Dairy Queen serves hamburgers, hot dogs, various dairy desserts, and other beverages; approximately 410 Orange Julius. stores in the United States, Canada and other foreign countries are now featuring blended drinks made from orange juice, fruits, and … see full wiki
Pros: The whirlwind of memories, and the lemon-lime "Mister Misty" float
Cons: The mall-ization of the Dairy Queen threatens our cultural heritage!
I am amazed by the number of "Dairy Queen" reviews that make reference to the nostalgia draw of the DQ, amazed more still by the number that seem to find that as the sole merit. I am now starting to wonder how many people feel their childhoods would have been different without the neighbourhood Dairy Queen, and have to congratulate a company that inspires that many memories.
Still, this all begs the question of what relevance DQ has in 2000, but we'll deal with that after we get my own nostalgia out of the way.
It has the distinction of being the place I most wanted to go while being tended to by Uncle Mennie during the birth of the second-youngest Mennie. The disturbing part of that is that the most clear memory I have of that day involves the great amazement I took in being able to polish off an entire large cone without spilling a single drop of melted soft-serve (Ottawa summers are hot, okay?) rather than the birth of my sister. It meant more exciting things, like the idea that entire banana splits were well within reach...
...of course, ten years later I was spilling banana splits all over my one and only teen-age boyfriend's car.
I don't know why it's so drippy, but I do like DQ's unique brand of soft-serve. I am a bit put off by chocolate and prefer a butterscotch dip if one is to be had at all, and was horrified to find out not too long ago that there is a red version of the (mysterious, miraculous; the dip undoubtedly accounts for a lot of children's DQ fascination and later fond memories) dip. What is it? I'm told it's been around for a while; I suppose it never hit Canada, a strange land where the DQs shut down for the winter but involve Disneyland-esque lines in the summer.
In my highly unique little world, DQ only serves a limited number of Frosty Treats:
* the aforementioned Cone * banana splits (fruit flavours special-ordered; no chocolate) * "Mister Misty" "floats" in lemon-lime flavour
Finally, in rare instances, they will also dish out fries, an okay crinkly variety best enjoyed with too much ketchup; you know the type.
You can imagine my complete horror some time back when I went off to find a Mister Misty lemon-lime float at the only nearby DQ and found no Mister Misty floats; just a few old standards and a lot of irritating marketing tie-ins: co-branded treats! Brand-name candy bars trying to usurp classic Dairy Queen artificialicious flavours! Ugh.
The weird part of this story is that after a half-hour-plus build-up to the DQ idea, my friend and I stood in shock looking at the pathetic little mall food court DQ and eventually left empty-handed. We couldn't handle the newness, and went off thinking the DQ of my sister's birth (and other less momentous occasions) was settled on the shelf with all-wood Tinkertoys and other legacies that won't be passed on to the next generation.
A surreal visit to small-town Arizona shocked us back to childhood: we found a full-scale Dairy Queen of the "Brazier" variety (the ones with the crinkly fries, et al) and went back to some other era: it was a Friday night, and the place was actually swarming with teen-agers on dates and kids in their pyjamas. The decor was fake wood panelling with DQ posters sloppily taped on, and I don't think it employed anybody over the age of fifteen. I am no longer a fan of ice cream, but it was a blissful Mister Misty.
So this whole thing, crossed with the various nostalgia-themed Epinions, left me sitting around contemplating the modern-day Dairy Queen, and I've come to the very sad conclusion that it doesn't exist. The multiple charms of the DQ -- the somewhat eclectic menu of reliably tasty bad-for-you foodstuffs, the massive summer crowding, the children in pyjamas and teen-agers on dates -- are all valuable parts of the shaky heritage the North American shares. A mall food court selling overpriced slurries is just not where somebody is going to desperately want their uncle (or boyfriend, later on) to take them.
Let us have a moment of silence, then, and renew our vows to seek out and patronize the remaining "old" Dairy Queens. Shun the new DQ, for it will not serve your children as it served you!
Side note: I am leaving the "I wish I could eat here" option blank, because it does not have an option for "in 1981." My uncle is no longer alive, and my sister and old boyfriend are about 3 000 miles away, which shouldn't affect a restaurant review -- but somehow made this one slightly hard to write.