For an ice cream company that pre-dates Ben & Jerry’s, I’m a little surprised that the first time I’ve ever heard about Emack & Bolio’s was when I walked by it last week with my cousin, Hamid. Considering the unseasonably warm weather, we decided to stop in (and SO glad I did).
What I love possibly more than the ice creams’ rich flavors and a handful of whimsical names (Trippin’ on Espresso, Heaven, Serious Chocolate Addiction), is their story.
So it goes that in the ’70s, when music legends were rising and bands were coming from all over to be part of the scene, Boston had a problem: Boston Blue laws, which meant clubs closed at midnight.
The solution to the midnight munchie blues: rent a basement in the Coolidge Corner section of Brookline, MA / buy a commercial ice cream machine / invite your rock star friends to hang out after their gigs eating homemade ice cream with outrageous flavors (creatively inspired by the lawyers and the rock ‘n rollers) / play acoustic (we had neighbors) music ’til the wee hours of the morning. The rock ‘n rollers loved the ice cream and the vibe.
-Emack and Bolio’s website
And the name? Surprising but true, it’s actually not named after the owners. Two homeless bums asked that the shop be named after them and so it came to be.
When we stopped in, the lady behind the counter (and I feel so bad that I forgot her name now!), was raving about their seasonal pumpkin ice cream pies that are flying out the door. “They’re orgasmic,” she says with a giant smile. “I told that to a customer and he came back twice looking for me just to let me know I was right.”
It’s very pumpkin-ey, not really my taste so I went for something with a little more coffee. She says she can top a scoop of Trippin’ on Esperesso with actual hot espresso, and I thought that was a splendid idea (anyone else see a possible caffeine addiction in the works?).
If you love coffee, you’ll love it. I think the ice cream alone was really good though and WHEN I go back, I’ll get the ice cream alone.
I loved Hamid’s ice cream too, Deep Purple Cow. It’s a berry flavored ice cream that’s soo refreshing. Why he decided to top berry ice cream with chocolate covered sprinkles is something only he can tell you.
They also have frozen yogurts, smoothies, cold drinks, coffee, pies, and candy-decorated waffle cones. Next time you’re in Soho, you need to stop by and try it yourself.
Scoop of ice cream costs $3.72. Oh, and if you’re going, let me know so I may join. I’m creepy like that, thanks.
Emack & Bolio’s
73 W. Houston St.
at West Broadway
New York, NY 10012