Continuing our National Ice Cream Month series, SCOOP Blog is proud to review one of the hottest new ice cream shops in the country: OddFellows. Founded in June of 2013, OddFellows is the brainchild of Sam Mason, who was the head pastry chef of world-renowned WD-50, and head chef at Tailor Restaurant. Mason is known throughout the world as one of the most innovative pastry chefs, at the forefront of blurring the lines between savory and sweet at his critically acclaimed Tailor restaurant.
With OddFellows, Sam is bringing his strong vision and world-class experience to the masses, creating wonderfully delicious ice cream that pushes the boundary and delights the senses. Located in the ultra-trendy hipster neighborhood of Williamsburg, OddFellows screams ironic. The second you walk through the door, you are greeted by a smiling portrait of Jesus holding an ice cream cone. Jesus’ ice cream appears to be dripping on OddFellow’s ice cream cone maker, spreading his blessings throughout the establishment and its most sacredly delicious homemade cones. This shop is neo-retro themed, with the staff wearing red and white striped aprons and small white hats, interpreting the soda fountain era for a modern age. Several of the menu items round out this theme, with cotton candy for sale, and a sign promising homemade soda in the near future.
One thing that OddFellows doesn’t joke about, though, is giving back to the community. Following in the footsteps of some of our favorite shops we’ve reviewed, including Molly Moon’s and Blue Marble, OddFellows takes an active role in supporting the community, donating a meal to the Food Bank for New York City for every four scoops of ice cream sold. Talk about ice cream changing the world!
Not only does OddFellows seek to change the world, but it also seeks to permanently alter your concept of the ice cream experience with a menu of several highly unique, stylized flavors. Also, like The Penny Ice Creamery, OddFellows pasteurizes its own ice cream base, allowing it to get much deeper control of its flavors. This fanatical commitment to quality is also reflected in OddFellow’s selection of ingredients, using local Battenkill Family Creamery milk and cream, which was ranked #1 in New York State. OddFellow’s ice cream also gets a great texture, with many of the flavors SCOOP Blog tried exhibiting a nice smoothness, and a good density, echoing homemade ice cream. One thing that really stood out in reviewing OddFellows are the unusual, cutting-edge flavors. You will be hard pressed to find other shops with flavors like Cornbread, Chorizo Caramel, or Blueberry Buttermilk Honey. And the flavors are true to their descriptions, using authentic ingredients.
Although OddFellows is an exceptional shop, and deserves tremendous credit for the quality of their product given that they just opened, SCOOP Blog is excited to visit again next year and see the tweaks Sam makes to take his creations to the next level. One area we especially noted for improvement is balance and concentration of flavor. Exhibiting almost the opposite tendency of Humphry Slocombe, which prides itself on its strong, intense flavors, we found most of OddFellows’ flavors to be strangely muted. This was especially apparent with their burnt caramel, which while extremely nuanced, was very faint compared to others we’ve tried, like Toscanini’s. We also found that the Cornbread flavor, while enjoyable and easy to eat, was less strong than we would have liked, and somewhat boring. We were surprised that this flavor didn’t have any cornbread chunks mixed in, which would have been awesome. Another flavor that had balance issues was the hallmark Chorizo Caramel Swirl. It was extremely hard to make out much Chorizo flavor at all, and all we could taste was the overpoweringly sweet caramel. Despite these issues, we were very impressed by OddFellows and have faith that these issues will be corrected soon, resulting in a higher rating.
OddFellows shows tremendous promise, and we believe that it is positioned to become one of the best ice cream shops in the US. SCOOP Blog looks forward to visiting again soon and seeing what direction Sam takes his craft.
Flavor Tasting Notes
Maple Pecan Bacon
Our favorite flavor at OddFellows. Strong, balanced bacon flavor; memorable smokeyness! Maple also provides a strong, balanced note. All the flavors were deftly integrated, and gave the impression of a maple syrup breakfast with bacon. The pecans and bacon pieces were in large chunks, which gave an interesting texture.
Buttermilk Honey Blackberry
Great blueberry flavor in the blueberry chunks. The base has true buttermilk flavor. Good texture.
Flavor seemed too subtle. Has nice "creme brulee top" flavor, but not deep and relatively faint for such a typically strong flavor. Good, dense texture, although slight ice crystals.
Battenkill Sweet Cream
Good texture and nice sweet cream flavor, but could take tips from Mr and Mrs Miscellaneous' Sweet Cream, which is much denser and more flavorful.
Oatmeal Cookie Dough
Oatmeal-flavored base with oatmeal cookie mix-in. Tastes like a great oatmeal cookie, but could be chewier. Nice base with good, creamy texture and density.
Subtle corn flavor. No mix-ins. Very smooth and better density than other flavors at OddFellows. Good, balanced salt level.
Chorizo Caramel Swirl
Lots of chunks of chewy caramel, reminiscent of Werther's caramel. A few too many pieces, for our taste. Very difficult to taste the Chorizo in this, other than a hint of smokiness. This flavor was way too sweet for us.
OddFellows175 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249