Dairy Queen

By Caryl Clem

Hot summer days or nights call for a trip to Dairy Queen for the famous “concrete” served flipping bottoms side up to prove thickness. A tradition started when a customer kept challenging Ted Drewers to make his shakes thicker.  In 1959, Ted tipped the container upside down to prove the ultimate thickness had been reached. Some places will not charge for these if this trick is forgotten. When an Oreo cookie was crushed into a Blizzard in 1985, a legend was born. Sales climbed to over 175 million in the first year.  A farmer, J. F. McCullough and his son perfected the soft serve creation in 1938 now the largest seller of soft serve products worldwide.

In Kankakee, Sherb Noble, owner of a small ice cream shop agreed to execute a sample run of their product to gauge popularity. On a steamy August afternoon the ploy, “All You can eat for 10 cents “brought so many eager customers storming into the small shop, Noble was afraid of crowd damage. After surviving the 1,600 customers, Noble made plans to sell this new product.  Later a freezer was found made by Harry Otis that poured the soft serve treat efficiently.  J.f. McCullough has been quoted for saying, “the cow is the queen of the dairy business.” thus the name “Dairy Queen”.  In 1940, Noble opened the first Dairy Queen store in Joliet.

The first logo for Dairy Queen was a Dutch girl with pigtails.  Next logo, Dennis the Menace reigned for over 20 years until he was considered outdated to be retired in 2002.  The most important feature, the menu. This year the Dreamsicle Dipped Cone came back on the 2021 Spring menu, 3 new shake flavors, Choco Hazelnut Chip Shake, Mint Chip Shake, Raspberry Chip shake, Tropical Lemonade Twisty Misty Slush  (mango, lemon lime and lemonade) plus they reinvented the  1955 Dilly Bar  option that is gluten and dairy free. An array of soft serve favorites and (charcoal grilled food by Brazier’s at many locations will satisfy hunger and your sweet tooth.

Summertime food good for you and others because Dairy Queen’s charitable work is  done through International Dairy Queen Corporation which donates to Children’s Miracle Network. In the over 5,000 stores there are franchises that are independent. I am ready to try the new Tropical Lemonade Twisty Misty Slushy.

Green river and chocolate phosphates

There was a diner we would stop at after our excursion to the Oaklawn Roller Rink. They still served Green River soda and my girlfriend and I had to have one.  The flavor was better than having a Coke or Pepsi. According to John Fogarty, the Green River song was inspired by the soft drink.

According to Wikipedia, Green River soda was first introduced in 1919, by the Schoenhofen Edelweiss Brewing Company of Chicago. Prior to 1920, the brewery produced the popular Edelweiss beer. Schoenhofen began manufacturing Green River and other soft drinks in order to survive the Prohibition Era. It was also made by the Sweetwater Brewery in Green River, Wyoming.

It was popular as a soda fountain syrup, trailing only Coca-Cola in popularity throughout the Midwest. After Prohibition ended in 1933, the Schoenhofen Brewery continued to manufacture Green River, while resuming the production of alcoholic beverages. The Brewery closed in 1950.The brewery district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 27, 1978 and the Administration Building and Powerhouse were later designated Chicago Landmarks on July 13, 1988 located in the Pilsen neighborhood

The Green River brand continued to be produced by other manufacturers after the closing of Schoenhofen Edelweiss. Green River’s current manufacturer, WIT Beverage Company, acquired the brand in 2011. You can buy Green River at Walmart, Binneys, or even buy online at Amazon. Contact GreenRiver.com and connect with their Facebook or Twitter page.

I first tasted a Chocolate phosphate at Markons restaurant, located on Jeffrey Ave in Chicago, in the 1960’s. Markons was a great place to go for lunch since my junior high was located down the street or after a  swim at the Jewish Community’s center pool during the summer, right next door.

The phosphate has been around a long time.  The Wild Cherry Phosphate, among children,  was the most popular during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. A good chocolate phosphate starts with good chocolate, or better yet, cocoa powder, soda water and acid phosphate.

Margies Candies on Montrose still offers phosphates. Lindy’s Chili & Gertie’s Ice Cream offers all flavors; Chocolate, Cherry, Vanilla, and Green River included. Lindy’s Chili and Gerties has several locations in the Chicagoland area including Morris and Countryside. The Big Top Restaurant in Norwood offers a great vanilla phosphate.