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Ralph's PB Jelly

Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices (144 East 24th St) is currently open for the season, and their list of 72 ices and cream ices will keep you coming back. If you compare it to traditional ice cream or gelato, it will seem a lot less rich and creamy, but the fruit ices are bold and tangy, and the creme ices are not stingy on their mixed-in ingredients. For example their Pancake ice cream literally has chunks of pancakes with maple syrup mixed in. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup creme ice has a peanut butter cup seemingly in every bite. The Peanut Butter Jelly is a peanut butter creme ice with veins of real jelly mixed in.

Ralphs chocolate peanut butter cup

The stand itself opens right on to the street, and there seems to be a line of 7-10 people throughout the evening. It’s not uncommon for people to have 10 minutes to stare at the menu while they wait only to have no idea what they want once they get to the front. (Note that you can taste anything and also you get 2 flavors in a small serving to make your decision a bit easier). The menu takes you in a lot of different directions (SEE menu here). Visitors seem split between those that go for the fruit favored water ices and the creme ices with more decadent ingredients mixed in. Among the water ice people, flavors like the no sugar added Orange and Cream is a favorite. You will recognize the water ice people because they are slightly more fit and disciplined. Personally I can’t resist the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup creme ice, even though after my first bite of it I originally said something like “this isn’t great chocolate ice cream”.

Ralphs choc dipped soft serve

But then I finished it, loving every bite of the peanut butter cup inside, and realizing it ISN’T traditional ice cream, which is why it doesn’t taste as creamy. From what I understand it is made with 2% fat milk and more similar to a sherbert than ice cream. All I know is that I finish it each time and want it again the next evening.

Beyond the ices, they have all sorts of sundaes, smoothies, ‘Icebergs’, soft serve ice cream and loads of toppings.

From their FaceBook page, “Ralph Silverstro started making and selling lemon ice from his truck in 1928. After 12 years of vending the streets with his ices, he decided to open a store in Port Richmond, so people from all over Staten Island could come and enjoy his delicious Ices.” The Ralph’s Ices in our neighborhood is the first one in Manhattan.

Definitely try Ralph’s at some point this summer and see why people love it. Yelpers (51 reviews) give it an average of 4.5 stars!

 

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