Saturday, April 2, 2011
Review: 5 milkshakes in Dallas
Twisted Root, Kenny's Burger Joint, and Neiman Marcus make Dave Faries' favorite milkshakes list.
What makes a good shake? Few at Dallas area burger joints seem to know the answer. The art of ice cream and milk is lost to syrupy flavor mixes here, low-fat product there, fast food-style machines at one place and straw-wrenching thickness at another. Yet the concept is simple: good quality, high butterfat ice cream and whole milk (a little cream makes it even better). Blend these until they hold a straw upright, but...
This last appears to be the problem: a consistency thick enough for a spoon, thin enough for a straw. In a vanilla shake, say, you should experience richness and pure flavors drawing easily through a straw, while the waiting spoon sits upright in the glass. Some places come close — Ketchup Burger Bar in Uptown, for example, and Smashburger in Addison. Others find ways to cheat, splashing in a measure of alcohol, upgrading a childhood favorite for the adult palate.
Here are five that get the American shake right, with or without a high proof boost.
Their standard shakes tend toward annoying thickness, with a hint of aerosol on top. Watered down—so to speak—with an 80 proof spirit, however, they are remarkable.
Although Elevation is a fast food joint, they spend a moment to hand dip decent ice cream. The result: Dallas’ best quick service shake.
Like Twisted Root, chef Kenny Bowers’ place mixes a standout “adult” shake. As an added bonus, their basic version reaches nearer the ideal.
Maple & Motor may seem like a careless place, dumping their milk and ice cream blend into Styrofoam cups. But with a shake this rich, who really cares about presentation?
These are fatty and filling — almost contemplative — thanks to the best ingredients. You can almost feel the love handles bulge with each sip. Beautiful.
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