Last year, I was in Soho on a hot day and Van Leeuwen ice cream truck showed up like a knight in shining armor. Ok, it didn't just "show up", I stumbled upon it. I ordered a small cup of ginger ice cream and instantly fell in love with the ice cream. I chatted with the guy, assumingly Ben Van Leeuwen and he was telling me about the difficulty of obtaining a street permit, we parted ways and then life took over, I went to Hong Kong and I forgot about it.
Last week, I was at Saigon Grill for dinner and lo' and behold, the ice cream truck was parked right infront of the restaurant on University Place. I was delighted, Sasha (my friend's 3-year-old) wanted ice cream so she got him the strawberry, I tried a little and it was very creamy & yummy (think more milk, less strawberry).
Ben Van Leeuwen apparently sources his ingredients from all over the world, and he only uses hormone-free, organic milk and turbinado sugar. His packaged ice cream is also sold in Whole Foods. The flavors are very basic but the ingredients are of very high quality. if you have lactose intolerance, this is a no-go for you. He also uses bio-degradable cups, and I read on gourmet.com that one percent of his profits go to protecting the Congo Mountain Gorilla. I am glad I know where to find it now, I am sure it will come in handy as summer is approaching. :)
Address: Truck locations, corner of Greene St. and Prince St., 1-7 P.M.; University Pl. between 10th St. and 11th St., 8-10:30 P.M.
8 months ago