As I’ve stated before, the hipster movement is a bit like the Walking Dead. At first you’d see the odd zombie roaming around and next you know you have an apocalypse on your hands. Part of this mass transformation has meant the expansion of foodstuffs which have undergone hipster domination. It started with coffee shops and quickly progressed to tacos and burgers. They have laid claim to kale and cauiflower. I think what I find most disturbing, however, is their latest attempt at beatnik tyranny; ice cream. No, the centrefold of the Toronto Life a few months did not show Norm Kelly and Drake in a Yonge 6 Gods gangster embrace but instead summarized a number of ice cream cones available across the city. It was at this point I knew that the hipster infection had spread into the medium of one of any person’s fondest childhood memories. The ritual of popping down to a parlour with the fam and watching a disgruntled 16 year old serve my mom tiger tail for the 15th time (I swear she was only person in Sudbury who ate it) while I stood indecisive until a got a good kick in the arse was in jeopardy. I should have seen it coming. It does, after all, involve long lines and serving food out a crawl space which are both predictors of a hipster breeding ground. It also allows for a more justified use of the cash only policy and certainly would never require a reservation. Plus, you also don’t have open in the mornings.
I was in the Ossington area and decided to pop in to Bang Bang. It was a Wednesday night around 7:30 pm so the line wasn’t too bad. Predictably, it looked like a garage. The line swung around to a counter housing 4 or 5 types of cookies which seemed to be the most popular vessel for the twenty or so flavours of ice cream which were displayed on shelves in a David’s tea store. Against the far wall is a iron which feverishly works to pump out thin Hong Kong waffles which are subsequently folded into cones and stuffed with ice cream.
I wasn’t surprised to see an array of clientele waiting. In particular, a hipster dad had his hipster kids with him. Since the line moves at a snail’s pace despite their “one sample only” policy, they have a screen on the wall projecting some sort of video. In this case, it was some cartoon I didn’t recognize but I thought it would keep the kids occupied for the long haul through the ice cream line. It looked pretty benign until things got heated. For whatever reason a woman was suddenly naked in the middle of a forest and was greeted by a near naked and very built man. Soon, enough, he had his large hands nicely positioned on her rather voluptuous ass and soft core animated sex followed. Daddy hipster was shocked and quickly put his hands over the eyes of his baby hipsters and looked around feverishly hoping that he didn’t have friends or families in the vicinity to witness such an atrocity. I was going to joke with him and tell him that it was part of the Ontario government’s new sex ed curriculum but I figure that might resulted in a good shin kick or having my hair pulled really hard.
There are many choices including scoops (even an adult snack size for those who normally go for the kiddy cone), the aforementioned cookie sandwiches and Hong Kong waffles as well as macaron sandwiches and ice cream puffs. When I finally got to the front of the line, I decided on banana ice cream in the waffle cone for $8. I was told that because of the Hong Kong I could have 2 flavours instead of one so I also ordered Froot Loop as well. Since they are “made to order” there was some wait time involved. It reminded me of the countless number of Hampton Inn buffets I’ve been to in which the wait for the waffle iron could go into the early afternoon. It didn’t help when the guy behind the counter looked like he was having more trouble with the waffle iron than I would trying to assemble an IKEA desk. I finally got the cone and the waffle was still warm which was a nice contrast to the ice cream. I’ve made banana ice cream at home and Bang Bang’s was almost the same. It had a rich custard base and the bananas were quite ripe tasting. There’s that magic moment when you first combine froot loops and milk. Not only is the milk still super cold but the flavours of the cereal haven’t yet combined meaning you get two distinct tastes before they become uniform. The ice cream recreated that magic moment. Despite the warm waffle, the ice cream did not melt at too rapid rate and it wasn’t overly messy but there was no way I could finish it all.
Bang Bang Ice cream adds hipster to the old ice cream parlor. Instead of a “Hi!” from Bill behind the counter at the family owned ice cream joint, you get to stand in line in a garage for a long time, watch porn and surround yourself with hipster angst not often associated with this classic summer dessert. At least they take credit cards. In the end, if you can get over the slow service and prefer soft porn over soft serve (I was wondering why they called it Bang Bang) then drop on by. Good thing they have takeout pints because you might wanna leave the kids at home.