This past Sunday, there was a line of people starting in the parking lot of Butcher & Bee and snaking down King Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Everyone was waiting for a taste of a certain “Salty Pimp,”—the Big Gay Ice Cream ice cream truck is on its Southern tour.
Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff started their Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in NYC in 2009 with the Salty Pimp, a soft serve vanilla ice cream infused with dulce de leche and sea salt, dipped in chocolate. They have stores in both the East and West Village, and in honor of their 5th anniversary, Big Gay Ice Cream decided to take their soft-serve on a Big Gay Southern Tour.
Sound controversial? It’s actually quite fitting: The last stop on their tour includes the Southern Food Alliance’s 17th Annual Symposium whose theme this year is “Who is Welcome at the Welcome Table?” This year’s event address the gritty topics of inclusion and exclusion in the South. Are we welcoming people of all genders, ethnicities, and classes into our Southern food family?
By the looks of the fans standing in line for a bit of big, gay, NYC softserve, we’d like to hope so.
If you couldn’t make it, here’s a list of hungry happenings that I witnessed in my hour-and-a-half wait (yes, that long) for a cone:
- Locals grabbing drinks from Butcher & Bee’s sister shop, thebiggayictruckweb Daily, to sip on while waiting in line. I even saw a few bottles of wine at the toes of some folks. If you’re in line, why not.
- “Salty Pimps”and “Bea Arthur’s”(vanilla soft-serve, dulce de leche, ‘nilla wafers) as a popular pairing from the BGIC menu.
- Owner Bryan Petroff appeasing the crowd with foodie trivia. The prize? Coffee beans. The questions? Impossible, unless you know Rachel Ray’s middle name.
- Rainbow sprinkled soft serve being fed to a miniature Corgi (he waited in line, too).
- Patrons of B&B giving out emotional support during the wait. One woman placed her hand on my shoulder and congratulated me for my endurance.
- And finally, hundreds of mouths biting into their ice cream cones with childlike glee.