Usually when J and I discuss dinner plans, she doesn’t say anything that catches me off guard. When I asked her what she wanted tonight, she answered “ice cream!” OK, I like ice cream, but I haven’t actually wanted ice cream for dinner in twenty years. I compromised…sorta. Since we eventually decided to get a pizza from Marcos for dinner, I suggested we just pick it up then go to DQ and grab something for dessert.
I grew up with Dairy Queen. Soft serve ice cream was actually invented in Kankakee, IL about twenty minutes from where my parents live. The technology was then sold to two guys who opened the first Dairy Queen store in Joliet, IL where I went to college, so there’s always been a Dairy Queen close. Just to give you an idea of how small of a town I grew up, the Dairy Queen near the Interstate was the only “fast food” restaurant within 20 miles, so we ate there often as kids. They had the best crappy burgers and most of my friends had jobs there. My mom even worked there part time after my brother and I were both old enough to go to school. The saddest thing that happened to my town was when the DQ closed and moved five miles north to the next town over. We couldn’t ride our bikes to get Blizzards anymore (good thing I had just turned 16 and got my license).
There are only two DQ in the City of Lansing. There’s a DQ/Orange Julius at the Lansing Mall and there’s the ice cream stand on South Cedar Street. The DQ’s I grew up with are now called Brazzier’s and they have a full menu. The South Lansing location is a seasonal store that only sells DQ’s famous and often imitated soft serve ice cream.
We were both in the market for Blizzards. Normally, we’d both get Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, but we both went with something different. I got a medium chocolate chip cookie dough and J got a medium Snickers. By the time we paid the six bucks, our Blizzards were being passed through the window. They came up awfully quick and since they were supposed to be dessert, we headed back to the car. There are no tables or any place to eat anyway, but we did see a few people sitting in their cars enjoying their snacks.
They were supposed to be dessert, but I had mine finished by the time we reached Jolly Road. I remember when DQ introduced the Blizzard and I’ve been hooked ever since. The top half of mine was delicious. Chocolate chip cookie dough was always my number two flavor. The bottom half wasn’t mixed though. All I got was vanilla ice cream. I thought they came up pretty fast.
The first thing J said was she had been spoiled by Dairy Dan. When we get Flurries from them, they put whip cream and a cherry on top. No such luck at DQ. You just get your ice cream. Unlike me, she was good and saved most of hers for after dinner. She said she didn’t remember ever having a Snickers Blizzard before, but she really liked it.
I’m torn. On one hand, I like supporting the local businesses and really like what they do with their flurries. On the other, I grew up on DQ. The local places tend to put more candy in theirs, but surprisingly, DQ was a little bit cheaper. When we’re in Lansing, I think it’s safe to say we’ll stick to the locals, but when I go home, I always know there’s a DQ close.