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Soft serve ice cream in Chicago and Latin silliness

Soft serve ice cream in Chicago and Latin silliness
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  • Soft serve ice cream in Chicago and Latin silliness

    Post #1 - March 31st, 2005, 2:25 pm
    Post #1 - March 31st, 2005, 2:25 pm Post #1 - March 31st, 2005, 2:25 pm
    I'm a big fan of good ice cream, made with lots of cream, gourmet ingredients, etc, but...sometimes I have an inexplicable craving for a simple vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone. I don't want to go to McDonalds or Wendys, or even Dairy Queen (not that I've ever seen a DQ in the city). Are any of the non-chain sof' serve places better than others, in terms of either ice-cream quality or other factors such as ambiance? I'm mostly looking for places within the city limits, but if there's something amazing in the 'burbs (or further!) I'm willing to travel.

    I think my family motto--since we're all food-obsessed--should be "we will drive 100 miles to eat a good burger". Anyone know the latin for that??
  • Post #2 - March 31st, 2005, 2:39 pm
    Post #2 - March 31st, 2005, 2:39 pm Post #2 - March 31st, 2005, 2:39 pm
    You know, Hole in the Wall Custard right near the oak park blue line stop has some really good soft serve custards. The ambience is nonexistent.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - March 31st, 2005, 2:52 pm
    Post #3 - March 31st, 2005, 2:52 pm Post #3 - March 31st, 2005, 2:52 pm
    The perfect opening for me to note that in a sure sign of Spring, the Hole-in-the-Wall is open for the season. They've added a new decor note--an 18" lighted custard cone that sits on the counter and is nicely visible from the street. Also a good time to bring attention again to VI's comprehensive ice cream survey.


    Hole-in-the Wall Custard Shop
    901 1/2 Oak Park Blvd. Right at the Oak Park Ave. stop on the Blue Line.
    Oak Park. VI's Chicago-area ice cream spots
    Last edited by Ann Fisher on June 18th, 2005, 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #4 - March 31st, 2005, 3:13 pm
    Post #4 - March 31st, 2005, 3:13 pm Post #4 - March 31st, 2005, 3:13 pm
    I know of two DQs in the city, for what it's worth. One is on Howard between Western and Ridge that gets a crowd on warm evenings. The other is in the Loop in the basement of 69 W. Washington, for your workweek daytime cravings. Both have soft serve and both are fine - but just fine.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #5 - March 31st, 2005, 3:20 pm
    Post #5 - March 31st, 2005, 3:20 pm Post #5 - March 31st, 2005, 3:20 pm
    ChgoMike wrote:I know of two DQs in the city, for what it's worth. One is on Howard between Western and Ridge that gets a crowd on warm evenings. The other is in the Loop in the basement of 69 W. Washington, for your workweek daytime cravings. Both have soft serve and both are fine - but just fine.

    Haven't been out that far in a long time, but I'm pretty sure there was one on Irving Park, maybe a mile or so west of Milwaukee/Cicero.
  • Post #6 - March 31st, 2005, 8:10 pm
    Post #6 - March 31st, 2005, 8:10 pm Post #6 - March 31st, 2005, 8:10 pm
    On the south side there is a place on Kedzie a few blocks north of 63rd (west side of the street) that is pretty good. Nice little building, all carry out through a little window (at least the times I've been there, all in the evening). Describing what makes one soft serve ice cream better than another is tough for me. I certainly don't want to proclaim this place the best in Chicago but at the same time I woudn't be surprised if somebody else did, nor would I argue. It's good. I would definitely say it's better than the soft serve place in Bridgeport (that being the only other independent place I can think of right now).
  • Post #7 - March 31st, 2005, 9:59 pm
    Post #7 - March 31st, 2005, 9:59 pm Post #7 - March 31st, 2005, 9:59 pm
    I have to disagree with Ed about the ambience, or lack thereof, at the Hole-in-the-Wall. First, you have to love the name, which goes fine with the size, maybe five by six feet inside, so that the line nearly always is out the door and down the street. The pink walls help too, and the new illuminated custard cone is really compelling as you come off the L in the evening.


    There's also a time-warp Tastee Freeze in Berywn
    6621 26th St


    p.s. edited because I got nervous that both Ed and I were misspelling "ambience" when it should be "ambiance" (as in the OP). Turns out that apparently either is fine. Who knew?
    Last edited by Ann Fisher on March 31st, 2005, 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #8 - March 31st, 2005, 10:57 pm
    Post #8 - March 31st, 2005, 10:57 pm Post #8 - March 31st, 2005, 10:57 pm
    The DQ of which Bob speaks is about 1 1/2 blocks west of Central Ave. on Irving Park Rd. in the neighborhood of Portage Park. Its claim to fame: actress Bonnie Hunt worked there as a teenager. Haven't tried the soft serve there, so can't vouch for the taste or atmosphere. It's near the Moulin Rouge cafe, which, despite the name, is Polish. Go figure. The local community is doing a lot to restore Portage Park proper to its prime--one of my grade school memories is when Mark Spitz aced his tryouts for the 1976(?) Olympics in Portage Park's Olympic size pool. Anna
  • Post #9 - April 1st, 2005, 12:22 am
    Post #9 - April 1st, 2005, 12:22 am Post #9 - April 1st, 2005, 12:22 am
    You'll find a couple of more Dairy Queens-

    one in Park Ridge on Devon at Cumberland

    -another in Rosemont in the Aldi strip center at Irving Park and River Road

    And don't forget Scooters on Belmont- a wonderful place for soft creamy custard.

    Our summer will be a bit different in lakeview this year. The sometimes excellent, always creative Ice Dreams closed after its second season. One of the other local places, Sugar Buzz on Broadway always amazes me at its emptiness and the fact that, somehow, it remains open.

    I guess there's always one of the three new Coldstone's (which I honestly kinda like)in the 'hood.
  • Post #10 - April 1st, 2005, 11:11 am
    Post #10 - April 1st, 2005, 11:11 am Post #10 - April 1st, 2005, 11:11 am
    I remember hearing that Sweetie's, near the Metro, changed hands... is it still serving ice cream?
  • Post #11 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:06 am
    Post #11 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:06 am Post #11 - April 2nd, 2005, 9:06 am
    Geli,

    I'd suggest, along with Will, Scooter's which serves Wisconsin style custard, which is slightly different than DQ style soft serve though darned if I know exactly how. Either way, Scooter's is a nice, clean, friendly place that you would enjoy.

    Scooter's styled their custard after Kopp's a, justifiably, popular custard stand in Milwaukee. The main difference, which is not insubstantial, Scooter's is 10% butter fat, Kopp's 14%. I prefer Kopp's, my doctor Scooter's. :wink: Actually, unless you compared them side by side the difference would not be noticeable to most.

    There is Dairy Star in the 3400 block of Devon, which puts it just over the Chicago border into Lincolnwood. I'm guessing at one point Dairy Star was Dairy Queen, looks exactly like Dairy Queen, and serves soft serve ice cream.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Scooter's
    1658 W Belmont Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60657
    773-244-6415
    http://www.scootersfrozencustard.com/

    Kopp's

    Dairy Star of Lincolnwood
    (847) 679-3472
    3472 W Devon Ave
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - April 2nd, 2005, 2:37 pm
    Post #12 - April 2nd, 2005, 2:37 pm Post #12 - April 2nd, 2005, 2:37 pm
    I'm a big fan of Scooters. I'm originally from St. Louis, and while I still miss Ted Drewes frozen custard, at least I don't miss it with such an ache in my heart. Mmmm...Ted Drewes...mmm....

    Strangely, despite my love for frozen custard, I have never been a big fan of the concrete. I can't seem to break away from my usual order: vanilla custard sundae with hot fudge and strawberries. Something about the silky texture of the unadulterated custard, draped with warm, rich chocolate and juicy sweet strawberries. Argh. I am at work only blocks away from Scooters. Why must I torture myself this way???

    And thanks to all for the soft serve info--I think I need to spend a day going from place to place to do a taste test. All in the name of culinary science, of course.
  • Post #13 - June 16th, 2005, 12:01 pm
    Post #13 - June 16th, 2005, 12:01 pm Post #13 - June 16th, 2005, 12:01 pm
    that is if it's still open:

    MIAMI FLAVORS
    2504 W DIVISION ST
    CHICAGO, IL 60622
    (773) 227-2337

    it's heaven !!

    homemade mango ice cream
    amongst many others..
  • Post #14 - June 16th, 2005, 12:11 pm
    Post #14 - June 16th, 2005, 12:11 pm Post #14 - June 16th, 2005, 12:11 pm
    I think Dairy Queen just opened on Southport near Addison.

    As for Miami Flavors...where did it go??? The shop has had the For Rent sign up for months. At first there were rumors that he was just changing locations, but I have not heard anything in a long while.
  • Post #15 - June 16th, 2005, 1:48 pm
    Post #15 - June 16th, 2005, 1:48 pm Post #15 - June 16th, 2005, 1:48 pm
    DQ, Grace & Southport. Open about a month, going bananas.

    Miami Flavors, RIP. I hope it returns.
  • Post #16 - June 17th, 2005, 10:04 pm
    Post #16 - June 17th, 2005, 10:04 pm Post #16 - June 17th, 2005, 10:04 pm
    Well, there's Toots, which has great ambiance, though few would call its offerings "quality" (nr706 notwithstanding). They do offer rather unusual soft-serve flavors, though, including the signature flamingo cone, and some odd striped concoctions.

    I've been told that Gary Poppins in Evanston offers frozen custard, but I haven't been there and their Web site offers no confirmation of it.

    But frankly, if you're willing to drive, your best bests nearby are Culver's (a chain, but decent custard) in various 'burbs or Julie Ann's in Crystal Lake. I do recommend making the pilgrimage to Kopp's in Milwaukee, though. As far as I'm concerned, they set the standard by which all other frozen custards are measured.
  • Post #17 - June 7th, 2016, 11:51 am
    Post #17 - June 7th, 2016, 11:51 am Post #17 - June 7th, 2016, 11:51 am
    Dairy Queen plans to open 30 to 35 more stores in the Chicago area within the next five years, with room for up to 50, targeting primarily locations in the city and suburban Lake and Cook counties.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... estaurants
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #18 - June 7th, 2016, 5:00 pm
    Post #18 - June 7th, 2016, 5:00 pm Post #18 - June 7th, 2016, 5:00 pm
    Almost an eleven-year bump! Bravo!
  • Post #19 - June 8th, 2016, 11:28 am
    Post #19 - June 8th, 2016, 11:28 am Post #19 - June 8th, 2016, 11:28 am
    nsxtasy wrote:Almost an eleven-year bump! Bravo!

    Are you offering to buy me a chocolate dipped cone? 8)
    "Sandwiches are wonderful. You don't need a spoon or a plate!"
    Paul Lynde
  • Post #20 - June 10th, 2016, 7:23 pm
    Post #20 - June 10th, 2016, 7:23 pm Post #20 - June 10th, 2016, 7:23 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:Almost an eleven-year bump! Bravo!

    Are you offering to buy me a chocolate dipped cone? 8)


    I'd hold out for a Buster Bar. :wink:
  • Post #21 - June 10th, 2016, 10:38 pm
    Post #21 - June 10th, 2016, 10:38 pm Post #21 - June 10th, 2016, 10:38 pm
    You know how old I am? I remember making Buster bars and Dilly bars at the DQ where I worked. Now they're shipped from DQ central. Aaah, the good old days.
  • Post #22 - June 11th, 2016, 4:04 pm
    Post #22 - June 11th, 2016, 4:04 pm Post #22 - June 11th, 2016, 4:04 pm
    I've been going to Polar Bear in North Riverside for over 50 years.

    Frozen custard is terrific - I realize places typically use a commercial mix (I once stopped for a "custard" in Delaware; it was unnaturally white and didn't melt; could have been spackle....) Whatever they use at Polar Bear is pretty dang tasty.

    Vanilla, chocolate, vanilla-chocolate twist, dipped cones, sundaes, shakes, malts, boston shakes, floats, flurries, funnel cakes, frozen bananas, hot menu items - good handcut fries -- couple of picnic benches in the parking lot for seating.

    Check it out --


    POLAR BEAR
    7901 W Cermak Rd, North Riverside, IL 60546
    708 - 442-8048

    Hours:
    Saturday 11AM–10:30PM
    Sunday 11AM–10PM
    Monday 11AM–10PM
    Tuesday 11AM–10PM
    Wednesday 11AM–10PM
    Thursday 11AM–10PM
    Friday 11AM–10:30PM
  • Post #23 - January 29th, 2018, 10:54 pm
    Post #23 - January 29th, 2018, 10:54 pm Post #23 - January 29th, 2018, 10:54 pm
    It's been a while since I've visited LTHForum, but at a board meeting a question came up recently that I think this group is uniquely qualified to answer:

    Does anyone know of a soft-serve ice cream food truck (a la Mr. Softee) operating locally, especially in the northern suburbs? I'm planning a block-party style event in Highland Park for this May, and it would be a meaningful gesture to one of the attendees if I could find a soft-serve ice cream option.
  • Post #24 - January 30th, 2018, 10:13 am
    Post #24 - January 30th, 2018, 10:13 am Post #24 - January 30th, 2018, 10:13 am
    2 Sisters Custard in Midlothian is awesome. Not sure if they have a truck, but, I know they do smaller festivals. So maybe. Their custard machine is from Leon's

    4734 W. 147th Street Midlothian, IL 60445
    708-385-0574

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