Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Drop everything and go to Moxie's for ice cream.

Before I wrote about how much I liked Coldstone Creamery out in Stuyvesant Plaza, and about the ambience at Snowman. I had not yet tried the ultimate in ice cream: Moxie’s. Moxie’s is far east of central Troy on Spring Ave, and as you drive, you keep thinking, “there can’t possibly be ice cream here, let alone great ice cream.” It becomes rural; crickets chirp and the smells of the countryside sooth you. Then, just when you think there must be some mistake, you see the ginormous bug light, then the Moxie’s sign, and it’s like an oasis of pleasure in the worn down grind that is the Capital District.

I would like to empower you in your search for the good life here, the pleasurable things that aren’t necessary to sustain life, but without which life can become dreary and deadening. It is possible to live la dolce vita in the Capital District, but it takes some doing.

Moxie’s is a roadside stand of ice cream pleasure. And we’re not talking garden variety. We’re talking serious ice cream buffs. There are FIVE different types of vanilla ice cream at Moxie’s, all homemade, depending on where the vanilla bean was imported from (Haitian, Tahitian, Mexican). You can even get a sampler: “around the world with vanilla,” trying all six flavors, plus Moxie’s signature flavor, blue moon-- and a bottle of water “to cleanse your palate.” There is a flavor called Horchata, that has a creamy cinnamoney flavor (it is based on a rice pudding-like concoction). There is a flavor called chocolata peppercino, which is chocolate with a little aftertaste of spicy heat. These are all excellent flavors, and much much better than anything else I’ve had in the area. Not all the flavors are great: for example, fig was a disappointment (not much flavor, tasted too much like plain vanilla), and the pomegranate cherry was not as vibrant as it could be, either. Tonight, I had a sundae, and the fudge sauce is only so-so (I prefer my hot fudge really dark chocolate; this was too sweet). And the whipped cream, although supposedly from a better brand, was out of a can and not impressive (Ben and Jerry's has the real whipped cream).

Despite these minor flaws, there is a European influence here, and the proprietress has traveled to Italy when not running Moxie’s, during the winter. This year she plans to go to El Salvador, and says we’ll just have to see what new flavors get inspired by her travels there. Moxie’s has its own lovely backyard park with lots of space to run around and playground equipment for children, and picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy your icy confection.

Another benefit here is that the sizes are reasonable: a regular cup consists of two scoops of ice cream, not a whole pint. This is sensible! This is good. Prices are very reasonable, with a regular cone at $2.95; you can buy a half gallon of this heavenly stuff for $6.15.

Moxie’s is a family business, having been started by a father and now being run by his daughter. It’s in Wynantskill, at 1344 Spring Ave. Other flavors that sound good I have ended up not liking: the fig doesn’t have much ‘figgy’ flavor, and the cherry pomegranate was similarly disappointing. However, when they get it right here, they get it so right that it is downright addictive.

Moxie’s remains open only as long as supplies last. As of tonight (8/16/06) they estimate staying open only until the 29th. They aren’t making any more ice cream, and already the vanillas are gone (except for a vanilla with peppermint). So go now, and enjoy summer while it lasts.

1 comment:

gal about town said...

Moxies is at best 10 mins from downtown Smallville. Believe it or not if you drive the same amount of time on any of the main roads out of Troy you will find similar gems.
A fantastic diner south down Rt. 4
Potter Hill Barn (gifts) east on 7 Villa Valente out Rt 66
Tara the big Irish shop on Rt 2
Verdiles and Testos in the Northend
Deannas decor on 43 east
New Old Stuff on Pawling

It might not be ice cream but there is still taste outside the decrepid downtown.