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Ice Cream Summer: Dairy Queen

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Forgive us, readers, for we have sinned. It's been sometime since we last ventured forth to try new ice cream in LA. And we know that it's not right to try to pass the buck and put the blame elsewhere, but we're just an ice cream lover without wheels to take us too far afield from our commuter's radius, and with a lot of deadlines that are eating up our eating ice cream time. Our biggest sin, however, was to sneak down the block to our neighborhood Dairy Queen. The outing was brought on by equal parts nostalgia and craving; we'd seen some eye-catching advertising proclaiming the arrival of a Key Lime flavored Blizzard treat, and it seemed ideal as a salve to soothe our harried soul. But--oh! How wrong we were...

We've been longtime fans of the DQ. It goes back to our childhood in a far-away place, where just the words "Peanut Buster Parfait" sparked promise and happiness. (Now those same words pretty much make our gut wrench in pain, but that's besides the point.) We were stoked a few years back when Dairy Queen set up shop in the LA area, and we hit up the local franchise a few (too many) times over the years since. But it had been awhile, and it seemed like a good idea. When we got there we noticed that the Key Lime was nowhere in sight--it had been replaced by the Double Fudge Cookie Dough flavor of the month. Might have something to do with the Blizzard's 20th Birthday, which is apparently this year. Goodness, we're old! We remember the Blizzard's debut. But that was then. Oh well. Anyhow, we were about to order when we realized the sour-faced and shuffling-footed clerk had mumbled her curt hello and had disappeared. We waited. And waited. A short line formed behind us, and the clerk emerged again, and we opened our mouth to order...

...but she had opted to take the order of the last guy to come in. Well! We felt compelled to cut in. "Ahem. Excuse me?" We ordered, and somehow the sour-faced clerk's face became more sour. She whipped up our Blizzard, snatched the money from our hand, and passed us our already melting and over-priced ice cream with a sneer. We took a bite of the sticky sweet concoction. Is it possible that our tastebuds could have changed so radically since our younger years? How could we ingest all this ice cream? Why didn't we just get a plain old dipped cone? And why is this stuff so darn expensive?

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But these questions can't really be answered, can they? Dairy Queen is what it is: Sweet, artificial, oozing, soft serve gussied up with bits and bites of all sorts of things. A Blizzard tastes good for a few bites, and then it's just too much. We're also wagering that it may have tasted better had it been served with even the glimmer of a smile, and not the nasty, rude, surly, morose manner we endured. And as nostalgic as we are, well...Dairy Queen's ranking in at the bottom. Clearly we're going to have to counteract this episode with some higher-quality ice cream tasting.

Current Ice Cream Summer rankings:

7. Dairy Queen
6. Lickity Split
5. Coldstone Creamery
4. Tropical Zone@ Grand Central Market
3. Bennett's Ice Cream @ The Farmer's Market
2. Fosselman's
1. Mashti Malone's

There are about 10 Dairy Queen locations in the LA area. We went to 5166-D Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood (818) 760-0526. The photo was rather shamelessly swiped from the official Blizzard Fan club site, of which we are not a member.