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Go to Be-Speckled Trout for shakes, candy, and antiques!

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eva p. Mar 28, 2003 04:39 PM

Hi,

A few months ago I noted a few rave reviews about Be-Speckled Trout at 422 Hudson at St. Luke's Place. I just went for the first time last night, and I encourage everyone to go--as posted before, the vanilla malted shake was delicious, mixed with not only a strong pellet-like malt from Wisconsin, but with a vanilla sauce homemade by the owner, Craig. He also kept slipping me all these samples of candy, including malt balls and something called 'Wisconsin fairy candy' which was a large-ish cube of a honeycomb-y, maltball candy covered in chocolate.

Craig is carrying on a soda fountain family tradition (his grandfather had one in Wisconsin, and he's installed a lot of his grandfather's original stained glass, etc.), and he seemed kind of disappointed he doesn't get much business. I was there at around 7pm and stayed for an hour and was the only customer.

There are all types of fountain treats available including root beer floats, egg creams, sundaes, and lime rickeys. Plus, there is a very large collection of interesting by-the-pound candy and homemade chocolates, and generally the atmosphere just rocks, with the spinning stools at the counter, hamilton beach mixer, and lovely details everywhere.

Be-Speckled Trout doubles as a general store, so one half of the shop has a bunch of antiques for sale, including a lot of fly fishing memorabilia, the owner's other hobby. There's even a drawer of small early 20th century toys from a burned down toy factory in Akron, Ohio.

If anyone writes for a publication this would be a great place to review. It's really eccentric and genuine, and the owner seems cool.

I urge you to go soon, who knows how long it'll be there...

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    elvislives RE: eva p. Mar 28, 2003 04:55 PM

    yeah, I've seen the posts too - but THIS ONE KICKED MY ASS! GREAT write-up. I'm convinced - gonna make it a point check out next week... THANKS!

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      wrayb RE: eva p. Mar 28, 2003 11:36 PM

      it is a special place but I am concerned that those of us who have reported on the generosity on samples might be creating an unfair expectation to those who follow up on our recommendation. People should go and enjoy what is there without considering the possibility of free samples as the norm.

      wrayb

      5 Replies
      1. re: wrayb
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        Gattaca RE: wrayb Mar 29, 2003 09:59 PM

        Everyone seems to love this place, so I decided to check it out on a weekday around lunchtime. Sorry, but I was disappointed. I ordered a chocolate malt and it tasted, well, like chocolate syrup. I was pretty disappointed. I've had better at chain restaurants like Johnny Rockets. Of course, the owner was not there and I got no free samples. So yes, don't expect free samples.

        Other items might be better. Also, the place really didn't have that soda fountain feel for me. It felt more like I was eating inside a store. The counter was really cramped and the lady behind the counter seemed too busy to really give a damn about the chocolate malt.

        I probably will not return. Just my experience and opinion.

        1. re: Gattaca
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          mrnyc RE: Gattaca Mar 30, 2003 07:57 AM

          yes, the lady in there is a little surly and does not make the fountain drinks with much enthusiasm, i'd suggest you poke your head inside and skip it if 'craig' is not in there. i also agree its precious and cutesy, but often there is some magic to be found in quirky places, see others like SHOPSINS or the newer ANTIQUE CAFE on 8th avenue in chelsea for more takes on this.

          last time i got a pretzel with my vanilla egg cream and even better had a nice chat, but that lady remained silent.

          1. re: mrnyc
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            scrittrice RE: mrnyc Mar 30, 2003 10:52 AM

            I agree--the problem is this woman, who was there when I stopped by and was EXTREMELY unfriendly and unaccomodating. I wish they'd list the soda fountain offerings somewhere (I ordered an ice cream cone, and she couldn't scoop the ice cream because it was too hard! somehow, this was made to sound like my fault) and the counter didn't look like a comfortable place to sit. The stores is wonderfully "done" however, with all kinds of neat stuff to look at. We got licorice and chocolate-covered raisins and they were great. I'd stop by again for candy on a nice day, but I don't see myself going back to sit at the counter.

          2. re: Gattaca
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            Hazel RE: Gattaca Mar 30, 2003 08:43 AM

            I had a similar experience. The woman was in a hurry and the shake tasted more like a really cold and thin chocolate milk.

            Gem Spa is better.

            1. re: Hazel
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              Schoolhouse RE: Hazel Apr 28, 2003 10:54 AM

              I urge you to try Bespeckled again - the owner,Craig,is a soda fountain MASTER...nobody in NYC will go further for pleasure and perfection...his authentic Egg Creams are pure nostalgic heaven...right down to the proper temp of the seltzer. If the owner has briefly stepped out mid-day he is almost always there eves 7 days.

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          cervisiam RE: eva p. Sep 15, 2006 01:35 PM

          i went this morning at 8:45 to have a coffee and console a bawling friend. the grumpy old lady kicked us out at 9 am because she had to go to the bank...

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            billyboy RE: eva p. Sep 16, 2006 03:07 AM

            My understanding is that the Be-Speckled Trout closed some time ago almost a year ago. I've tried calling there but the phone number is no longer valid. A new place opened up on 125 Chambers Street (between W. Broadway and Church Streets). Its called the SODA SHOP and the woman who opened it up said that the guy who owned the Trout helped her open and even gave her some of the things from his shop.

            1 Reply
            1. re: billyboy
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              Calcifer RE: billyboy Sep 16, 2006 08:09 PM

              You know, I was wondering if they were related--Soda Shop definitely has a similar look, and when I read about it in New York Magazine I thought I'd heard the name Craig before in relation to egg creams, etc...
              http://nymag.com/shopping/bestbets/19...

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              cervisiam RE: eva p. Sep 17, 2006 03:48 PM

              oh ok--the sign on the storefront proclaimed it 'candy store' and there seemed to be a lot of 'outdoorsy' memorabilia in the store. wonder who owns this place now?

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                lebron RE: eva p. Nov 25, 2006 04:24 PM

                question: is this place still open? i was under the impression that it's been closed for a while - every time i walk by, the windows/door are papered over, but judging by cervisiam's post on sept. 15, it seems that it was open recently.

                is the place renovating or just closed? thanks.

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                  billyboy RE: eva p. Nov 28, 2006 02:01 AM

                  Its actually closed. The owner now works at another shop (not sure if her owns/operates it) or just works there. Its called The Soda Shop and its on Chambers Street in Tribeca. Its between Church and West Broadway I believe.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: billyboy
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                    lebron RE: billyboy Nov 30, 2006 10:51 PM

                    thanks for the info, billyboy. i figured it was closed, but was holding out hope that they were simply remodeling the place. i wonder why the place closed? seemed to be very popular on all the online food boards and in the print media...

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