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Katie Davis

@PopCultureCuisine

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Concrete Memories

Thursday, April 15, 2010 @ 09:04 AM

Ted DrewesSpring has shown its pretty face; and when that happens, I began to crave certain items more than usual.  I know I’ve mentioned that it’s typically foods of the fresh variety that beckon me, but who are we kidding…warmer weather also makes me crave those frozen treats; and growing up in St. Louis, I was spoiled with a local frozen custard stand that just happens to be one of the most famous sweet tooth landmarks in the country…Ted Drewes

Located on the South Side of St. Louis, Ted Drewes has been serving its patrons fabulous frozen custard and Christmas trees for over 75 years.  Yes that’s right, I said custard AND Christmas trees!  First…the custard, which ain’t no regular ol’ soft serve.  For those of you who have not had the extreme pleasure, frozen custard is NOT ice cream.  Whereas ice cream is made from milk, custard is made with butterfat, and trust me…that fat makes all the rich, delicious difference.  It’s so good that I even will use a tiny spoon just so I can savor every last bite for as long as possible. :) 

As for the Christmas trees…they open up for the months around the winter holidays to provide a fun festive experience for their patrons…as well as the tree in case you need one.  In fact, I remember one year when my family actually purchased our tree from there.  We had a great time picking out the “perfect” tree and enjoying some custard.  What a Christmas combo! 

So, I figure that it’s no surprise that I hold Ted Drewes near and dear to my heart.  I have so many memories from my high school days of heading there to enjoy some custard and just hang out (we thought we were so cool).;)  It’s just one of those places that nostalgically hits home; and to this day my dad holds a very special place in his heart for their custard.  Definitely one of our favorites; and since moving away from The Lou (that’s what us natives call it ;), it has excited me when I would see Ted Drewes featured on TV.  I always get a bit giddy when it’s on a show, because I feel like they’re talking about one of my family members, or I’m this big insider on something that has been deemed “cool”…pun intended :)  Most recently, Ted’s was dubbed number 37 on Travel Channel’s “Chowdown Countdown.”  Additionally, it’s been featured on several programs on The Food Network (“Street Eats”) and The Travel Channel (briefly highlighted by Adam Richman on “Man vs. Food”).  Let’s just say…this place is famous! 

Ok…so enough about my nostalgia, and let’s get down to the yummy stuff.  If you’ve read the ‘About Me’ section of PCC, you’ve learned that I LOVE blizzards or the like.  Well, Ted Drewes has their own special concoction that puts them all to shame…the CONCRETE!  With a name like that, you know they must mean business; and what makes it so good is not just that they offer every topping imaginable, or the fact that it is perfectly blended, or even that you can choose chocolate or vanilla.  Rather, it is that when they hand it to you, they turn it upside down to show you just how thick it truly is…thick as concrete!

Concretepicture source: http://beinspireddaily.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/teddrews.jpg

 

That is some thick custard!  And, the name alone always made me laugh and I love how they tip it before they give it to you :)  What also makes the whole experience so fun is that Ted Drewes is literally just an outdoor ice cream (or custard) stand that you walk up to and order.  In other words…it’s old school.  So be prepared, once it start getting warm outside, people will line up at every window at least 20 or so deep.  That’s just how much people clamor for their custard, but it is always worth the wait. 

Now all this being said, I may have talked up Ted’s a bit too much for Adam.  2 years ago we had the chance to take a quick weekend trip to my beloved hometown.  In addition to some other famous St. Louis hot spots, I had told him Ted Drewes was a must stop.  Although excited to finally get the chance to try it, he was a bit skeptical, having had frozen custard before and was not sure that it would be anything that out of the ordinary (and he felt there was no way it would be better than his favorite home town “Flavor Freeze” ice cream stand…SHOUT OUT to all our Elkhart, IN peeps!).  However, willing to appease my wishes, and wanting to try another famous spot he had seen, we ventured there while we were in town.

417 Aww…doesn’t he look so cute!  We both ordered concretes, Adam got the Oreo and I got the “Special” which was pretzel bits, peanut butter and banana.  I must admit now I should have stuck with one of my standard flavors (like Oreo), because any time I try to be different or try something new I never like it as much.  In fact, I ended up switching with Adam cause I like his so much more, and it just so happened that he liked mine. :)  

Concrete 2picture source: http://www.roadfood.com/photos/7794.jpg

 

Well the verdict was this…Adam enjoyed it as a dessert, but was not overly impressed (it did not, in fact, measure up to his beloved “Flavor Freeze”).  As for me…do you even need to ask?  Still, as I mentioned, I was not particularly impressed with my order this time around; and although I enjoyed the Ted Drewes frozen custard experience, I must admit that after having it again after all these years, it was only just as good as other custard I’ve had since.  However, I chalk our less than stellar experience up to two things.  One, I had talked up Ted Drewes WAY too much.  I don’t think that it could have ever come close to meeting the lofty reputation I had set for it.  Two, I changed up my order and therefore it did not taste as good as I had remembered it.  I think the bottom line is that although this one time I did not enjoy it as much, it will always hold a special place in my heart; and as a “True Blue Girl from The Lou” ;), you will never hear me bad mouth it.  For me, it will always reign supreme! 

062

Therefore, although completely biased from the nostalgia of my youth and memories with friends and family…I give Ted Drewes 5 Little Piggies!  (Although Adam says 3 is more accurate :().

Katiepig-icon pig-iconpig-iconpig-iconpig-icon                        Adampig-iconpig-iconpig-icon

3 Responses to “Concrete Memories”

  1. AHH I live in STL so I was so excited to read this post 🙂 I’m a HUGE ted drewes fan but IVe done the same thing (change up my order and talk it up to others too much ha)…even so, it holds a special place in my heart. The Tedad’s Concrete is my fave (oatmeal butterscotch cookies mixed in there). WOW now I’m totally craving one, I haven’t been to Ted Drewe’s yet this Spring..I better fix that asap!

    thanks for featuring this! Love your blog and hope you return to STL and feature more restaurants sometime!

    • Katie says:

      Thank you so much! I know it really is such a fun spring/summer tradition and so yummy at that. We have some other St. Louis spots on the radar that we want to feature, so be on the lookout for those, as well as some other fun spots around the country! Thanks again for visiting, I so appreciate it!

  2. […] up eating it, it is probably the best you have ever had!  Just ask me and Adam our opinions of Ted Drewes…it holds a much higher regard for me having grown up there than it does him for […]

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