Dominican Shaved Ice Season Has Begun at El Bohio

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    Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Joe DiStefano, covers food both inside and outside of Queens. He joins us here on QueensNYC each Thursday.


    Sweet and cold, El Bohio’s shaved ice is a harbinger of even warmer days

    Forget that groundhog. The real indicator of the arrival of warm weather is the ice cream man. Or in Corona, the shaved ice man, specifically the dude who sets up in the window in front of El Bohio Grocery. The other day after eating enough Thai food for an army I took a long walk up Roosevelt Avenue and was delighted to see that El Bohio’s shaved ice—or frio frio as Dominicans like to call it­—was in full effect.

    Leche condensada, or condensed milk, is a must.
    A drizzle of leche condensada, or condensed milk, is a must

    As I waited on line I pondered my choices. Should I get a tamarindo, orange, or perhaps a pineapple? After waiting in line for about 20 minutes listening to the schuss, schuss of the ice being shaved I finally approached the window. “Una frambuesa grande con todo,” I said in my best bad Spanish. No matter how much I may consider the other flavors, the so-called raspberry ice ($3.50 for large cup) remains my go-to. It tastes like raspberries the way a Champagne cola tastes like Champagne, which is to say not at all. It is nonetheless quite refreshing.

    Note the Mister Softee truck in the background.
    Note the Mister Softee truck in the background

    El Bohio’s frio frio stand has been open for a week. In the heat of the summer the man in the window goes through six or seven 75-pound blocks of ice. As I walked away with my cup of frozen sugar rush I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Mister Softee truck lurking just beyond the shaved ice line will be doing that much business in three months.

    El Bohio Grocery, 98-17 Roosevelt Ave, Corona, 347-527-2538

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