Princeton, New Jersey, has been blessed with three stellar ice cream shops. Thomas Sweet caters to the all-American sweet tooth, while Halo Pub churns out rich creamery classics as old-school as Princeton itself. But The Bent Spoon is the clear foodie favorite. (And once one of Ed's Top 10 bites of the year.)
With a rotating roster of Jersey-inspired flavors, The Bent Spoon is always scooping something new, surprising, and absurdly creative--Terhune Orchard apple sorbet during the harvest, sweet potato ice cream by Thanksgiving, Triumph Brewery Stout ice cream around St. Paddy's, and Mint Julep ice cream for the Derby. House classics like lavender mascarpone, cardamom ginger, and dark chocolate habanero are equally worth a try. And the mini-cupcakes, comfortably predating the New York cupcake mania, are pretty irresistible.
But on a hot summer day, I pass over the colorful freezer case altogether and opt for the Banana Whip ($4.25). There's only one ingredient. The Bent Spoon freezes bananas and then, through a marvel of food processing, transforms them into a miraculously smooth, ice-cream like treat. With no sugar or cream, it's all banana in flavor and texture, with even that fun, slightly gummy mouthfeel of a fresh banana. So simple. So brilliant. So good.