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Craving Brownie a la Mode...please help!

  • b

After a nice lunch of pho in lower Manhattan yesterday, I suddenly had a craving for dessert: brownie a la mode.

I was thinking of a foundation of rich, creamy, yet slightly fluffy brownie (warm) - no nuts needed - then a scoop or 2 of all-natural vanilla bean ice cream, full of good grainy vanilla deliciousness and not too sweet - drizzled with a bit of fudgy chocolate syrup. Not ornate, but very comforting and kinda fun (for me).

Reality: Ended up near Madison Square Garden at the end of the day, with no brownies in sight and dinner looming near - saw a TGI Friday's and scurried in, had their "Brownie Obsession" - not so good, the brownie like a pile of crumbled Oreo's bound together w/Hershey's supermarket syrup, the caramel along w/chocolate syrup made the whole oversweet. (Plus, the building is looking rickety and certain smells are now impossible to get out of the very worn carpeting...)

So now I'd like to find a good (maybe heavenly?) brownie a la mode...anywhere in NYC? Maybe a diner tucked away somewhere?

Thank you!

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  1. I have NO advice for you, sorry.

    But, as ever, there are weird synchronicities on these boards. See link below for my similar craving, posted just a few days ago.

    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff

      Thanks Jim for your reply, and the Twilight Zone-like story of the bad brownie store in commiseration. Maybe it's one of those best-as-homemade things, or are all the great brownie places in mythical cozy little towns in the MidWest?

      (I'm trying to remember if I actually ever had a great brownie a la mode like I'm thinking about, but nothing specific comes up. I may have to resort to learning some home cooking in order to get a good brownie dessert?)

      1. re: broulade

        Throw a brownie potluck with prize for the best...everyone who cooks thinks theirs are best.
        Provide quality ice cream/ fudge sauce/whipped cream.

        1. re: ciaolette

          What an awesome idea! I'm going to be in New York March 21-25. Still have Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings free.

    2. The Cornelia Street Cafe in the West Village has what you're looking for.

      1. Well... this is not exactly a brownie, nor is it in a tucked away diner, but I think this might satisfy the craving. Esperanto on Avenue C near 9th St., has a dessert that they call something like the Chocolate Volcano. It's some kind of dark chocolate cake -- very moist and velvety -- and they serve it hot with ice cream by request. It takes them a while to prepare it, so you have to order it with your entree. Well worth it.

        1. you should try the chocolate chip bread pudding at blue ribbon bakery. it's a pretty popular dessert there, and rightly so. it's dynamite. not a brownie, to be sure, but it might create a whole new class of craving for you.

          1. s
            suzanne camhi

            If you are not into baking...Try the brownies at the Fat Witch bakery in Chelsea Market then walk over to Ronnybrook Dairy and get yourself a scoop of rich vanilla. Combine the 2 sit down and enjoy.
            Haven't tasted them but the brownies at Dean and Deluca ( soho branch, with and without nuts and in individual and larger serving sizes) looked great.

            1. Last weekend I bought a really excellent brownie at the Taylor's on 2nd Ave and 12th St. It was really moist and delicious. If you're willing to take the brownie to go and add the a la mode elsewhere, I'd recommend it.

              1. Since we're on the topic, does anyone know offhand whose mode the phrase "a la mode" originally refers to, presuming it means "in the fashion (or style) of?"

                1. n
                  neil parmegian

                  the closest thing that comes to mind, and I love all 3 components, is the brownie hot fudge sundae at Serendipity, in the east 60's. It is really remarkable. Forget the pho, head stright to the Brownie.

                  1. Thanks everyone, for the brownie and brownie-variation suggestions - there's about 6 places to try, making a nice tour of Manhattan! The brownie pot-luck sounds great but is beyond my kitchen abilities (there must have been someone who did an Iron Chef-style brownie cook-off?). Lastly, I have no idea where the phrase "a la mode" comes from - sorry...

                    Thanks again to all friends of the brownie!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: broulade

                      Or.....buy brownie at bakery, buy ice cream at supermarket, bring home, unbag & scoop, eat! :)

                    2. Make your own! Brownies are about as simple to do (one pot; one pan) as anything and less mess than cookies. Buy the best vanilla ice cream you can find.
                      Make your own chocolate syrup: semi-sweet chocolate, a little heavy cream, a pat of sweet butter, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla. You'll have enough for a week or to freeze. Enjoy gaining 15 pounds in 7 days.