Cafe Reviews

Cold Comfort: Meet This Summer's Frozen Four

Summertime temps are lingering, and let's face it: Around here, there's no end in sight. The fast-food world feels our desire to chill, and has offered up some new and limited-time frozen fare to cash in on our need to beat-the-heat eatings.

Are these new cold concoctions worth getting fired up about? Fry Girl's gonna find out.

Arby's Strawberry Banana Split Shake: A banana split through a straw? Sounds like an awesome idea for a shake, right? Too bad Arby's didn't pull it off. With a frozen chocolate swirl pre-applied and stubbornly stuck to the sides of the cup and a few red bitters posing as strawberry topping atop barely-there banana and strawberry-flavored ice cream, the result is a sub-par strawberry shake, three bucks missing from your wallet, and one big disappointment.

Carl's Jr. Banana Chocolate Chip Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shake: Move it along folks, nothin' to see here. With a medicinal-tasting banana cream syrup pumped over ice cream and tasteless chocolate flakes, this shake isn't even trying — and with 28 grams of saturated fat, that's one heavy dose of apathy. It'd be more exciting as the stuff of urban legend — "I ordered this weird tasting shake at Carl's Jr. and woke up slingin' burgers in another country!"

Sonic's Campfire Blast: Close, but no marshmallow. Sonic's idea of an ice cream treat to remind us of s'mores gone by is a solid one. And while the toasted graham cracker flavored ice cream could have been more flavorful, the other key component, the chocolate covered marshmallows, taste like remnants of Halloween fare circa 2002. Like that counselor crush, this campfire memory is best left to smolder.

Dairy Queen's Mini Blizzard: A Blizzard eats like a crazy-good yet fat-filled frozen meal. Thankfully, DQ has recently made consuming one easier and less a guilty pleasure by introducing the Mini Blizzard. Roughly half the size of the 12-ounce small size, it serves up DQ's monthly favorites at a size other peddlers of ice cold fare would do well to take notice of. The catch? The cash. At almost three bucks, it's easy to see where paying a little extra for a lot more would rule over a moral sense of excess.

The cool solution?

If you've got the conscience and the cash, go for the Dairy Queen Mini Blizzard. If not, stick with your current frozen favorites and wait for another batch of try-again treats next summer.

E-mail [email protected].

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld