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Dying for a good egg cream

lisettte Feb 23, 2008 05:20 PM

I used to go to Gem's spa in the east village where I will be staying but I heard it is not as good as other places. What's new in the best soda in the world

  1. a
    addictedtolunch Feb 23, 2008 05:47 PM

    Ray's on Ave A and 7th- ask for it sweet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: addictedtolunch
      hungrycomposer Feb 23, 2008 05:57 PM

      Second Ray's

      1. re: hungrycomposer
        RGR Feb 24, 2008 06:38 AM

        I totally agree with this rec. However, if one comes to Ave. A looking for "Ray's," it can easily be missed there is no name signage. It's on the block b/t 7th & St. Mark's, literally a hole-in-the-wall candy store with an overhead sign jutting into the street that says, "Belgian Fries."

        Imo, Gem Spa's egg cream is equally as good as the one at Ray's.

        The one egg cream I had at Eisenberg's was poor.

    2. p
      petitechoux Feb 23, 2008 06:05 PM

      Lexington Candy Shop is great. Worth the hike uptown.

      1. b
        Brian W Feb 23, 2008 07:12 PM

        Soupburg on Lexington Ave at 77 Street makes a great chocolate egg cream, just like the ones I remember when I was a kid in the 1950's.

        1. guttergourmet Feb 24, 2008 05:37 AM


          1. v
            vinegarhill Feb 24, 2008 05:59 AM

            The Gem Spa and the Eisenberg Sandwich Shop are my current favorite places for egg creams. I remember the 2nd Ave Deli making a pretty good one too.

            7 Replies
            1. re: vinegarhill
              RGR Feb 24, 2008 06:45 AM

              It is not possible for you to have had an egg cream at the 2nd Avenue Deli because the original location was kosher, as is the re-incarnated one. Kosher restaurants cannot mix meat and dairy, and since egg creams require milk, they would never be served there. They can serve a mixture of chocolate syrup + seltzer, but that's a chocolate soda, not an egg cream.

              1. re: RGR
                powella Feb 24, 2008 07:13 AM

                My dear child had her first egg cream, made with loving care, at Russ and Daughters on the LES. It was not only delicious, but the experience of being in the store was wonderful. We especially loved the white lab coats worn by the staff...it gave a formal, old-world feel to the experience.

                1. re: RGR
                  BW212 Feb 24, 2008 09:28 AM

                  In the Midwest when I was growing up, an egg cream without the milk was called a chocolate phosphate. Is that the case here?

                  Also, if you really want to go for oldworld European food (chicken shmaltze on the tables for the bread!) Sammys Romanian will bring you the makings of an egg cream to the table (milk, seltzer, choolate syrump) and you can make your own at the end of the meal.

                  1. re: BW212
                    RGR Feb 24, 2008 09:44 AM

                    I'm a NYC native, and I recall that back in the day, candy stores and lunch counters offered carbonated drinks called "phosphates." Googling, I found this explanation re: their composition:

                    http://www.cloudcreations.com/cafe/so... (Scroll down.)

                    1. re: RGR
                      BW212 Feb 24, 2008 09:55 AM

                      Thanks RGR!

                      1. re: RGR
                        addictedtolunch Feb 24, 2008 12:18 PM

                        Heck, we just called it a chocolate soda- syrup and seltzer. Rarely bothered to order it because the seltzer we had delivered to the house did just as good a job. Not so with the egg creams- they were always better at the candy store, probably because their seltzer fountain dispensed with more even force onto the spoon.

                    2. re: RGR
                      vinegarhill Feb 24, 2008 12:54 PM

                      Yes, you're right. My mind must be going.

                  2. p
                    progressivenewamerican Feb 24, 2008 08:53 AM

                    Check out Ronnybrook milk bar at Chelsea Market. They make amazing milk to begin with so the egg cream is absolutely fantastic.

                    1. h
                      hungrycomposer Feb 24, 2008 11:19 AM

                      Another strong vote for Ray's over Gem Spa... Last time I went to Gem Spa the egg cream wasn't very good, and the guy who made the egg cream put the spoon he used back into a glass filled with old water diluted with egg cream dregs instead of using a fresh spoon or washing it. Ick.

                      1. l
                        lisettte Feb 24, 2008 09:45 PM

                        I know Gem's spa was sold but the owner gave the secret receipe to the owner though it might have been sold again. I never went to Ray's but to ask for it sweet seems they don't know there is only one way to make it . correct me if I am wrong on that. I will be in the East Village so I can try Rays and the one in Chelsea Market. I have never been there . Is that like a mall?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: lisettte
                          RGR Feb 25, 2008 06:59 AM

                          I have never directed the ladies at Ray's on how to make the egg cream, and it always turns out perfectly. Same goes for Gem Spa.

                          Chelsea Market is an enclosed space with lots of food shops and places to eat. The website has the list: http://www.chelseamarket.com And, btw, the Food Network has its studios there.

                          1. re: RGR
                            addictedtolunch Feb 25, 2008 05:32 PM

                            "Sweet" just means an extra half squirt of syrup. It's a mood thing.

                        2. l
                          lookingforpig Feb 25, 2008 09:32 AM

                          The Soda Shop on Chambers has a great one.

                          1. l
                            lisettte Feb 25, 2008 10:39 PM

                            I am so glad egg creams have not gone the way of the candy store where I had my egg on a roll and a hot chocolate before High school. I will try all when I visit next month

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