To say I’m a creature of habit when it comes to ice cream is an understatement. A prisoner of habit is more like it. When I’m at Herrell’s in Huntington or Hicksville Sweet Shop I order a chocolate malted; at Snowflake in Riverhead I order a soft-serve chocolate cone; at Itgen’s in Valley Stream I order a hot-fudge sundae and at Coyle’s in Bay Shore and Islip and at Hildebrandt’s in Williston Park I order a chocolate ice-cream soda.
Last night I got a little crazy: I ordered a hot-fudge sundae at Hildebrandt’s.
First off, I applauded the way it was served. Hildebrandt’s puts the hot fudge in a little pitcher so you can pour your own as you make your way through the sundae. (Same for the walnuts I ordered.) The whipped cream is second to none, the ice cream is an American classic, and the fudge was rich and not too sweet. But in the end, I have to give the edge to Itgen’s hot fudge, which solidifies when it touches the cold ice cream so that the two never mingle.
One complaint I have with virtually all the hot-fudge sundaes I’ve ever consumed: Why are they always served in dishes that barely contain them? The ice cream always fills the vessel up to the brim and that forces precious drops of hot fudge over the sides onto the saucer. I’d like to see a sundae served in a big soup bowl that affords me and my spoon plenty of room to maneuver.
I supposed I could make a special request next time I’m at Itgen’s. But that might be more change than I could handle.
Hildebrandt's is at 84 Hillside Ave., Williston Park, 516-741-0608.
Itgen’s is at 11 Rockaway Ave., Valley Stream, 516-825-7444.