Total Bill: $8 per large
It took a good number of years, but shaved ice has successfully transplanted from the eastern hemisphere. By successfully, I mean a place on the discerning taste buds of New Yorkers to a point where the concept can be seen beyond pop ups and food markets.
Leading the charge is Snowdays Shavery, now with two locations in the city and one in Flushing. Showdays is clever with its menu, offering a little east with a little west. Green tea match and black sesame are no longer foreign flavors, and the New York cheesecake and coconut adds a bit of familiarity to the mix. Same goes for the toppings, where you can find everything from fruity pebbles to grass jelly.
Generally speaking, shaved ice is far more refreshing than ice cream. The sweetness is taken down a notch and it’s naturally colder and icier since the product is literally shaved from a block of flavored ice.
For Snowdays, the expansive menu is nice, but pricing is too high. A large bucket comes at $7 a pop for a make-your-own, and $8 each for custom ones. (The one pictured is a custom item called Made in Taiwan.)
The problem isn’t the taste, which is great on a hot summer day, but the fact that they barely fill these “buckets” up and are really light-handed on the toppings. Those size displays set expectations high, so disappoints when you get your order and it looks half eaten.
Sure, New Yorkers are okay paying a premium for new and interesting food, especially desserts, but this is, after all, ice. And I’m not sure what’ll happen once winter rolls around.