Summertime and the living is easy. Especially if you happen upon the Van Leeuwen artisan ice cream truck. The buttercup-yellow vehicle appears like a soft serve mirage against the hard New York City pavement, but it is no illusion. This parlor on wheels serves up frozen treats made locally from organic ingredients. Their attention to quality has results. Longtime customers and first-time tasters line up daily to try specials and order favorites. Patience may not be a virtue, however, as popular flavors like the currants and cream sell out quickly on warm days.
Nicole, a curious browser, was new to the truck and sampled several options before settling on a scoop of ginger ice cream. “I’ll worry about my wedding diet later, this is too good!” She sauntered off with her cone in hand and a huge smile on her face.
Darin, who has been slinging scoops with Van Leeuwen for more than a year, grins. “People love ice cream. It’s a positive environment, a happy event that’s taking place when they come to the truck.” Although Darin knows a lot about the truck, the regulars and the treats, one question stumps him temporarily. “Which flavor is my favorite? Wow.” He shakes his head. “My favorite changes over days, weeks, months…but right now it’s the currants and cream.” Ah, of course. The one that’s sold out!
Van Leeuwen artisan ice cream has expanded to two trucks and one store. The trucks can be found 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fifth Ave at 15th Street; 8 a.m. to10 a.m., Sixth Ave at 22nd Street; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street; 4 p.m.to 6 p.m., Fifth Avenue at 22nd Street. The store is located at 632 Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn. For more information and a full schedule, visit www.vanleeuwenicecream.com or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VLAIC