Popbar Review: Popbar popsicles
It’s the summer so you love to get your ice cream on, right? You want intensity of flavor and smooth consistency. You want the cool refreshment, sometimes in a cup, and other times in a cone. How would you make it better? What if you add some toppings? That’s normal enough… but what if… what if you could get it on a stick? That’s the concept behind Popbar, a newly opened gelato place on Carmine St in the West Village. I guess they follow the idea that anything you put on a stick will be more delicious? I’m a pretty indiscriminate eater when it comes to ice cream, gelato, and sorbet. It’s really hard to get it wrong although I did try a vegan ice cream once and it was hella wrong. But when you put something on a stick, it just gains style points. Who doesn’t love things on sticks? Meat? Yes. Candy? Yes. Gelato? Yes PLEASE!
Steph and I went to Popbar to see exactly what gelato on a stick would be like. They give you all sorts of options. You could get ’em with toppings. For example the coconut gelato popsicle could either come with coconut shavings on the outside, or it could be plain. You could also get ’em dipped in chocolate and then covered with crushed nuts. Some of the fruit flavors were sorbets and the non-fruit items would come in gelato form. We picked a coconut bar covered with coconut and a plain pistachio bar.
Obviously if you’re getting gelato on a stick, it’s not going to start out as soft and pliable as normal gelato. Since they got it like a popsicle, the gelato starts off colder than normal, but after a few seconds in your mouth, it softens up and the intense flavor begins to dominate. When it comes to getting the coconut to taste like a thousand coconuts bursting in your mouth, the popsicle does its job. Ditto with the pistachio.
The two Popbars cost $9.50, so it’s on par with how much it costs to get a small gelato in the city. Grom is $5.25 and L’Arte del Gelato is $4.75. I can’t really tell you which one gets you the most amount of gelato for the money, but only one of them gets it on a stick! Popbar is the new kid on the block so we’ll see if they can stick around through the summer.
In other news, lately there’s been some news about restaurateurs who’ve come out against critics. Eater covered the story between Keith McNally and Adam Platt. Fork in the Road has the story about SD26’s owner against… well, all critics.
It must be pretty insane for people to criticize your life’s work. I feel like restaurateurs expect everyone to like their food… and that it’s not possible to feel otherwise. As someone who’s been eating ice cream left and right lately, I can tell you that every store has their own flavors and textures. What is so wrong about critics liking one but not the other? At the end of the day, very few people eat only what a critic says. In our era, I feel like the next step is for a website to tailor restaurant suggestions to our restaurant eating history. Seriously, this is what Amazon and Netflix do everyday. In fact Netflix had $1 million dollar contests to figure out a better algorithm. The idea is that the past is a good indicator of the future (which is why I’m suggesting to my girlfriend that we decorate the apartment with my favorite thing from when I was 6-years-old: Transformers).
One of these days, it’s not going to matter what the critics say… at least the voice of one won’t matter as much as a voice of many. They got apps now that suggest restaurants on your phone based on your location… but nothing based on your eating history. You just wait, if Yelp is smart at all, they’ll go snatch up Four Square and then it’s fucking over.
Popbar5 Carmine Street.New York, NY 10014212-255-4874
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