The invention of the electric blender back in 1922 made the very first milkshake possible, originally served in simple flavors like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. These days, a simple, one-flavor milkshake doesn't always do the job: local restaurants are serving monster milkshakes that often require a full set of silverware to take down.
Main Street Creamery
Rob Kiser had a motto in mind for his ice cream shop, Main Street Creamery, before it opened in downtown Washington, Missouri: “Do it big and do it good.” This mission is reflected in the epic shakes that populate the Main Street Creamery menu: 16-ounce Mason jars are lined with icing and piled with four to five scoops of ice cream and other goodies, and there’s usually a towering garnish – a slice of Key lime pie, a piece of cheesecake or a handful of ganache-covered Oreos. Guests can choose from 10 specialty shakes, or design their own masterpiece, but Kiser and his team have some pretty good ideas about what will make people happy. The Unicorn is especially popular with kids: Cake ice cream is packed into a jar and topped with a housemade sugar cone, then showered with Sour Patch Kids rainbow-colored candy. Chocolate fans will go for the Ship-Faced, with Pirate’s Bounty ice cream (M&M's and Oreo cookie chunks in caramel ice cream), a huge double-chocolate chunk cookie, marshmallow cream and chocolate syrup.
Main Street Creamery, 110 W. Main St., Washington, Missouri, 636.900.9004, facebook.com/mainstreetmilkshake
The premise of Dallas Holland’s St. Louis ice-cream shop Beyond Sweet is simple. “We concentrate on everything being big and beyond,” she says. Case in point: Beyond Sweet’s New Yorker, a 16-ounce vanilla shake stuffed with cheesecake pieces and fresh strawberries, topped with a whole slice of cheesecake and more strawberries. Holland got the idea for her dramatic dessert shakes from Black Tap in New York City, which serves similar stacked shakes. Holland credits her sister, Camille McClinton, for the indulgent flavor combinations at Beyond Sweet, including the Chocoholic, with chocolate ice cream, brownies, chocolate donuts, chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles and chocolate drizzle. “We're heavy-handed; nothing is measured,” Holland says proudly. “We don't count calories. If it's a Happy Birthday Shake, we put a thousand sprinkles in it – the more sprinkles, the more fun.”
Beyond Sweet, 5901 Delmar Blvd., West End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.899.5052, facebook.com/beyondsweettm
Shakes get a special spotlight on the menu at Topeka's The Pennant, where executive chef Pedro Concepcion has designed recipes for signature alcoholic and non-alcoholic treats. "We had to make The Pennant a destination spot – something Topeka doesn't see that often," Concepcion says. For example, the Jelly Doughnut shake features six doughnut holes, a housemade berry jam, strawberry ice cream and strawberry vodka. In the Nutty Buddy, Concepcion blends vanilla ice cream, peanut butter and cinnamon, then tops the whole thing with whipped cream, Nutty Buddy bars and praline popcorn from Topeka's Cashmere Gourmet Popcorn. The gargantuan shakes have been so popular that Concepcion has been inspired to create even wilder flavors: "Right now, we're working on a chicken and waffle milkshake with waffle pieces, a fried chicken nugget, maple syrup, cinnamon ice cream and candied bacon.”
The Pennant, 915 S. Kansas Ave, Topeka, Kansas, 785.286.6808, thepennanttopeka.com