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In Search of New York’s Best Milkshake

In Search of New York’s Best Milkshake



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It’s finally warming up here in New York City, and I’m less than thrilled at the prospect of imminent sticky subway rides and the constant need for repeated cold showers. However, if there’s one thing I look forward to when the blazing weather arrives, it’s that the heat of a summer’s day makes milkshakes taste so darn good.

Last week I mentioned the idea of a milkshake story to my co-worker Louisa Laz-Hirsch, and she gamely took one for the team and offered to help me on “research.” We set out in East Manhattan together and began our milkshake taste-test.

Strangely enough, our milkshake quest started in Chinatown, where Louisa and I were eating delicious noodle soup at Pho Grand and happened to spot avocado milkshakes on the menu. Whenever I see a mash-up of two of my favorite foods, I just have to try it, no matter how odd the combination may be. This milkshake was super rich, creamy, and only slightly sweet. The avocado added a bit of oil to the dairy richness, and the shake was the color of a perfectly ripe avocado. I’m definitely planning on heading back to Pho Grand for another.

Our next milkshake stop was Sugar on the Lower East Side, which is an old-school diner-type place. I tend to go plain in spots like this, and the soda jerk served up a solid, very satisfying traditional vanilla milkshake. Sugar is a good everyday spot to pop in and get a quick shake before heading back out to Houston Street for more New York adventures.

Next, we swung by two shops in the East Village. The first one was OddFellows, a brand-new, tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it storefront, but this place is not to be missed. We ordered a Thai Iced Cream Milkshake for Louisa and a Burnt Marshmallow one for me. These were top-shelf, professional-style milkshakes; definitely the kind of thing you’d seek out as a special treat. The Thai shake tasted exactly like Thai iced tea: nicely spiced, not too sweet, and full of flavor. The Burnt Marshmallow flavor comes with bits of toasted tiny marshmallows mixed in, and it was a brilliantly executed, innovative shake. This place is a must to visit if you’re a true ice cream lover.

The second East Village stop was big-time chef David Chang’s Momofuku Milk Bar. He and his pastry chef, Christina Tosi, are incredibly creative, and after perusing all of the fantastic options, we settled on the Cereal Milk milkshake. Wow! This one took me straight back to being a kid and tipping back the milk left over from a big bowl of cereal. It was ridiculously tasty, but almost overwhelming — a little went a long way.

Our final milkshake stop was on 23rd street at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. They may be better known for their burgers, but if you name yourself “Shake Shack,” you’d better deliver an amazing shake. And, boy, do they. We again opted to go basic at this spot, although their more innovative flavors were very tempting. We ordered a Vanilla Malted milkshake for our test. The first thing I noticed was how thick it was; too many milkshakes have the wrong milk-to-ice-cream ratio, but not this one. The malt added a nice, subtle flavor to the already high-quality ice cream they use. I would have ordered a second, but after a day of shakes, I had just about hit my limit. Besides, by then the infamous Shake Shack line extended to the end of the block!

While I may have to take a break from shakes after all of my indulgence this week, there are still plenty of neighborhoods to explore in search of the best milkshake around. Who doesn’t want to drink milkshakes in the name of journalism?

Additional reporting by Madeleine James.


This New York Restaurant Honors the Original Ladies Who Lunch

The pioneering women diners were the suffragettes of supper clubs.

Photo by: Brogan and Braddock

This week, Delmonico’s in New York City is honoring the first ladies to dine out without male chaperones, with a special menu prepared by acclaimed chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune.

Open since 1837, Delmonico’s was the first fine-dining restaurant in the country, and the birthplace of several classic dishes, including eggs Benedict and lobster Newberg. And 150 years ago, the restaurant became the first in the country to welcome women diners — independent of male companions — when the Sorosis Club gathered for a ladies’ luncheon, organized by journalist Jane Cunningham Croly.

In honor of the first gathering Hamilton designed an à la carte menu of historically inspired dishes, including Malakoff (a fried cheese ball over a parsley-cornichon salad), cold poached makerel with pickled celery and brûléed rice pudding. The special menu is only offered for lunch through Friday, and for dinner through Saturday, so act fast.

Not in New York? Pay tribute by preparing a meal inspired by a vintage Sorosis Club menu.

Culinary Classics: The Most-Iconic Restaurants from Coast to Coast 24 Photos

Hungry for a bit of history? These steakhouses, coffee shops, burger joints and pizza stops are among the most-iconic destinations in the country.


1. Holstein Shakes and Burgers:

For many Las Vegans, the milkshake is nothing without a burger. It is the most loved combination of food in the area. People love to complement the large burgers with a creamy, thick, and delicious milkshake. It is possible to make selections for alcoholic and non-alcoholic shakes on the menu. There is a huge variety of shakes in this restaurant that you can order to cherish the unique taste. Some of the best options are Campfire S’mores, Brown Cow, Frozen Grasshopper, Fat Boy, Oreo, and Drunken Monkey. Holsteins Shakes and Burgers is located in the Cosmopolitan.


Naughty Boy Cafe

A cherrymiso milkshake photo by: Naughty Boy Cafe

2. Naughty Boy Cafe in Melbourne, Australia is open for breakfast and lunch. Their food looks really good, but honestly, I would just be going for their milkshakes.

Update: I finally got to eat here after salivating over their photos and it was slightly disappointing, my milkshake looked like a child had made it. It was so bad I may have to remove them from this list.


ARIZONA: Lucky Charms Milkshake at Paradise Valley Burger Company in Phoenix

Layne D./Yelp

Nothing cools you down like a milkshake, and with the high in Phoenix, stopping in at Paradise Valley Burger Company for a frosty shake should be a top priority. Whether you want a classic chocolate milkshake or a radical Lucky Charms shake, no restaurant can compete. Next time you need to escape the heat, grab one of these signature desserts.


4. Boost

I was excited to try Boost Glucose Control because it’s a popular meal replacement shake option for people with diabetes.

This one gets recommended in a lot of diabetes forums. It’s specifically made for blood sugar control with 3 grams of dietary fiber, 16 grams of protein, 4 grams of sugar, 190 calories and 5 grams of healthy fats.

It does have more sugar than some of the other options out there. That surprised me, especially for it being specifically made for glucose control.

As far as taste, boost does taste like chocolate milk, but I didn’t like the artificial ingredients and colors included in the drink. I also felt like I had the most cravings after drinking Boost.

Boost needs to be refrigerated, before drinking for the best taste. For me that meant no prep, which did save time.


Zora Dora’s Micro Batch Ice Cream & Paletas, Beacon/Poughkeepsie (Hudson Valley)

Everything tastes better on a stick, and that certainly holds true for Zora Dora’s, which serves ice cream and sorbets in popsicle form. The downtown Beacon “popsicle gallery” features unique flavors like avocado and passion fruit/strawberry made with the freshest ingredients the Hudson Valley has to offer.

While in town:

Storm King Art Center: Explore one of the world’s leading sculpture parks.

Walkway Over the Hudson: Get stunning views of the Hudson River while walking across it on an elevated bridge.


Papaya Style

[Papaya King]

[The Gray's Papaya on West Eighth Street that sadly shuttered in 2014]

[Gray's Papaya]

Papaya King was founded in 1932 by Gus Poulos as a juice bar. Hot dogs were added to the menu seven years later, and an NYC classic was born. The Papaya King hot dog is an all beef affair in a natural casing, which is griddled and served on a toasted white bun. The dog is made by Sabrett but the recipe is unique and proprietary to Papaya King. The restaurant created the stewed red onion sauce — a tangy tomato based concoction laced with vinegar — that's now ubiquitous on hot dogs in the city. Papaya King still serves papaya and other "tropical" drinks alongside the franks. The restaurant spawned a legion of imitators, the closest rival being Gray's Papaya, which was founded in 1973 by Paul Gray, a former employee. We also find Chelsea Papaya, Mike's Papaya, and Papaya Dog serving lower rent versions in the city these days. They may not be quite as illustrious as Papaya King and Gray's but they do at least offer real casing all beef franks.


This cannabis-infused weed gummies recipe from the Stoners Cookbook involves using cannabis-infused coconut oil and is described as being "great for micro-dosing or if you like to eat a lot of gummies."

Lux Pot Shop says that its 420 Party Pizzas are "quick and easy to make, and can be tailored to your desired potency, with whichever toppings you choose." The recipe involves spreading olive oil infused with cannabis on the dough before adding your sauce, cheese, toppings, and baking.


I Tried Every Single Menu Item From Shake Shack, These Were The Best

I still remember the first time I ever went to a Shake Shack&mdashin the middle of July, in the middle of New York City (Madison Square Park), and in the middle of the day when the line for the burger chain was wrapped around the park. It was possibly the longest, sweatiest line I'd ever been in&mdashand I've been to Disney World in dead of summer. I remember muttering under my breath to my friend who swore it would be "Totally worth the wait!" that it better damn be. Luckily for my friend, she was absolutely correct. I had fallen in love with. a cheeseburger. (I have pics for proof, but that's neither here nor there.) My love affair with Shake Shack has been a lasting one, so getting the chance to try everything on the menu in the comfort of my own home was close to one of the easiest decisions of my life. Without boring you more, here are my top picks:

Milkshakes: Black & White

I do believe it was Miley Cyrus&mdashsorry, Hannah Montana&mdashwho sang about getting the best of both worlds, and I'm 92 percent positive she was referring to Shake Shack's Black & White Milkshake. If you let it melt just a litttttle bit, it tastes exactly like a Wendy's chocolate frosty. And you know what goes great with a frosty? Fries. Lots and lots of fries. Please promise me you will dip at least one fry into your Black & White shake for me.

Honorable mention: The vanilla shake with a touch of Jameson or your favorite whiskey 😉

Sides: Cheese Fries

Danny Meyer, the creator of Shake Shack, was inspired by the Midwest when drawing up the menu for his modern day burger stand. It should come as to no surprise that when it came to the french fry shape, he chose crinkle cut fries. (Fun fact: They're crispier than your usual fry thanks to all that extra surface area that touches the oil.) The fries on their own are. fine. With cheese sauce though? Oh, heck yeah. That blend of cheddar and American cheese deserves to be on everything.

Flat-Top Dogs: Hot Dog

ICYMI: Shake Shack actually started as a hot dog cart. Confusing, I know. But these hot dogs aren't your typical ballpark 'dog. They're split down the middle then griddled until crisp on top, which makes them ready for toppings. Special shoutout to the potato roll, for always being soft yet not mushy, dependable yet not boastful.

Burgers: ShackBurger

It's the original for a reason! And also trademarked. for a reason?? Melty cheddar covering a perfect burger patty, smothered in ShackSauce is something we all deserve to experience once in our lives. There's nothing fussy about this burger (looking at you, Shack Stack) which is why it stole my heart. Sometimes simpler truly is better.

Chicken: Chick'n Bites

Tbh, I had never once ordered the Chick'n Bites in all my times of going to Shake Shack. I didn't see the purpose when the Chick'n Shack&mdashwith its pickles, and buttermilk herb mayo&mdashwas right there in front of me. I was SLEEPING on these bites. I can't believe I never gave them a try. These bites are crispy, breaded to the perfect ratio (at least double-breaded), and moist. I would like to formally apologize to Chick'n Bites for never giving them a real, honest chance in my past.

Still hungry? Check out more of Julia Tries Everything on Delish&rsquos YouTube channel.


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