4 hours ago
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I must try Humphry Slocombe ice-cream.
Jake Godby’s intention when he opened Humphry Slocombe in December 2008 was to create a challenging ice cream store. He has succeeded. The physical plant is straight-up soda-fountain retro: black-and-white tile floor, chrome-and-red-leather stools, simple Formica bar. Then there is the art, which tends toward food punk. Across from the front door hang four knockoff Warhol paintings, Campbell’s soup cans labeled Secret Breakfast, Salt & Pepper, Hibiscus Beet and Fetal Kitten. (The first three are Humphry Slocombe ice cream flavors; the fourth is Godby’s stock response to the question “What crazy new flavor are you making next?”) A mount of a taxidermied two-headed calf protrudes above the bar.
The three hipster-geeks started squirming and making frat-house jokes. “Dude, you need to eat that!” one said to another, picking a lard caramel off the counter. Godby’s palate favors salt, booze and meat. Each day he scoops 10 to 12 of his hundred-plus ice cream flavors, favorites including Jesus Juice (red wine and Coke) and Boccalone Prosciutto. Godby also produces novelties in the what might be called the nose-to-tail dessert paradigm: duck-fat pecan pies, foie-gras ginger-snap ice cream sandwiches, treats that incorporate odd animal parts. On occasion, next to the register (cash only), he sets out a glass-covered cake stand filled with brownies. Nobody buys them. As Godby, in his uniform of long green shorts, blue apron and white Chuck Taylors, explains, “I can’t sell cupcakes to save my life.”