Ahh, Williamsburg. It's like this really happening small town with the most amazing Main Street you've ever seen. Somehow everyone there is young and hip and beautiful. The shops are packed, the restaurants and bars are bustling, and yet the streets are relatively quiet. How can this miracle occur? Because it's really just a neighborhood in Brooklyn, a nice place to hang that's close to Manhattan without being Manhattan. W-burg began its existence on the hip/art/music scene when the East Village got too expensive. A few people wised up and realized that one stop east on the L train would take them into uncharted territory - and much cheaper rents. Well, fast forward 15 years. The rents are now as high as in Manhattan, and all the more spooky elements of the neighborhood are gone. The upshot of all this is that it's now an alright place to find some vegan dessert.
Near the corner of Bedford (Williamsburg's main drag) and North 8th (just one block north of the L train stop) you'll find a fairly cute little ice cream shop called Penny Licks. Since opening, this place has taken its knocks from the vegan community. It is not an all-vegan shop by any means, and SuperVegan actually lists it as not even all vegetarian - I believe this is because of the gummy bears they sell as an ice cream topping, which likely have gelatin in them. So there's one issue right there.
But the biggest bone that's been picked is that nothing is made in house. As far as its vegan offerings go, the shop sells Temptation ice cream and Vegan Treats cakes and pastries. So not only not in house, but not even in state. Here's the thing though folks: they have vegan options.
Quit being such spoiled New York vegans already! If I stumbled upon this exact shop with these exact options in pretty much any other city in the country (except for maybe Portland) I would be full of awe and glee! And before Lula's and Stogo opened up in the city, this was the only chance we had to get a real cone of ice cream and walk down the street eating it like the people who walk up to the Mr. Tastee truck get to do. So if you don't like it, don't go there, but hush up already. They're supporting small vegan businesses and they're not hurting anybody, least of all you.
Yes, every now and then when we're down the Brooklyn way, we stop into good old Penny Licks. Maybe you're wondering why it's called that? Well this is one really cool offering they have that I haven't found anywhere else. If you're just feeling like a little bit of something sweet, for just one dollar you can get a "Penny Lick": a miniature scoop of ice cream in the tiniest cutest ice cream cone you ever saw! Observe, my darling Jon and our friend Liz, partaking in this diminutive treat. (Sorry for the blurry photos - these two were not the most willing models. But look how much they enjoy those cones!)
Now, me, when I see so much sugar all reason leaves my head. And despite the fact that we've usually just come from Food Swings, I'll go and do something utterly ridiculous... like try to get Jonathan to split a Vegan Treats Peanut Butter Bomb Brownie and a scoop of Temptation chocolate ice cream with me.
Well, we put a dent in both, at least. We tried, we really tried. VT makes some seriously sugary desserts. I think if we'd kept going we may have actually hurt ourselves. But oh, it does hurt so good.
Yes, I'm sure that we'll continue to stop by Penny Licks every now and then. And maybe one of these days I'll wise up and actually order the appropriately sized treat that is the Penny Lick, instead of trying to coax myself into a sugar coma.
Hey, anything is possible.