Dairy Queen Grill & Chill – Colonie, NY
When I was a kid, we had a DQ near our house in Middletown, NY. We didn’t go often, but maybe a couple of times a year, we’d go for Blizzards. I remember loading those things full of chocolate candy bars that always managed to sink to the bottom. And I always got the biggest size they had.
They opened a new place kind of between home and work called “Dairy Queen Grill & Chill”, and, naturally, the nostalgic part of me wanted to get a Blizzard, since it’s been a good 20 years since I’ve had one.
The restaurant is a far cry from what I remember. Everything from the logos on the walls to the menu are flashy and modern and there are an overwhelming amount of options. That day, I opted to try a burger for lunch and some deep fried cheese curds, which came highly recommended by a co-worker from the mid-west who wouldn’t stop talking about them. Actually, the joke at work became, “come to lunch with us; we’re going to order Blizzards topped with fried cheese curds with a hollowed out hot dog straw.”
As far fetched as that sounds, it’s something a “Secret menu” master can totally create there.
So about $15 later (because I had to also indulge in a Blizzard), I walked out of Dairy Queen Grill & Chill.
Let’s start with the fried cheese curds.
If there’s any savory item on the menu that I recommend, it’s these. They’re basically non-uniform nuggets of fried mozzarella/cheddar, and that’s pretty much as salty and fatty as a treat that you can get. The “marninara sauce” they give with these is disgusting. It looked no different than Burger King Sweet and Sour Sauce, and tasted gross. Oh, and the first ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup. I didn’t even know you can make marinara with that…
I got the Flamethrower burger, but it didn’t matter. All I really tasted was the bun, and the burger itself was like an overcooked puck you’d get at a BBQ when the person running the BBQ buys those frozen
“beef patties.” I hadn’t realized that I ordered a version that came with two patties. I had a hard time finishing that. The fries were fine, but the container they come in was a joke that touted “Yay, DQ Fries, 0 Grams Trans Fat” like that means anything.
While I was working on all that stuff, one of the runners was walking around with my Blizzard upside down. And when I put my hand out to take it from him, he proceeded to turn it back right-side-up and flip it upside down in front of my face. That’s like a schtick there, because they were doing that with every Blizzard I saw delivered to a table.
I ordered the smallest Blizzard I could. It was plenty after all that other junk. Actually, one thing that I noticed was that each Blizzard was explicitly branded on the menu, rather than allowing you to dump whatever you want in. There was a Reese’s, an M&Ms, Heath, etc, and there were a couple of special combinations, which I guess rotate from month to month. If you want to do like the old school and dump whatever you want in, the charges add up quickly.
What I received was their nondescript vanilla ice cream with Reese’s cups and extra peanut butter mixed in. They’ve advanced their blending technology to make sure there is enough of the mix-ins at the top of the dessert as at the bottom. And they’ve also engineered their ice cream to allow for the flipping routine despite being whipped to oblivion.
Aside from the fairly poor savory food, I definitely felt that bit of nostalgia I went for when I ate the Blizzard. But, I’ll probably stick to cheese curds and Blizzards if I ever have a hankering for DQ again.