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Coconut Soft Serve & Caramel Sauce

Yesterday, we found the coolest place:

kyotofu

That’s coconut soft-serve, above, and it was absolutely fabulous!

Nestled into the Hell’s Kitchen area, Kyotofu is a modern Japanese restaurant and dessert bar with exquisitely-presented food. Although the establishment isn’t vegetarian, some of its offerings are completely vegan, such as two seasonally-rotating flavors of soft-serve ice cream.

We were lucky enough to go on a day when the flavors were coconut and Thai chili chocolate.

kyotofu vegan

Yes, Thai chili chocolate.

The first spoonful simply tasted like chocolate (really delicious chocolate). But watch out!

It has quite a kick, so you’d better be prepared with water. Above is one of Kyotofu’s gorgeous sundaes: fresh berries, chocolate cookie crumbles, green tea mochi, and the most delectable caramel sauce I have ever tasted. (I want to try and recreate the caramel—which has a special ingredient—as soon as I get back to Texas.)

After snack, we explored The Westerly Market. Jessica is my health-food-shopping partner in crime, and I have to take advantage… because when S comes he won’t want to do any of this!

vegan grocery store

If only I lived closer, I would’ve taken home one of their many raw pies or cakes: Tiramisu, Strawberry Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cream Pie…

westerly

Instead, I went with something more portable: chocolate!

(We also explored a few other shops, including a fun little four-story place called “Lee’s Art Shop,” which sold gifts, lights, art supplies, and toys.)

Dinner was at Josies, a charming vegetarian-friendly restaurant on the Upper West Side:

josies vegetarian

I was happy to find that the vegan lentil loaf I’d so loved on my previous visit hadn’t changed at all. The loaf features organic lentils, mushroom, sweet potato, and tahini, and it was just as flavorful, soft, and comforting as I remembered from last summer.

What’s the weirdest ice cream flavor you’ve ever seen?

There’s a gelato place near me that sells Black Pepper, as well as Violet and Chocolate Jalapeño. And in California, they have a summer garlic festival with garlic ice cream! Awhile back, someone sent me a link to the top 100 weirdest ice cream flavors ever, which listed things like Squid Ink, Chicken Wing, and Soy Sauce Ice Cream! Oh, and Viagra ice cream. 😕

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Sugar Cookie Ice Cream

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Published on July 20, 2012

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82 Comments

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  1. Janae @ Bring-Joy says

    I like some variations on the chili chocolate theme, but some are too spicy for my taste! That said, I’m always up for some adventure & excitement in the exotic flavor department :).

    Weirdest flavor? Hmmm. I actually think of Jelly Bellies when I think of weird flavors (buttered popcorn, for example), but there’s nothing to weird for me. If it’s vegan, I’ll try it!

  2. petrina says

    The vegan lentil loaf looks delicious! Are you going to try to recreate that one too? I would love to try a recipe like that.

  3. Melissa says

    Go to Lula’s Sweet Apothecary or I will have to cut you, Katie. 😉
    Also, Cinnamon Snail Food truck.

    Shoot, just check out my buddy Abby’s blog for places to go!
    http://a-soy-bean.blogspot.com/

    I’ve told her I’m coming to run a race in NYC, stay with her and have her drag me all over just stuffing food into my mouth. Ahhhh. Excellent. This will happen eventually!

  4. Lauren says

    Oh, thanks for sharing! I just checked out Josies website, and it looks wonderful. It’s the first restaurant in NYC that I actually feel inclined to visit (and I’ve done a LOT of researching!). I will take my family there next week.

  5. Miss b says

    Yum mm this is awesome wish u could make a coconut soft serve recipe and the vegan lentil loaf. I’m making your chocolate chip cookie pie and my mom wants me to make some cookie or cake batter dip for a party .
    I’m so excited!!!!!!!!

  6. Kim says

    Those flavours sound amazing! I suppose the weirdest ice cream I’ve ever seen would have to be the pickle one that was offered one year at a specialty shop. Sadly I didn’t have the nerve to try it. As for the garlic ice cream, I have the recipe! It’s in a book put out by a local heirloom seed grower and involves honey. But if you know of a substitute for honey (the cloves need to steep in the honey) then perhaps it’s doable for you 🙂

  7. Sarah L says

    Oh wow! I desperately want to visit those places. And another vote for a recreated lentil loaf.

    I really like the choco-chili combo, but it’s been so long since I’ve had any. Never seen it as ice cream though. I think the only ice cream I’ve thought was weird was Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food – until I learned it wasn’t Fish food. I seriously thought it was made fish and scales and things seeweedy. :S

  8. sarah @ let the good in says

    I love all of these spots you went to in the city (Kyotofu! Westerly Market! Lee’s!). Made me nostalgic! I left NYC for Arizona in April, and the food is what I miss most about the city 🙂
    If you haven’t already, and are still in NYC – you absolutely MUST go to Stogo. It is a 100% vegan ice cream shop on the lower east side. Indescribably delicious and they slays have tone of flavors!!
    Also check out Dirt Candy – a truly inventive vegan/vegetarian restaurant also on the lower east side.

  9. Olivia says

    I’ve heard of popcorn ice cream and avocado ice cream. They just sound so gross to me, that I’ve never got the courage to try them.

  10. Lauren says

    I’ve seen lavender ice cream before, which sounds so unappealing to me! Probably because I don’t care for even the smell, much less the taste in my food!

  11. H says

    You HAVE to go to One Lucky Duck (raw, vegan) in Gramercy Park (on 17th between 3rd Ave and Irving) while you’re in NYC. The food is seriously amazing (in particular, their chocolate pudding and their Caesar salad). It is just so, so good!

  12. Alanna says

    Oh, I forgot you were in NYC and had come up with another banana soft serve recipe variation, haha. That all looks and sounds pretty amazing, and I hope your caramel attempt is a success later because that has me craving some right now! I thought squid ink ice cream sounded the worst until I read garlic and did a full body shudder, lol. I’m all for trying something new, but that’s a little too adventurous for me!

  13. Anonymous says

    Viagra ice cream?! whoa. haha! I don’t know what the weirdest flavour I’ve tried is.. nothing as crazy as that!

    It sounds like you’re finding some amazing foodie places in the big apple! That lentil loaf looks amazing.

  14. Suzanne says

    My prize for the weirdest ice cream flavour goes to Brandied Fig and Goat Cheese (they make it at the ice cream parlour I used to work at, Sweet Olenka’s in Toronto, Canada). Weird, but SO GOOD!

    • Lisa @bitesforbabies says

      That actually sounds delicious!!! I often make my son fig compote with ricotta…I should try goat cheese next time 😉 (btw, I’m in Windsor…next time I go to T.O, I’m going to check that place out!!!)

  15. Olivia says

    Last weekend when we went to my favorite ice cream shop in Pittsburgh, they had basil flavored ice cream, and zucchini bread ice cream. I was boring and didn’t try either of them 😛

  16. Bethany @ Bananas for Smoothies says

    Funny, I was completely hypnotized by Westerly Market’s shelves full of kombucha! ***love***

    That coconut soft serve looks amazing!!! So airy and creamy. Yum.

    I’m pretty sure the weirdest flavor I’ve ever seen is bacon. I mean, really. Is that necessary?

  17. Liz @ Southern Charm says

    Those ARE weird flavors you listed!! I’ve never had weird ones, at least I don’t think. There is a famous local ice cream shop that has the BEST inventions ever, in my opinion: honey lavendar, absteninth, bananas foster and champage are some of my favorites!!

    • Terri Cole says

      Creole Creamery, in NOLA, by any chance? In my pre-vegan, I had one of their 5 mini-scoop samplers. Oh Man!

  18. Dawna says

    Here in Maine we have Lobstah’ ice cream (definitely NOT vegan), however my favorite sweet spot to stop at is The Gelato Fiasco. They make decadent Chocolate Noir Sorbetto or my fav, Strawberry Balsamic Sorbetto (both are vegan and not something you will want to share). Raise a spoon! 🙂

  19. Sally says

    I just wanted to comment on the vegan lentil loaf…It sounded so delicious that I had to find some kind of knock-off recipe, so after a bit of googling, I found a recipe that has all the elements you mentioned that yours had, Katie. (Although it does feature sundried tomatoes, I’d imagine you could probably omit them if you wanted something closer to what you had.) Here’s the link: http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2012/01/10/sundried-tomato-red-lentil-loaf/

  20. Lauren @ The Tornadic Kitchen says

    Oh my goodness! Those are some interesting flavors for ice cream… Haha I think I’ll just stick to basic chocolate or vanilla 😉 However, the coconut one sounds delicious!

  21. Irina @ Chocolatea Time says

    Gnosis Chocolate is so so delicious! I’m quite jealous of the discounted price…it’s so expensive around here!

  22. Cheri @ The Watering Mouth says

    Okay, hold on a second. VIAGRA ice cream? Was is like “spiked” or something?? I’m just trying to think this concept through…wait, WHAT?!?!

    HAHA. Lol. Now THAT is creative. Thanks for sharing Katie! 😀

    xoxo
    Cheri

  23. Emma says

    There’s a place near my campus that makes pie and cobbler ice creams – they put an entire pie/cobbler in each flavor! It is SO good!

  24. Kristin says

    I had Mexican Chocolate ice cream at an ice cream stand in Talkeetna, Alaska. It was definitely spicy!
    I like a large variety of ice cream to choose from (think: Coldstone), and this place had Blueberry and Mexican Chocolate as the flavors for the day. So that’s why I was forced to try it.

  25. Jacque Foster says

    Any chance you got the recipe for that vegan lentil loaf? Sounds divine. (Or if not, can you give me an idea, such as 50% Shiitakes, 30% lentils, etc?) You’re the best, Katie!

  26. Heather @dragonflygirlruns says

    It isn’t weird to me, just different, at a sushi restaurant we had ginger ice cream with bits of ginger through it. It was so good and different.

  27. Isabella Defesche says

    There is this place here in Austin called Lick that sells organic ice creams. They have the best flavors like caramelized carrots and tarragon or cilantro mint. They always have two vegan, coconut milk flavors too. The flavors are currently spicy coconut peanut and peanut, coconut, chocolate swirl. It has your (and my) name written all over it.

  28. Joanne says

    I haven’t really seen any strange flavours near where I live. A few years ago I had green tea ice cream with fresh figs and it was delicious.
    That vegan lentil loaf looks so good, it’s making me hungry!

  29. Holly says

    I just love that you’re in NYC and going to all these parts of the city that I go to every day, yet I’ve never heard of some of these restaurants and such! I’m definitely trying them out! Weirdest ice cream? Well I work at an ice cream shop back at home and there’s nothing too incredibly weird (nothing beyond egg nog) but I will say that the most difficult to scoop is the watermelon Italian ice….it doesn’t stay together and all, so it drives me crazy when someone orders that on a sugar cone!! Lol….

  30. tessa says

    you would make my world if you figured out a GOOD recipe for dairy free caramel. i’ll be waiting (im)patiently for you to work your magic!

  31. Sam says

    Have you been to Lula’s yet? It’s my favorite place. They let you try as many ice cream flavors as you like. My favorite’s cake batter!

  32. Laura says

    The weirdest flavors I’ve seen are probably lavender choc. Chip, mango cucumber(which was actually amazing), and rose(also surprisingly amazing!). I found a gelato place with a couple vegan options while I was traveling this past week, and they had banana peanut butter ice cream and I thought of you. :). It was the greatest! I kept thinking of your “low cal pb” spread.

  33. [email protected] says

    The UK chef Heston Blumenthal makes bacon and egg, mustard and cheese on toast ice cream! Not my cup of tea, it has to be said 🙂
    Often when you remember a restaurant dish as that good for that long, it’s a disappointment so I’m glad the loaf was as good as you hoped it would be!

  34. Christine says

    I don’t know if you take requests, but I just made an awesome cookie dough cheesecake and recently had cheesecake factory’s version of it and would love to know how to make a healthified version! 🙂

  35. Christine says

    And lemon ice cream is the weirdest I’ve seen, not too strange, but I just can’t picture it tasting very good.

  36. jessie says

    it’s so cool you went to Westerley’s! I work about a block from there and sometimes pick up yummy things for lunch there! I love it.

  37. Teresa says

    Wow, thanks for sharing about a unknown to me place in my own city! That’s the beauty of NYC, there’s always a new place to try :). I wish I’ve had strange ice creams, but most of the ones I’ve tried are rather typical. 2 of my favorite favors are anything coffee/ mocha/ espresso/etc, and cherry amaretto. I also prefer coconut based ice creams. So far my favorite ice cream in the city is Lulas apothecary- wow, what a treat!

    I’m sure you’re super booked for your time here in NY, but if you wanted to meet up, please let me know! I’ve been following your blog from literally day number 1, so it would be great to “meet,” you, but obviously I understand that you probably don’t have any free time. Either way, I hope you have a great trip and let me know if you want any recommendations!

  38. Becky says

    There’s a great ice cream store in Meadville, PA (near where we vacation each summer) that makes all of their wonderful, and sometimes crazy favors on site. The other day I tasted their sweet potato casserole ice cream. It was surprisingly delicious, but a taste was enough for me – I couldn’t commit to the full scoop. Hum, maybe you could come up with some tasty sweet potato casserole dessert!

  39. BroccoliHut says

    This probably doesn’t exactly count as an ice cream flavor, but I recently visited a popular popsicle place in my hometown, and they had a pineapple jalapeno flavor! It was actually kind of good!

  40. Kate says

    Oh man, all of these posts from NYC are absolutely contributing to my wanderlust. I’m so excited to start planning a trip there, and am particularly comforted to know where some of the GOOD vegeterian/GF/healthy-eating places are!

    As for weird ice cream… I live across the street from the best gelato parlour in our city. They have 50 flavours at any one time, and the flavours rotate about twice a day. There’s a new flavour almost every day, and I would know… ’cause that’s how often I’m there! (So sad…).

    The strangest flavours I’ve seen (and my thoughts, ’cause I’ve tried them all):

    Wasabi (weirdly good — it would be AWESOME on steak if I were a steak eater)
    Caramelized onion (so AMAZING!)
    Dijon mustard (was really really terrible. I love dijon mustard and eat it with a spoon, but this one was really inedible).
    Saffron (awesome).
    Butter (so smooth and amazing).
    Mascarpone (traditionally italian, and absolutely divine. SO good with figs).
    Blue cheese (I couldn’t get over *frozen* blue cheese. It probably would have been good with steak).
    Garlic (pretty damn awesome).
    Garlic and honey (they bring this out during cold and flu season. It’s really soothing!).
    Cauliflower (really nice texture, actually!)
    Ham and cheese (really, REALLY gross. I didn’t go back for months after that one!).

    They’ve got lots of really amazing flavours, too! My top 5:

    5. Chocolate peanut-butter (of course).
    4. Stracciatella (traditional italian vanilla with chocolate flakes).
    3. Espresso flake (espresso gelato with chocolate flakes)
    2. Skrock (NOT skor, like I thought! They use almond, hazelnut, pistachio, and macadamia pastes to make a strangely textured but amazing toffee-flavoured gelato).
    1. Vanilla black-currant. (They take super creamy vanilla gelato and swirl in a really concentrated black currant sorbet. I was surprised because I usually can’t handle the black currant taste, but it’s a perfect pairing).

    Oh, and the pistachio and green tea gelatos are also amazing.

    Hmm. I think I should go for a walk… across the street!

  41. Katharina says

    Upper West Side! That’s my neighborhood 😀 I walk by Josie’s and am always curious about it. Also, love Peacefood Cafe AND Lula’s (I love their toppings options with the ginger cookies yummy)! Glad to see you’re thoroughly enjoying the city!!!

    XOXO

  42. Ilana says

    Katie! you were in my hood. my yoga studio is in bells kitchen ad westerly feeds me daily. they have the besttttt stufffff.

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