Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Sandwich

It’s that time of year when ice cream becomes a food group, and the ice cream sandwich becomes a perfectly acceptable lunchtime choice. And it just so happens that Greenpoint currently has two particularly notable examples vying for the ice cream crown: The cheap and cheerful Peter Pan and the deluxe artisanal Van Leeuwen. In the name of essential journalistic research we pit the two against each other and bring you our verdict.

THE PETER PAN

Peter Pan Red Velvet with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

The damage:
$3.75 (plus a super-sized waistline)
What you get:
A VERY generous scoop of Häagen-Dazs sandwiched in between a split ring donut of your choice.
Options:
Donut choices are many but include Honey-Glazed, Toasted Coconut, Chocolate Coconut, Iced with Sprinkles, Red Velvet, Blueberry Buttermilk, French Crueller, Wholewheat, and Sour Cream Glazed.
Ice-cream flavors are: Black Cherry Amaretto, Cookies and Cream, Caramel Banana Chip, Dulce de leche, Strawberry, Pistachio, Chocolate, Vanilla.
What we had:
Red Velvet Donut with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

Experience:
This is a BIG sandwich. And with our chosen combo it is very, very sweet! But the pairing of soft cakey donut with a bulging scoop of dulce-swirled Häagen-Dazs is a cheap thrill-seekers delight. Also, it comes served on a stylish ceramic platter which is one up from the paper plates that Peter Pan breakfast sandwiches are served on. An extremely intense experience but a good one that will send you on the sugar high of your life (prepare for the crash afterwards). If you can finish one solo you deserve a prize.

THE VAN LEEUWEN

Van Leeuwen Earl Grey Ice Cream and Ovenly Cookie Sandwich

The damage:
$8.50 (Yep, this is one high-brow dessert).
What you get:
A nice scoop of the Van Leeuwen of your choosing, sandwiched between two of Ovenly’s famous Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten free and voted the best in NYC).
Ice-cream options include Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Pistachio, Hazelnut, Ginger, Espresso, Currants and Cream, Mint Chip, Ceylon Cinnamon, Earl Grey Tea, Palm Sugar, Gianduja.
What we had:
Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream and Ovenly Cookies (For that English afternoon ‘tea and biscuits’ effect).
Experience:
The Earl Grey is an ice cream dream: subtle citrus and bergamot flavors elevate the idea of ‘classy dessert’ to another level. The Ovenly cookies make for a sturdy frame but are not quite soft enough to allow you to tackle the dessert sandwich-style so you end up taking a spoonful of ice cream and then breaking off a bit of cookie separately to pair with it. The flavor combo is sensational though, and definitely a much more rarified experience than the Peter Pan extravaganza. But it’s probably equally calorific so it really depends on whether you’re more in the mood for razzy cake or subtle cookie.

THE VERDICT
Okay, these are two very different treats that fall in vastly different price brackets. You could get two Peter Pan indulgences AND an extra donut for the price of one Van Leeuwen. But the VL is in a flavor league of its own and while your wallet will suffer, your inner food snob will tell you that, because it’s ‘artisinal’, it’s probably almost healthy. But let’s face facts, an ice cream sandwich is always going to be a fat-frenzy, be it handmade in BK or not, and Peter Pan is FUN! So go with your (hefty) gut and do what we did: get one of each.  Just be sure to give yourself 24 hours recovery time in-between.

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