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Best Bets


The Best Bet
What Dale Degroff is to the cocktail, what Katz’s is to pastrami, that’s what Craig Bero is to the egg creama man so obsessed with the mysterious art of mixing milk and seltzer with chocolate syrup that he’s built an egg-cream museum of sorts in the back of his Tribeca luncheonette, the Soda Shop. While you peruse the vintage egg-cream memorabilia, you can gulp down any of four exquisite versions of the old-time elixir, from a classic made with Fox’s U-Bet syrup ($2) to a deluxe model of Bero’s own invention, made with a fancy Belgian chocolate ($2.75). A good syrup, however, is only the half of it. What makes a great egg cream, according to Bero, is expert technique, ice-cold ingredients, and hard-to-find equipment like thirties-era soda-fountain heads fitted with special leather washers custom-made by an upstate octogenarian. The whole Rube Goldbergian process is like running a ’55 Chevy, he says (125 Chambers St., nr. W. Broadway; 212-571-1100). -R.P.


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