mango or raspberry. I opted for the latter. “Would you like to do a video?” the waiter asked as he brought over the meringue topped cone over to the table with a torch. Just beneath the browned meringue sat the tart refreshing sorbet. “I should really eat more ice cream cones,” I thought to myself as I munched happily away. Midway through came a surprise, fluffy bits of chiffon cake followed by more sorbet. I definitely should eat more ice cream cones, especially when they have cake inside. I’ll be back for the mango. Spot Dessert Bar, 39-16-39-98 Prince St., Flushing, 917- 285-2187

2. Tao tueng, Khao Nom
I’m a big fan of shaved ice whether Dominican frio frio or Korean patbingsu, so when I saw that this Thai dessert specialist offered two kinds, I had to try them both. Tub tim krob, which features crunchy jewels of water chestnut coated in chewy jelly, in a sea of coconut milk syrup is strictly for the coconut fans, while tao tueng features longan fruit, barley, tapioca pearls, dates, and of all things potato. Somehow, it manages to make shaved ice seem healthy. Whichever one you choose, you’ll be glad that the brass bowl keeps it ice cold and even happier when the gal behind the counter offers a sidecar of extra shaved ice. I know I was. Khao Nom, 76-20 Woodside Ave., Elmhurst, 929-208-0108

3. Mango bingsu, Coffee Monster
This cafe hard by the Murray Hill LIRR station has a sideline in Korean bingsu or shaved ice. There are a baker’s dozen on offer, including such classics as red bean and newer creations like black sesame. I tried the mango. It consists of a bowl of crystalline mango flavored snow topped with mango syrup, condensed milk, mango popping bubbles, and bits of fresh mango. It’s pretty good, if a touch on the sweet side, but I couldn’t get over the texture of the ice itself. On the way out I took notice of the machine, which bore the name Snoway. A quick Google search reveals that this Korean machine produces, “the purest snowflakes on the planet.” I’m not quite sure of that claim’s veracity, but I can vouch for the texture! Coffee Monster, 41-12 162nd St, Flushing, 917-808-8562

4. Sour Cherry & Blood Orange ice, Pesso’s Ices & Ice Cream
I love the old school vibe and flavors at The Lemon Ice King of Corona, but for a modern approach—think such flavors blood orange, grapefruit, Swedish fish, and rainbow cookie alongside the classic like rainbow, cherry, and lemon—there’s no place quite like Pesso’s. The Bayside institution is a bit off the beaten path, but worth the trek, especially because they allow mixing of flavors. Sour cherry and blood orange proved particularly refreshing on my first visit, while the dense rainbow cookie featured plenty of almond paste. Pesso’s Ices & Ice Cream, 203-20 35th Ave., Bayside, 718-224-9130

5. 9AM and Basic B, Ice & Vice LIC Popup
Ken Lo and Paul Kim started Ice & Vice at LIC Flea a few years ago, and now the dynamic duo of frozen desserts have returned to their roots with a summer pop-up scoop shop on Jackson Avenue. Among the half dozen flavors find such creations as Happy Panda Sorbet, a blend of black rice horchata, coconut cream, and Saigon cinnamon. Given the option, I went for two scoops of ice cream: 9AM—a mix of Vietnamese coffee and donut truffle—and Basic B, which combines Mexican vanilla with black lava sea salt. The result tastes like a good cup of strong iced coffee. Can’t decide on a flavor? Go for the $12 sampler, which consists of five scoops. Ice & Vice LIC Popup, 27-20 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, 646-678-3687

6. Pepino Nieves, Los Poblanos Grocery
There are many places—from street carts to storefronts—to procure a cup of nieves along Roosevelt Avenue. One of my favorites for this Mexican snow is Los Poblanos Grocery. More than a half dozen wooden buckets done up in the colors of the Mexican flag, each holding a metal tin, stand outside the corner grocer. Flavors include watermelon, mango, pittaya (passion fruit), and my current favorite, pepino. The spicy salty cucumber ice calls to mind Korean kimchi water and is quite refreshing on a sweltering summer’s day. Los Poblanos Grocery, 92-19 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights

7. Nectar of The Queens, Ample Hills Creamery
Even though it takes its name from a Walt Whitman poem about Brooklyn, this Kings County-based ice cream specialist opened its first Queens shop in Astoria late last month to great fanfare and long lines. In a tribute to the neighborhood and its Greek community, they even created an Astoria themed flavor: Nectar of the Queens. Honey cinnamon ice cream has been enriched with a double dose of Greek dessert from Artopolis bakery: chunks of baklava and galaktoboureko. It’s completely over the top, but sometimes that’s just what you need. Ample Hills Creamery, 34-02 30th Ave., Astoria, 347-242-2026

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