Apparently, yesterday was dagger night out in downtown Oak Park, IL, a wonderful western suburb of Chicago, known as Ernest Hemingway’s hometown and for its Frank Lloyd Wright homes. I wasn’t there, however, to trace literary ancestors or look at architecture; I was there for ice cream. And nothing screams suburban more than a nice little overpriced ice cream chain. Yes, Coldstone Creamery.
I’ll admit, I’m a Dairy Queen kind of girl. Nothing assuages my ice cream jones better than some soft serv from the 'Q. My order of a chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard sans chocolate syrup hasn’t changed in years. Since there was no Dairy Queen within decent driving distance, I had to settle. Besides, the company I keep doesn’t share the same enthusiasm I have for DQ. Plus, since I can be sort of demanding when it comes to my palate’s desires, I decided to employ a rule or two I learned back in kindergarten and let someone else choose.
Technically, this was my third time to Coldstone Creamery, but my first time actually attempting to figure out what all the fuss was about. On my prior two visits, I’d settled for the most basic milkshake on the menu. This time, I chose a flavor and a topping.
First, like a fellow yelper I read the other day, I resent when places compel you to order in sizes other than small, medium, and large. I don’t think it’s cute; I find it obnoxious and stupid. Further, I don’t appreciate it when employees attempt to “correct” me. (“Listen, asshole, I know what the board says. I can read. I want a SMALL iced chai. And for the record, calling something a ‘chai tea’ is redundant. Now shut that ‘tall’ shit down and give me my over-priced beverage.”) I will confess that upon sampling the cake batter flavor, I agreed that CC had in fact found a way to replicate cake batter taste in ice cream form. Despite being impressed, I just settled for a SMALL sweet cream with oreos.
Second, I am skeptical about the consistency of the product here. Frankly, I don’t appreciate folk I don’t know—official-uniform or no—fondling my ice cream. I don’t care if one can logically explain how the employees can perform this feat without turning helado into a milky, dairy mess. I do not like it one bit. Just plop my scoop on a cone and keep it moving.
Third, I can’t believe I paid this much for what I just witnessed. Given the way the thing tasted, surely the extra coinage was merely for the show. Four dollars to watch someone scoop ice cream onto a counter and beat an Oreo into submission? I stood there, arms crossed, unimpressed and could only think of random Barack Obama and integration jokes suitable—but having different meanings, mind you—for Value Voters and cynical, satirical Negroes such as myself. Satire in the wrong hands isn't satire. But I digress.
I am not a fan of Coldstone Creamery. As far as ice cream goes, I suppose a lil DQ soft serv will suffice for an Indiana black girl like me. Now that little spot in the Paris Hotel? The ice cream there is worth a plane ticket to Vegas alone. Trust me. I’ve had lots of ice cream. That makes me an expert.
4 weeks ago