5@5 - Douglas Quint
May 24th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Don't let its charming jingle fool you: hard decisions abound at the ice cream truck.

Some of us can hardly figure out which pant leg to put on first in the morning, let alone decide between a cup or cone. And don't even get us started on whether to go with sprinkles or without - we may bust a coronary.

In general, ordering food can be sensory overload for those who hem and haw. That's why owners like Douglas Quint of the ├╝ber-popular Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (and soon-to-open shop) sometimes have to take matters into their own hands.

Customers Who Are Better Off If I Decide Their Orders: Douglas Quint of Big Gay Ice Cream

1. Junkies
"I had to research why they all want something really sugary, and it turns out that long-term heroin use somehow causes hypoglycemia. If a customer staggers up and I see they've got teeny little pupils, I take the lead. They are too incoherent to figure out what to order, so I throw out the two sweetest options: butterscotch sauce or cherry dip. I've never once been wrong."

2. Stoners
"If I'm parked in the East Village on a weekend night, small groups will come giggling over to the truck. They touch the menu as they look at it and say, 'Oh, that one is SO pretty!'

I tell them to order a vanilla cone covered in Trix cereal, and as I hand it over I invariable hear something like 'Oh my god, it's SO pretty!' Never fails."

3. First Timers
"Otherwise known as the 'I don't know what I want so you figure it out' customer. Salty Pimp (Vanilla Ice Cream, Dulce de Leche, Sea Salt, Chocolate Dip). End of options."

4. Tweakers
"Why do people do crystal meth? Gross. Occasionally a customer will come to the truck sweating through their clothes regardless whether it's a button up shirt and tie or T-shirt with pupils the size of quarters.

They are too screwed up to communicate and I figure their throats hurt too much from the drugs, so I suggest a cup (not a cone) of vanilla. No toppings. Bingo. Also, deal with their money up front. Their hands are usually too shaky and their brains too addled to make change. Drugs are bad. Don't do drugs."

5. Little kids
"Parents will sometimes overload their children's brain with options. 'Honey, you like Nutella, maybe you'd like that in your cone? Chocolate or rainbow sprinkles? Do you want a twist, you know, vanilla and chocolate twisted together? Cherry dip? That's the red dip. You also like figs, maybe you could try fig sauce as a topping?'

One time a dad was suggesting all sorts of options and his overwhelmed child whizzed himself. Another girl lifted her dress up over her head - it was all just too much. Trust me, what that kid wants is a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles."

Bonus: Chain smokers
"If someone lights his or her cigarette with another cigarette while looking at my menu, I offer up cayenne pepper as a topping. They've blown their taste buds, so I have to hit 'em with something strong. Nothing else will make a lasting impression."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Favorites • Food Trucks • Restaurants • Service • Think

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soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. The Witty One@AleeD

    P.S. – I'll be getting a number two! HAHAHAHAHA TWO! Get it! Also a number three.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  2. The Witty One

    29 comments and no one brings up sea salt on ice cream?!?!

    I'm strangely intrigued.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • AleeD@The Witty One

      I'd try it – for the same reason you mentioned.

      May 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
      • The Witty One@AleeD

        I've never thought of that before but the salty sweet thing has got to be good. I'm heading to NYC some time this summer to visit some friends. I will make sure to look this truck up!

        May 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
      • AleeD@The Witty One

        I'm curious about it because one of my favorite chocolates is Godiva's Dark Chocolate salted caramel cashew bark. I'm not a big fan of caramel, but this trips my trigger. Love the combo of flavors.

        My second fave is also salted:

        May 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Steven E

      I'm thinking cayenne on chocolate ice cream will totally rock.

      May 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  3. Sideshow Bob

    Hopefully after Glee gets cancelled, being gay will stop being cool and trendy.

    May 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Sinister Sister@SSB

      What are you, 12? Sounds like you're jealous of the attention Glee is getting. Too bad you can't be the bigger person and just let the Gleeks have their fun regardless of their lifestyle.

      May 25, 2011 at 7:30 am |
    • Jerv@SSB

      Bob, your little sideshow will be canceled long before Glee gets the ax.

      May 25, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • AleeD@Sideshow Bob

      Because you WANT to be Potsie-like & obscure? DONE!

      May 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  4. trudy

    and sexual preference has something to do with ice cream?

    May 24, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Ben and Jerry

      It has everything to do with ice cream.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  5. sam

    one might argue that ice cream has had a greater negative impact on society than any of the drugs listed above. especially when you consider that, according to the article, even when they are hopped up on their drug of choice, their brain still compels them to get some ice cream.

    May 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • Josh G

      no one's ever robbed someone for ice cream. there aren't giant ice cream cartels south of the border. people aren't killed when someone blows up their trailer making ice cream.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  6. Breanna

    Sooo, what, this article was an excuse for some pretentious junk food salesman to rip on drug use for no apparent reason?

    May 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Adrienne

      Yeah, seriously, who would want to rip on drug use? After all, people addicted to meth, heroin, and dope are such productive members of society.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Snowbunny@Breanna

      Better a food junky than a drug addict there smart one!

      May 25, 2011 at 9:37 am |
  7. Confused

    I have never had their IceCream...sure it's wonderful...but was this supposed to be funny, and if so did someone find it funny. Did I miss something, is this an inside joke between icecream truck drivers who serve drug addicts. Seriously I am so confused as to what the point of this was. Other than of course to promote their brand.

    May 24, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Duh

      you need some icecream, quick!

      May 24, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Jerv

      Exactly, "to promote their brand." What's wrong with someone trying to find a niche market in this country to make some coin?

      May 25, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  8. oneSTARman

    Junkies, Stoners and Tweakers – 3 out of 5 of his Customers are on DRUGS?

    May 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • KIm

      He's based in NYC.

      May 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  9. chain smoker

    i wonder what the rest of the sign on the left says O_O

    May 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • kim

      Did you even read the article? I swear, some people are a waste of air. Go to the beginning and read, smoker. The first 5 words in BIG BLUE letters. CAN'T miss it.... oh yeah.... you did....

      May 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • Duh

      Duh? Smoker, it is Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, you Big Gay Smoker.

      Why do all the gays feel the need to broadcast their sexual preference? Look at me! I'm gay! See my badge of honor! Woopee!

      You don't see heterosexuals doing that. Where is my neighborhood big heterosexual ice cream truck?


      May 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
      • troy

        You're so right. Heterosexuals never talk about or display pictures of their spouses at work. They never hold hands or (yuck) kiss in public; never talk about having children; and they certainly don't celebrate their union by spending thousand of dollars on lavish ceremonies to which they invite all of thier friends and family to flaunt their lifestyle.

        May 24, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
      • AleeD@Troy

        LOL! WIN!

        May 25, 2011 at 7:17 am |
      • Jerv@Duh

        Feeling left out? There is a right called the "Freedom of association." Gather together a bunch of ice cream loving heteros, raise some money and launch your own fleet of "Big Wife-beater Ice Cream Trucks."

        May 25, 2011 at 7:33 am |
      • AleeD@Jerv

        Amen my friend! They have their own tank tops too!

        How would they they name their toppings? Sadistic Sprinkles? Knuckle-dragging Nut Clusters?

        May 25, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  10. John

    So, he just suggests Vanilla every time ?? Stupid.

    May 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  11. RichardHead

    Wait...This is not about The Sir Douglas Quintet? Bummer.

    May 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  12. Le Stoner Gourmand

    Love these guys!!

    May 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  13. Mildred

    I love this list. I have to check out their truck the next time I'm in NYC

    May 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  14. jillmarie

    Hysterical! I deal with the public as well, and you do meet all types. This guy is great at reading his customers. I'm going to want ice cream later too- or it just may be a pregnancy craving. He forgot about the pregnant jet set! They love ice cream.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Mildred

      I think that pregnancy cravings might be a bit too varied. I know one person who always loved chocolate who couldn't eat it during her pregnancy.

      May 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
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