My afternoon dessert was smiling at me.
Two mischievous teeth offered a warm welcome, and a cold cookies and cream-flavored treat was topped with blueberries and Oreos.
Nice to meet you, indeed.
“That’s our signature flavor,” said Snowdays owner and founder Tony Quach. “It’s called ‘Yeti Tracks’. The yeti is our mascot here.”
Quach left me to it for a few minutes. I had a chance to dig in and enjoy my first taste at Snowdays, a dessert café serving both cold and warm sweet treats. Their Brooklyn outpost — located at 214 Flatbush Avenue near Bergen Street — opened up about four weeks ago.
While they carry other dessert items as well as coffee, their “shaved cream” is what got Snowdays started.
Quach is originally from the East Coast, but discovered shaved cream when he was out in Los Angeles. “There were lines out the door for it,” he said.
East Coasters may be more familiar with the water-based shaved ice, however, there’s a major difference. “Shaved cream doesn’t use water — it’s dairy-based,” he says. “There are versions of this in Korea and Taiwan, but those are water-based as well.”
So Quach got to experimenting. He moved back in with his folks and worked hard on getting his flavors and consistency just right. “I wanted to make sure the texture wasn’t chalky and that it didn’t taste synthetic,” he explains. “That may happen in Taiwan and Korea where fresh dairy is a little harder to come by.” He finalized his recipe in 2014.
And you may be surprised that Quach’s confection won’t damage your waistline. “A regular cup [without toppings] is under 200 calories,” he says.
It’s been a busy three years for Quach and his partners Eric Nieves and Jessica Xu, who opened their first spot in the East Village (241 East 10th Street) just a few years ago. Since then, they have launched their shaved cream confections at stores in the West Village, Flushing, Forest Hills, and the City Kitchen food hall in Midtown Manhattan.
The team looked at various neighborhoods in Brooklyn before settling on Flatbush Avenue. “The L train shutdown was part of the decision,” Quach says, referring to the repairs which could shutter train service from Manhattan to Williamsburg and beyond for an estimated 18 months beginning in 2019. Because of that, Bedford Avenue was out of the picture.
Snowdays opened right next door to mŏkbar (212 Flatbush Avenue), the impressive Korean urban comfort food restaurant headed up by Chef Esther Choi. It’s quite a culinary one-two punch, creating something of a Flatbush food scene.
And yes, there’s more at Snowdays, including the decadent condensed milk brioche toast as well as a cereal bar. “We had cereals on a ‘secret menu’ in the other shops, and we kept getting a lot of requests for it,” says Quach.
You’ll be able to get your nostalgia fix with their offerings of Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, and Honey Bunches of Oats.
The bright, inviting space will please the kids and adults alike, so you should put this high up on your family to-do list. Think café meets ice cream shop — with happy yetis on the walls, of course.
But before you bring the kids, you may want to sneak over and enjoy some shaved cream for yourself.
Don’t worry, the yeti will keep it a secret.
Where: 214 Flatbush Avenue near Bergen Street. (Entrances on both Flatbush and Bergen)
Hours: Mondays-Thursday, 8am-10pm; Fridays-Saturdays, 8am-11pm; Sundays, 9am-10pm (Winter hours)