Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lakeville DQ - Kenwwod Tr - sm cone $1.59

After a lovely visit to Northfield for the day, I and my lovely wife, Sally, drove back home to the Twin Cities.  This was part of the anniversary fun we had planned for the weekend.  It is out 6 year anniversary and certainly must include DQ.

Saw, the DQ sign from Hwy 35 and made my stop.  I liked this DQ.  It had a sun room, kinda like the old Rax restaurants used to have.  In the display case against one wall, I saw little plastic cones and dilly bars.  I don't know if this stuff is in kid's meals, but if it is, I may soon be pretending I have a screaming little one in the car demanding a bit of DQ for the road.

Service here was good.  The cashiers joked around with each other as they did some prep work.  People seemed happy.  (Is anyone at DQ not happy?  It is hard for me, as an outsider, to image so).

Prices were average to a bit expensive.

Small Vanilla Cone: $1.59
Medium: $2.09
Large: $2.49
Peanut Buster Parfait: $3.79

The cone was standard in regards to size but had the perfect flavor.  Long after I was done eating did I comment to my brain, "Damn, that was a fiiiiine cone!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

White Bear Lake: Cup and Cone

Why did I not know about this place?  The Cup and Cone is located on 4th St, West of Hwy 61 in the Center of DT White Bear Lake.  It is a DQ rival that really gives DQ a proper challenge.

The White Bear Lake Dairy Queen, has the cheapest small cone that I have found so far--$1.09--and now I know why: A small cone at Cup N Cone is $.94!

Cup and Cone Stats:
small vanilla/choc/lemon cone: $.94
Medium: $1.41
Large: $1.71

In addition to these fabulous prices, they will blend Oreos, Butterfingers, and other typical Blizzard toppings right into your soft serve and make you a cone.  I think this costs an additional $.25 for a small cone.

I ordered two items on my trip there this weekend (for the sake of research). First, I tasted the lemon soft serve.  It tastes a bit off, but children might like it for its novelty.  Then I ordered a plain vanilla cone.  It was a huge cone, at least the size of a typical medium DQ.  Texture and consistency was excellent, but the flavor was not quite as good as a DQ cone when DQ is on it's game (see previous posts about cones being too icy or too marshmellowy).  Overall, though it was an excellent cone.

Wife Sally, ordered a chocolate ice cream with carmel sauce.  The carmel is better than DQ--not as sweet--and the chocolate ice cream tastes more chocolately.  Too bad for DQ.

Third, from the previous paragraph, I went back and ordered a vanilla Oreo dipped sundae.  The Oreos were whipped into the vanilla ice cream and then dipped into a chocolate like a DQ dipped cone, but the chocolate froze and was actually a bit hard to eat.  Points off for the chocolate dip which was nowhere near the excellent quality of the DQ dipped cone, but plus points for the Oreo whipped into the ice cream without my having to order a Blizzard.  It was a fun experience.

What also made it a fun experience was the fact that all of the people who waited on me were some of the friendliest and helpful people I have ever met getting a cone.  Server #1 gave me recommendations and promised things would be better than DQ.  Everyone else seemed equally happy to be there.  I felt good being there myself.

Weirdly enough, I then went back to the order window to order a submarine sandwich. It was okay.  They used sub-par bread.  Jimmy John's still rules in this category.

In conclusion, White Bear Lake is the place to go for ice cream.  It has an inexpensive DQ (The Robbinsdale DQ is still the most expensive small cone in the system at $1.89), and it also has the wonderful Cup and Cone which I highly recommend.  The town is cute and on the weekends seems very shopper friendly--lots of restaurants and non-chain clothing stores.  Check it out for yourself. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blaine DQ Follow up and New Coon Rapids Review

I went back to the Blaine DQ on HWY 65 because it is in the running for best DQ in the Twin Cities Metro Area.  The small cone is $1.19, which is more expensive than the White Bear Lake DQ at $1.09, but the aggregate cost is still less.

My cone was a bit mal-formed, but delicious, just the right blend of icy and marshmellowy.  

The small cone was average sized, so, no points lost or gained.

Later in the day I went to the DQ on Coon Rapids Blvd in Coon Rapids with my parents.  Small cones here are Free!  Actually, my dad paid, which is very cool.

Small vanilla cone: $1.59
Medium: $1.99
Large: $2.39
Peanut Buster Parfait: $3.79 (Though they are on sale this month for $2.49!)

My cone was on the small-to average size, not very impressive.  My mom ordered a chocolate dipped cone, but got a chocolate ice cream cone instead--there may have been some confusion in the ordering--but they made everything right by giving her a new cone and not charging her the increase in price.

My dad had a banana cream pie Blizzard and was a bit surprised that it came with whipped cream.  Both said their ice cream delights were good.  Mine was good, too.  I just was not impressed with the volume of ice cream in a small cone.

The Coon Rapids Dairy Queen is one of those old barn-style DQ's, which I totally dig for my Brazier stores. The interior had those really tacky duck paintings on the  wall, which I really think is inexcusable for any type of decor.  Anywhere.

Blaine DQ

Coon Rapids DQ

An interesting thing to note is that both the Blaine and Coon Rapids DQs have  similar signs.  One point goes out farther than the other.  There are differences, as you can see--one is a solid color, and one has a white edge--but they are similar enough that I think it is an exciting coincidence.

Also, if you have not seen your local DQ reviewed here, please let me know,  I want to review your DQ, but have hit almost all the ones I find and I go about my life.  I also welcome quest reviews--just be sure to get the prices for sm/med/large cones and a PBP.  Thanks for your continued interest and support. - Mike

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Forest Lake DQ - Hwy 61 - Sm Cone $1.49

Forest Lake DQ

My grandparents lived in Forest Lake, so there was no extended visit that took place without a trip to the DQ about a mile south of their home.  I remember this being a tiny DQ that had a wooden porch or something in from of it.  Perhaps it did 35 years ago, or I am combining this memory with the porch in front of the house where Navin Johnson lived before he made his way in the world in The Jerk.

This was a big DQ, large enough to accommodate a softball team or two.  It's a Brazier store, which I like more than Grill and Chills.  Grill and Chills seem too much like a Burger King to me.

My done was a good size, a bit taller than average.  It was icey, but well within the acceptable range of the Icey/Marshmellow Continuum.  

My wife, Sally, is a bit sick of DQ, and she requested some non-DQ ice cream before we left town.  There was a tiny, fancy looking ice cream shop a bit closer to DT Forest Lake, but it was closed.  Also, the relatively new and fancy ice cream shop next to the lake in the center of town is out of business--making way for a Snap Fitness of all things.  I only hope that it was put out of business by DQ.  This other ice cream shop was the site of Skateland, the roller rink my grandparents owed.

Anyways, please keep ice cream alive in Forest Lake and shop at the DQ.

Small Vanilla Cone: $1.49
Medium: $1.99
Large: $2.39
Peanut Buster Parfait: $3.79

(And for the family who might be reading...the grandparents' home, cottage, and even GG's home is gone and landscaped over.  There is no sign of the old place.  It's rather sad).

White Bear Lake DQ - Hwy 61- Small Cone $1.09

Can anyone beat a $1.09 Small Dairy Queen Cone?

That's right!  $1.09 for a small DQ cone.  And look at the size of that cone.  It looks as big as their sign.  It's not really, but it is easily as tall as some medium or even large cones in the Twin Cities metro area.  It was a bit overly fluffed, not quite the right moisture content, but if the 2nd and 3rd visits give me a cone that has a bit more ice content, then this is a good contender for best cone in the DQ system for the price.

Small Vanilla Cone: $1.09
Medium: $1.59
Large: $1.99
Peanut Buster Parfait: $3.79
(Did you know that during August, the PBP is only $2.49 at all stores?)

I like this store, in part, because when you drive up is it surrounded by tall white tanks used for some unknown purpose.  You'll see what I mean when you go there.

The White Bear Lake Dairy Queen also offers an individual sized DQ Cake which they call a cupcake.  $2.99 for this one and is the same as their full sized cake, but to scale.

If this is your DQ of choice, I'd be interested in your feedback as to whether or not this should be the best DQ in the system,  Was it just an off day that my cone was too fluffy?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Brighton - 4th St and Old HWY 8 - Scam Alert

No photo with this post because I don't want this store to get any additional sales from having an attractive image on my blog.  I ordered the small cone for $1.39 - an excellent price- except that THEY GAVE ME A KID'S CONE INSTEAD!!!!!!

It was a good sized cone, but they used the smaller and narrower cone.  I felt cheated.  I don't know if the cones are one step too small up the line, but if you live near to this store, make a trip down Hwy 8 to St. Anthony for a much better DQ experience.

Kid's Cone (small):  $1.39
Medium: $1.69
Large: $1.99
Peanut Buster Parfait: $3.49