Shake It Up Baby


With the heat upon us, I couldn’t help but think back to my younger days and a Kowalski summer treat – creamy milkshakes. I always liked mine with a simple traditional hamburger and salty fries. My favorite memories were stopping on the way home from work at a small little ice cream shop and having a strawberry banana milk shake – real strawberries and very chunky!

Milkshakes began way back in the late 1800’s and actually started out as an eggnog type alcoholic drink. Many years later, the use of malted milk powder was popularized by Ivar “Pop” Coulson of the Walgreens drugstore chain, who made a milkshake by adding two scoops of vanilla ice cream to the standard malted milk drink recipe, making Walgreen’s in-store counter the place to be. Metal shake containers and high speed blenders made shakes a staple in the 50’s and 60’s. Since then, dozens and dozens of variations, and improvements, have been made, including adding fresh fruit to make popular “milkshake/ice” smoothies.

Like most things, ask around to find out who has “the best” milkshake, and you get many opinions. Along with the chain restaurants (e.g. Steak N Shake) my friends and staff have their favorite Cleveland locations – here’s my “Top 5” list to visit and some shakes to try:

  • Town Hall (W 25th) – traditional vanilla/chocolate shakes (try adult Nuts, Bourbon & Bacon)
  • Tommy’s (on Coventry) – milkshakes, malts and smoothies (try black raspberry chip)
  • B Spot (Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis) – traditional and seasonal shakes (try chocolate banana marshmallow)
  • Mitchell’s Ice Cream (seven locations) – shakes, malts and smoothies (try strawberry with mango or cookies & cream)
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop (on Euclid) – shakes, malts and smoothies (try Oreo or Coffee)

Stay cool!



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