Thursday, July 07, 2005

Just Desserts 12: Max & Mina's

RESTAURANT: Max & Mina’s
LOCATION: 7126 Main St, Flushing, NY
DATE: July 6, 2005
DESSERT: Large cup with Muffin Batter, Strawberry Oreo, and Donut Ice Creams
PRICE: $4.50

An ice cream interview between an imaginary person with enough free time, lack of employment, or downright idiocy to want to interview me about ice cream.

Interviewer: Why did you go to Max & Mina’s? Aren’t there plenty of ice cream places in Manhattan?

Sure there are, but how many of them serve lox ice cream? Or horseradish? Or clove? That was the draw of Max & Mina’s, the outlandish flavors, the crazy concoctions. Plus it’s Kosher ice cream. If nothing else than for the sheer novelty, it seemed worth the adventure.

Interviewer: How do you get there?

The first time Danny and I visited Max & Mina’s was after Tangra Masala, but the place was closed for a Jewish holiday (Shavout, interestingly a holiday celebrated with lots of dairy) neither he, nor I, nor any of my Jewish friends had ever heard of. We ended up at Serendipity for the disaster that was the Frozen Hot Chocolate.

But anyway, it’s quite a trek out to Max & Main’s. You have to take the E or V train all the way to Kew Gardens, the dodge through JFK bound traffic during a 30 minute walk to 7126 Main St. As you can probably guess, a 30 minute walk each way means this isn’t a journey to enter into lightly and the rewards of the quest had better match the arduous nature of the path required to attain them.

Interviewer: And how was your visit?

Picture yourself walking into a Broadway show. Let’s say you’ve come to Kathleen Turner as Martha in the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf revival. But you’re informed Kathleen’s role will be played by her understudy. And Bill Irwin, yeah he couldn’t make it either. Same for David Harbour, hell, they’re not even going to use Albee’s play, but a new, contemporized version written by somebody you’ve never heard of.

That’s how Max & Mina’s turned out. Not only were they out of the lox, but also seemingly anything that wasn’t ordinary. No cloves, no Roker-licious (named for Al Roker), no halava, no Ring-Ding, no cinnamon Oreo. This is what they’re known for. They had four(!) chocolate ice creams, but chocolate is pretty standard no matter where you get it. Who needs four chocolate ice creams? On top of that, the ice cream server was incredibly surly and angry, made no apologies for the shortages, and didn’t get either of our orders right.

Interviewer: How can you get an ice cream order wrong?

He told us a large cup has three and a half scoops of ice cream, meaning we could get four different flavors. But he forgot my blintz scoop, though I did get the donut, strawberry Oreo, and muffin batter I had requested. And he forget Danny’s fourth scoop as well. The guy seriously hated his job, fine, but there’s no reason for us to bear his aggression. His slamming down of the ice cream scoop was so overly dramatic, Nathan Lane would have told him to tone down his character.

Interviewer: Well, was the ice cream good at least?

Honestly, not really. It certainly wasn’t atrocious, but it was the least creamy ice cream I’ve had in New York. It flaked like Italian ice. Never have I described ice cream as dry, but Max & Mina’s deserves that description. The donut pieces came in stale chunks that tasted like week old bread. The muffin batter reminded me of the dehydrated blueberries found in breakfast cereals. The strawberry Oreo was the best, but come on, I can get that anywhere. Give me a hummus flavor, give me some lox. That’s what we came for. Though he liked it, I really hated Danny’s frosted flakes flavor which tasted like cereal allowed to sit in milk until it becames soggier than the face of a girl stood up by her prom-date.

The unimaginative nature of the flavors was only compounded by the fact that the base ice cream was below average. Perhaps Otto’s gelato and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory have spoiled me, but I’d rather eat Healthy Choice than Max & Mina’s.

Interviewer: So I take it you’re not going back?

Unless Max & Mina’s moves to Manhattan sometime in the next month or personally calls me and guarantees they’ll have the flavors I want, I’d rather go to Newark, New Jersey, than Max & Mina’s. I can hear, “We’re out of that”, anytime I want to by simply asking a Republican where his compassionate conservatism is located. No ride to Flushing, no 30 minute walk required.

RATING: 3.5/10


Anonymous said...

umm, all you need to do is take the q74 (weekdays only) from Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike to the Chase Bank right across the street from Max and Mina's (or, on weekends, the q44 to Union Turnpike and Main Street, a 10 minute walk down (North on) main street to 72nd Avenue).

No need for a half-hour walk, unless you have something against riding buses, which, considering you ride the subway, would be surprising if you did.

Anonymous said...

Dude, Shavuous is a bona fide jewish holiday celebrating the acceptance of the Torah on Sinai. As with many traditions of Hebraic origin, only the Orthodox typically observe. Don't be a hater. P.S. I thought the Ice-Cream & ambiance was pretty darn good.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Service sucks and it's not all it's cracked up to be. The hype is way too much for this place. Ice Cream in your local pathmark tastes better than this place. Service was horrible. Most of the flavors were not in stock. There was no 'crazy' flavors. Some sizes were not even available. It's a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

What a disappointment. The service was horrible,
the place looks dirty and uninviting. The ice cream is nothing special. Asked for my favorite ice cream flavor "Rocky Road" and was told it was too soft to serve in a cone. Not worth the trouble to go there and finding a parking space ian't easy.

Anonymous said...

went last month and had the best ice cream of my life. honestly the service was good and the flavors were out of this world. had the chocolate cupcake and donut and was definately not disappointed. also, i'm not sure you are truly jewish because i'm dating a jewish guy and I've even heard of Shavuous....awkward