As the name implies, OddFellows Ice Cream Co. is a bit different. But at this small-batch artisanal ice cream parlor, one person’s “odd” is another person’s awesome.
Aesthetically, nothing is too out-of-the-ordinary at their shops; scoopers in Soda Jerk hats and knickknack-lined shelves give off a retro, Brooklyn-cool vibe that makes one instantly want to order a milkshake. It’s inside the freezer that is almost literally anything but vanilla.
Sure – sometimes they have vanilla – but it sits beside flavors like Malt Maitake Mushroom, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Caramelized Onion and Butter—Butter ice cream, people. And considering all that they churn out is homemade in their Brooklyn kitchen with the best products available, it’s safe to say that even their vanilla is better than vanilla.
Owned and operated by husband and wife Mohan and Holiday Kumar and pastry chef/ice cream mastermind Sam Mason, AAA diamond-rated OddFellows Ice Cream Co. is known for its original and ever-changing menu of ice creams and sorbets, ranging from elevated versions of the classics to the gourmet and eccentric.
Surrounded by red and white-striped walls, stepping into OddFellows almost feels like entering an old-timey circus tent where people line up to get a glimpse at the next sideshow curiosity. While their flavor archive boasts plenty of conventionally appealing ice creams like Banana Puddin’, Creme Brûlée, and S’mores, it’s the more unusual scoops up on the board that many want to see (and taste!) to believe.
“Some of what people consider ‘odd’ are really just iterations of food our chef, Sam Mason, enjoyed growing up in the south,” said Mohan, citing Cornbread and Buttermilk Honey Blueberry as examples. “People always ask how he gets the ‘real’ cornbread flavor into the cream and they’re amazed how it actually tastes like cornbread.”
Another one of Mason’s smart, childhood-inspired creations is Ants on a Log – a sorbet version of the peanut butter and raisin-topped celery sticks so many of us loved to snack on as kids.
The flavors considered the “oddest” are those which contain a meat or vegetable—flavors that you may not have ever thought of, but actually work quite well as ice cream. “Maple Bacon Pecan, Chorizo Caramel Swirl, Foie Gras and Prosciutto Melon all get attention,” explains Mohan.
Because everything is made fresh and in small batches, OddFellows’ menu changes daily, sometimes rotating flavors several times throughout the day. According to Mohan, some of the most popular flavors this summer have been Black Pepper Strawberry, Lemon Meringue Pie, Saffron Passionfruit, Thai Iced Cream and Oatmeal Cookie Dough.
At their flagship scoop shop in Williamsburg they feature 12 different flavors of ice cream and sorbet, while at the smaller East Village outpost they offer 8. Both locations serve milk shakes and floats, but only in Williamsburg can you get full-fledged sundaes, banana splits and other delicious concoctions like the Cotton Candy Cone. Homemade waffle cones, Mast Brothers hot fudge and salted caramel sauce are always a sure thing. If you want to explore Brooklyn more, a pizza tour is another fun, food-filled way to do it, trust us.
Pro tip: “For milkshakes, make sure not to skimp on ice cream, make them thick. And the milk that you do use should be high quality milk – after all, it is a MILK shake.” – Mohan Kumar, Owner of OddFellows
What do you think of the unconventional flavors of OddFellows ice cream? Odd or awesome? Tell us in the comments below!
Learn more about AAA Diamond Rated establishments at AAA.com/Diamonds.