A Taste of 10 Dallas Milkshakes

Europeans have fresh, seasonal foods, universal health care and about 30 weeks of vacation each year. But we have milkshakes.

OK--so they serve a literal version: milk shaken with some flavoring. Ours involve ice cream, crammed into a glass and churned with a little milk (or, better yet, cream) into a thick, heavy mass. No fitting into Speedos after a couple of American shakes.

To us, the best shakes strike a difficult balance: thick enough to stand a spoon in but thin enough to draw through a straw, all the way to the bottom. They need only two ingredients, drawing flavor and mouth feel from the ice cream itself--although dressing the glass with whipped cream is just fine.

A Taste of 10 Dallas Milkshakes
All photos by Patrick Michels

Note that we're not claiming "top 10" this time. Instead, we sought out ten vanilla milkshakes, assigning points for quality of ice cream, the tricky thickness/thinness ratio, faux pas like the use of a mix, presentation, etc.

So, here are 10 Dallas milkshakes. The scores are based on 100 points and we present them worst to first.

10. Mooyah North Dallas (34 points)
Gawd. The taste of chemical mix and cheap ice cream. Even if they claim all-natural ingredients, the tinny-silt taste of mix crept in there somehow. Call it coppery, sludge like, whatever. We just call it a failure.

9. Jake's Addison (48 points)
They're not really shake experts here. In fact, the bartenders shoot you strange looks when you walk in during the NASCAR race and ask for one. Or maybe they've tried the shakes--aerated, artificial, slimy--hence the grimace.

8. Keller's Drive-In (49 points)
Gotta love museum pieces like Keller's. Keeping your car running on a blistering summer day while you eat--nothing better for the environment. Shake-wise they lose points for thickness, the concoction forming into unset concrete, impossible to pull through a straw. When you finally manage, you realize all that red-faced effort has been for a glob of low-quality ice cream. Great.

7. Ball's Hamburgers (53 points)
The popularity of this place has nothing to do with shakes. They are on the thin side, to start. Styrofoam cups cut into their score, as did ice cream quality. Otherwise, if you want a decent, middle of the road example of a run of the mill creation, this is it.

6. Who's Who (55 points)
The score surprised us, for we were not all that happy with the drink. In fact, we'd go back to Ball's before returning to Who's Who. But hitting five out of ten on most criteria seems to have helped their cause. High tally for clean, mix-free flavor. Low marks for value (i.e., price to quality comparison). Really, it's an overpriced cup of mediocrity.

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