Bang Bang Ice Cream and Bakery
Bang Bang Ice Cream and Bakery is an offshoot of the notoriously fabulous Bakerbots bakery. The new digs don't have the cute touches of Bakerbots, but the vaulted ceiling, white tile and simple lines do the trick. The bakery and ice cream production sits in the back and as you hem and haw over your ice cream choice, you can see resting racks, bags of flour, ovens, and mixers and tubs, and all the special ingredients that have gone into your treats, ready to go.
The set-in glass counter displays the current selection of cookies (standard cookies are $1.75, with vegan cookies available for $2.50), ice cream puffs, and other featured goodies. Flavours include Birthday, RoCocoa, and Oatmeal.
If you are familiar with any of the Bakerbots products you're probably aware of how things work, especially when it comes to ice cream and cookies. You choose an ice cream flavour to be wedged between one or two cookies, picking from the various types for an innumerable combination of flavours. What results is one of the best ice cream sandwiches I've ever had. Half a sandwich (one cookie) is $4.50; a full sandwich (two full cookies) will both blow your mind and run you $7.
As for the ice cream: Sandwiches aside, you can get it in a cup, in a traditional or sugar cone, or in a take-home tub. A kiddie scoop is $2, while a single is $4 and a double $5.50. Take home tubs are $8. A quick scan of the menu - Sam James Coffee Bar espresso, Bellwoods stout, Sanagan's double smoked bourbon bacon - reads like a who's who of the neighbourhood. I love to see inter-business camaraderie and support for each other's products.
Other fantastic flavours include burnt toffee, orange cardamom, London fog, halva (white sesame), and lemon meringue, among others. They also make dairy free chocolate and dairy free raspberry gelatos.
I tried the London fog, the burnt toffee, the lemon meringue and the Bellwoods stout, as it was hard to pick just one. Each reflected their flavouring to a tee, the lemon tart and bright, the stout earthy and almost chocolatey, and the burnt toffee had a definite stress on the burnt - browned sugars sweetened just below the point of acridity.
They have a little espresso machine for making coffee and affogato as well, and your choice of scoop with espresso will run you $4.75. Warm summers evenings produce quite the line up, but it moves pretty fast, so get in that and get an ice cream and take a stroll through the neighbourhood, or head to the park and just gorge on a tub.
Photos by Jesse Milns.