New York City may have banned the use of activated charcoal as a food additive, but all you morose, moody nihilists and Nietzscheans in search of a sweet detox can find refuge in the darker corners of the – brace yourselves – City Beautiful.
Yes, on the ground floor of the 420 East Apartments, a bright, cheery, attractive and intoxicatingly scented little ice cream shop can help you find meaning and happiness in a scoop ($3.75) or two ($5.50) of black ash coconut ice cream. It's vegan, not overly coconutty and, when scooped into a vanilla-flavored chia waffle cone ($1) also darkened (with activated charcoal), makes for a blickety-black sweet treat. Other vegan flavors – delightful cardamom-rose or Biscoff-like speculoos, for example – provide a colorful contrast, while wacky toppings (75 cents each) like hibiscus crystals, powder puff "sprankles" and stroopwafels add a bit of texture. And it's all presented in rosy fashion by a buoyant 20-something, just for a little extra sunshine.
Those stroopwafels, by the way, were a bit on the tough side – it might serve Greenery Creamery well to use the locally made ones produced by Gezellig Cookies instead. If you like your ice cream sauced, try a drizzle of bourbon-caramel, Nutella, Mission fig or a squeeze of condensed milk ($0.75).
Unlike the vegan options fashioned from coconut cream, the full-blown dairy ice creams are a buttery shock to the system, and the reverberations were felt throughout an indulgence of the sweet cream flavor. Gahhhhh sooooo good! (Milk for these dairy options comes from local grass-fed cows, by the way.) There are a slew of appealing flavors – a sweeter than expected ube (purple yam), a subtly nutty toasted sesame, a bold Guinness stout – so don't expect to see your standard Neapolitan or Rocky Road.
Something else that becomes evident after stepping inside the Greenery Creamery – it's designed for the photo-happy Instagram crowd. Cozy nooks and shiplapped walls make perfect backdrops for your freeze frames.