Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Holy Cannoli Gelato at Cha Cha's, NYC

Yay another weekend in NYC for me! Love the city and even more fun when its a girl's weekend full of eating, sightseeing, cocktails, and of course, ice cream. Well Gelato in this case but something frozen and yummy.

So we head out of our hotel on 42nd and continue to walk, and walk, and walk, and walk until we hit Little Italy. I had never been to this part of the city so I was quite excited to see how it compares to our North End of Boston. Definitely much smaller than I anticipated but it was packed with people. Oh and one annoying opera contest that we couldn't seem to get away from. It was enough to drive me to eat more gelato to distract me. So anyways, this street is packed with good old italian eateries, street vendors, and wow lots of people. Definitely different than Boston's italian district...NYC is sort of like a piazza where Boston is a quaint street with old and new restaurants and a bustle of people on the sidewalks but nothing like NYC and its restaurants back to back with tables packed to the sidewalks edge.

So I was on the hunt for some funky gelateria but this district is truly authentic and style is not at the top of the list. So Cha Cha's sure jumped out at me or maybe I ran into it while dodging crowds. Who knows but at this point in the day, 4 hours of walking and 90 degrees and sunny it was a great find. As you can see by the picture above this is no fancy Pinkberry. It's full of character and what matters most is the gelato. They probably offered about 15 gelato flavors and 15 italian ice flavors.

So what was my choice...Holy Cannoli and Chocolate. I love cannolis and almost debated a cannoli over gelato so this was a great compromise. And the chocolate had a rich chocolate brown color that looked like it'd be intense in flavor. I had to scream to ask the guy what Holy Cannoli actually was and he responded back to me with a great native New Yorker accent ..."Ever heard of a cannoli...it has that in it!" No shit Sherlock! So my take is that its vanilla based with pieces of the cannoli shell and chocolate chips throughout (pic on left). Another answer I could barely hear sounded like they actually mushed filled cannolis in with vanilla gelato but I wasn't getting much of that ricotta flavor so not sure this is the case. In all it was good, not great. The chocolate was much better with a rich and smooth flavor. Regardless it was perfect after walking the city. My friend actually calculated that we walked 7.5 miles just that afternoon so I don't feel one bit bad about getting two scoops. Man, I should have gotten more!

Interesting factoid about Cha Cha's (which is actually a restaurant not just a gelato cart)..."The best thing about Cha Cha's is its owner John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia. He started off as a boxing promoter for Tony Danza and ended up as the "go to guy....when you need something done..if ya know what I'm sayin." Love Tony Danza!

[Scoopalicious is celebrating National Ice Cream month with a Post-A-Day throughout the month of July!]

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