PSA: The Salted Caramel Pretzel Milkshake
from Steak 'N Shake is the best mass-produced milkshake ever. Yes, better than the Shamrock Shake. Go get one if/while you can.
Anyway, Steak 'N Shake also offers a Red Velvet Milkshake
at present. Now, I have started to turn a jaundiced and skeptical eye at anything calling itself "red velvet," as most current velvet-merchants seem to not understand what the hell the original concept was anyway.
Red Velvet Cake: a rich, moist, cake lightly flavored with cocoa
(so it kinda tastes like chocolate
) and colored with red food coloring. The original coloring came about because buttermilk interacted with cocoa and tinted the cake kinda reddish. And then you top it with indulgent cream cheese frosting or a cooked roux frosting if you want to be hardcore[*]. There's a clash of textures and the whole thing isn't sickeningly sweet. Half the red-dyed shit on the market now tastes not of cocoa, or buttermilk, or the delightful tang of cream cheese, and then you get the homogenous glop of "red velvet cake pops" or red velvet eggnog or whatever else has cake crumbs and food coloring dumped into a sea of sugar.
I think the worst product I've encountered to date was this
. It's solid nuggets of white "cupcake dough" coated in red wax. What the hell. They obviously know what a red velvet cupcake is, or at least their marketing department does, but these candy bites in no way approximate the real thing and aren't even trying to be. I threw a half-eaten box of these away and I don't throw food out unless it's actually spoiled or toxic. Anyway, by the time Steak 'N Shake brought their own red-velvety offering out, I was pretty skeptical, but Steak 'N Shake is an awesome chain and overall I trusted them. I was expecting something that did have the cream cheese bite and the richness of the cake crumbs. I mean, cookies 'n' cream works as a milkshake, so why not?
Well, I'm not sure what went wrong here, but the milkshake is pretty terrible. Yes, it contains cake crumbs and there are little globules of frosting in the mix. The description is perfectly honest. But it's not good. Maybe if they'd started with a cheesecake base for the ice cream and then put in the cake crumbs it would've been better. As it is, it's... pink. It tastes red
. Not the horrible bitter red of red-hued frosting, but it tastes RED. I think if you offered it to someone and claimed it was strawberry they might be fooled. And then they might punch you, or at least that's what my most excellent spouse says.
My husband and I between us could only drink half this thing. Like I said, we don't throw away food
, but this weird, weird milkshake simply defeated us. As ice cream concoctions go, it was almost on par with the durian-fruit ice cream I sampled once in San Francisco's Chinatown. DURIAN FRUIT
. Yeah, that
Try it if you dare, but the salted caramel pretzel one is a million times better.
* Not worth it IMO.