I'm surprised not to see any posts yet. I don't know if I can do a proper Chow-worthy first-ever write-up. I don't have any photos or profound insights, but I've been twice, and it's great.
They offer a bunch of flavors. I've tried the
Butterscotch (made with real scotch!)
Banana (sells out first!)
Peanut Butter (not usually available, but tell them you want it to get it onto the menu!)
They also have
Rice Pudding (I haven't tried yet, but they claim better than Rice to Riches!)
Chocolate (one of the owners said it's the best flavor they make)
And the ones that are left even late in the day:
They also offer a bunch of toppings (too many to list, but they include salted caramel, hot fudge, crushed ginger crunch cookies, banana cake, homemade sprinkles(!), and many more).
I went on Friday night--that was there opening day--arriving just as they ran out of banana (still had enough to pipe a little into a spoon to give me taste--it was great!). Instead, I tried the vanilla w/ salted caramel and the butterscotch. Both were really great--smooth, strong flavors, regressive yet sophisticated--a bit of Proust's madeleine and tilleul in that they make you feel like a kid, but they are definitely more adult flavors.
I went back Sunday--apparently too late because they had run out of everything except lemon and coconut (sorry, not doing it for me). I was really disappointed, but then they mentioned that they had a Mason jar of some sort of Elvis flavor (peanut butter pudding, chocolate bits, bananas, banana cake). I couldn't handle a whole jar and didn't want all that, but they were kind enough to offer me some of the special peanut butter pudding which I took w/ salted caramel (not much I won't put good caramel onto).
The peanut butter flavor was truly incredible. It almost stuck to the roof of my mouth. While their other puddings are really good, I've had really good butterscotch pudding and vanilla and banana elsewhere. I've never had any peanut butter pudding that approaches what they made. It was stunning, and I really want them to put it onto the menu (maybe they can drop the coconut and lemon!).
Aside from the pudding itself, there are some other things you should know. First, it's a small space, and they're just getting started. It seems to attract mostly the people who might otherwise be on St. Mark's place, so perhaps not the crowd we might find at most of the tables at EMP. The decor is lacking, but it's clean. There are a couple seats, but it's mostly cash and carry. The crew is remarkably friendly and totally professional, but in the most casual, can't-believe-this-is-happening manner. I spoke with one of the owners who said that they are hoping to expand to a larger location downtown and to other parts of the City (I encouraged him to come to the UWS which is where I live!). On my second visit, they explained that they are trying to work out the kinks so that they don't run out of product, but they only have a small space, they make everything right there, and the pudding needs time to set.
They also explained both times that they make absolutely everything from scratch--not just the puddings, but also all the toppings, including the sprinkles. It seems over the top for such a little place, but you can tell from the product and the pride they take in it--deservedly so.
Oh, and the chef, Clio, is right there, on each visit. She's the one who gave me the peanut butter pudding and wanted to know what I thought of it. It's a small personal operation, and everyone there seems to care about the product and the customer experience. I think most of them have an equity stake in the place, too!
It is worth the trip! (I went out of my way to go there on Friday, on a grand plan to follow-up attending the Good Wife Times Talk with a trip to La Cremaria and Puddin'. I was surprised to learn that this fabled gelato place was closed until March or something and hadn't realized it was Puddin's first day. I went back on Sunday because I was in the neighborhood for a food drive party and also had managed to witness a little of the pantless subway ride--so it was really an incidental treat on Sunday, not a primary destination, but from now on, I'll go every time I'm in the neighborhood, and I'll go now and then even when I'm not!).
Open 4 pm – 1 am.
102 ST. MARKS PLACE, between First Avenue and Avenue A.
Puddin' by Clio
102 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
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