DQ’s Got Nothing on DF Mavens’ Ice Cream

DF Mavens St. Marks Vegan Chao collage

Ever since Stogo closed nearly 2 years ago and left a huge gaping hole in my ice-cream less heart, I’ve been on the search again for the next creamy, dreamy vegan ice cream contender. Big shoes to fill, since Stogo ice cream was the bomb-diggity (and they had stamp cards!) and then some.

Though judging by the huge Friday night turnout last week, I’d say DF Mavens has a fruitful vegan ice cream future ahead, and that’s more than OK by me; I’m all for the viral success of any new vegan kind on the block!

But upon further research into the DFM company, it turns out, they’re not-so new after all: their products are carried and served in many national health-food retail store chains and select vegan restaurants, and even in Jersey City and Hoboken. Ah, the power of quality vegan ice cream!

Now, if they only lived up to their slogan “The Finest Dairy-Free Ice Cream in the World,” things would make way more sense — because girl, you are definitely not the finest. Pretty good, yes, but not the top kitty, sorry Felicia.

DF Mavens St. Marks Vegan Chao ice cream
Such pretty looking flavors!

The sheer fact that they proclaim this slogan prominently on their website and on their huge digital menu/ad board fixed to the wall next to the counter is optimistic at best, and obnoxiously pompous at worst.

DF Mavens St. Marks Vegan Chao display case
They also have cookies, muffins and two lone bananas if you aren’t an ice cream fiend like me.

Still, if it’s a vegan company espousing their awesomeness, I’m a bit biased when I say that’s OK. But until you get to Van Leeuwen-levels of quality, don’t give me that glib lib.

Like a proper ice cream parlor, the space is decked out in wood and sleek white marble accents, modern lighting and decor. It reeks of neo-vegan bourgeoisie, and I love it.

DF Mavens St. Marks Vegan Chao inside
Modern decor paired with a yummy looking display case = long lines!

My server, a 20-something skinny male with a kind of nervous energy, did have some trouble scooping up a proper scoop though — either the ice cream itself was way too firm, or he needed more time in at the gym. He ended up clumsily tossing a few wayward chunks of ice cream onto the cold-air vents bordering the display case, quite the mark of the newb-scooper. At least he was nice!

DF Mavens St. Marks Vegan Chao counter display
Sweet and Sara smores by the register!

Now for some philosophical waxing — why is it that we are allowed to sample ice cream flavors, but not dinner/entrees, baked goods or drinks? Hmm.

Strawberry:

It’s true, nothing will ever compare to a hearty scoop of Haagen-Dazs’ classic strawberry ice cream. But DFM’s version was pretty darn good: I could still see the yellow seeds and bright red color of the chunks scattered about in my ice cream, definitely a good sign. The ice cream itself had a tart, yet sweet taste and a creamy consistency, unsullied by any flavor notes of its coconut base, which probably is the whole reason why it had a smooth, silky mien in the first place.

Generally — and I’ve said this before — coconut-based ice creams are higher in fat, creamier and more true to the dairy taste than soy.

DF Mavens St. Marks Vegan Chao cone
My yummy double cone: Strawberry on top, Red Bean on the bottom.

Red bean:

I’’m a sucker for any kind of red bean ice cream. Since I’m Asian and I grew up eating it as an apres fancy Chinese dinner dessert when my parents decided sucking down the complimentary oranges just didn’t do it for ‘em that particular day.

DFM’s red bean wasn’t by any means ahh-mazing, but it was pretty darn tasty. I liked that there were whole red beans in the ice cream and the mild, not-too-sweet taste. I feel like the best complement to a scoop of red bean would be vanilla — the new neutral combination!

I had both scoops in a chocolate waffle cone, which came to $7.62, kind of expensive compared to other vegan ice cream places in the area (Van Leeuwen – $6.50, Lula’s $5.95).

Still, if you feel especially lazy and don’t want to walk the extra 6 blocks to them other vegan ice cream stores, by all means, just indulge. What else is money good for?

Sound it out!

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