Location: Williamsburg (Bedford Avenue and N8th Street)
What We Ordered: Hannah - Pistachio and Gianduja; Jon - Mint Chip and Strawberry
We put on our best hipster outfits and took to the streets of Williamsburg this weekend to check out the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck. While technically not a shop, Ice Cream O'Clock does not discriminate when it comes to ice cream. Hannah ordered a cone of pistachio and the special flavor of the day, gianduja. For the non-hipsters out there, gianduja is a fancy word for Nutella. Jon went with the classic mint chip and strawberry flavors.
While the ice cream was good and had a nice texture, there was nothing that made it stand out from any other ice cream we've had. The pistachio could have had a stronger flavor and we've had better mint chip and strawberry out of the carton. The gianduja brought up Van Leeuwen's grade with it's richness and differed from the ever classic chocolate. Hannah, the more adventurous expert, went with a sugar cone (which Hannah suggests can also be used or thought of as an edible unicorn horn), that, much to her chagrin, ended up dripping ice cream all over her Keds, putting a cramp in her hipster style.
A little unfair to judge this because a truck can only hold so much ice cream. There were about a dozen flavors including the staples like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and mint chip. We tried some of their specialty flavors like ginger and earl grey tea, but neither seemed appealing enough to get a full scoop of. The biggest draw for Van Leeuwen is their vegan ice cream. With the truck being located in the center of Williamsburg, we can safely say Van Leeuwen knows where their target audience is.
The truck is stationed right on the corner of Bedford Avenue, which is a moderately bustling area with several restaurants and shops around. Seating is limited to the front bumper of the truck, which we quickly claimed as our territory until an SUV decided to park on top of us. A nice place for hipster watching, but if the front bumper is taken you're out of luck. Our server was friendly and patiently allowed us to try several flavors before making our selections. But he also recommended the one flavor Hannah despises (that dreaded Mint Chip).
The Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck was forgettable at the very least. The ice cream was mediocre, selection was limited, and seating nearly impossible, but the truck made for a nice photo op. Bottom-line, we recommend Van Leeuwen for vegans and the casual ice cream consumer. For the rest of us, there are better places.