The William Vale Hotel's shiny new burger and soft serve stand, Mister Dips, opens to the public tonight. Chef Andrew Carmellini and the rest of the Noho Hospitality team set up the 1970s-era Airstream on a public park at the hotel, located north of the hotel’s entrance. It’s got burgers, veggie burgers, waffles fries, and soft serve, and all the food is meant to be eaten outdoors, on patio tables or the park's lawn. Everything costs under $10.
It’s the most casual aspect of the group’s food and beverage program at the hotel, which also includes a soon-to-open ground flour Italian restaurant called Leuca and sky-high rooftop bar Westlight. But Mister Dips is the first thing Carmellini wanted to do when he saw all the hotel's spaces. "Every chef, no matter how fancy, always wants a food truck," he says. "That’s our secret dream, at least for us American guys." They found the Airstream in Missouri, sent it to Colorado, and outfitted it with a grill and two soft serve machines. It arrived a couple of weeks ago.
The menu’s simple and short, with a single burger, a double burger, and a third burger that will rotate. The standards come topped with cheddar and a "special shmear," while the opening special burger will feature hatch chilies, jack cheese, and sriracha verde. A veggie burger on the menu is a take on the one from The Dutch, made with black beans and mushrooms and topped with a very crispy slice of Swiss cheese.
For dessert, pastry chef Jason Casey — who’s experimenting with soft serve for the first time at Mister Dips — will be serving three flavors, at least one of which will rotate seasonally. The Jacker-Crax cone uses buttered caramel popcorn-flavored soft serve base, and a Malter Cronkite uses a vanilla and malt ice cream swirl base. A third features vanilla soft serve and pineapple preserve. All of the options are dipped into a different sauce that turns hard within seconds, like a magic shell from ice cream fair stands, and all of them come with a Mister Dips-themed temporary tattoo.
Right now, the park still has a full view of the Manhattan skyline and the Williamsburg waterfront. Construction on the building north of the hotel will eventually hide the view, but Carmellini thinks the park will still be a cool place to park his dream food truck. "We have this amazing park here at the William Vale hotel in Williamsburg," he says. "It seems like good opportunity to finally do this." Mister Dips opens tonight at 4 p.m. and is open until 10 p.m. every night. Check out the menu and a Facebook Live with Carmellini below, and let us know what you think if you stop by.
Making burgers and cones with Andrew Carmellini at Mr. DipsPosted by Eater NY on Wednesday, September 28, 2016