Everybody knows what a milk shake is, but not everybody’s idea is the same. Most of America sees the milk shake as a blend of ice cream, milk, and flavored syrup. But in Rhode Island, that combination of ingredients is known as a cabinet; and Yankees farther Downeast know it as a frappe or velvet. If you order a milk shake in Rhode Island, you get milk mixed with flavored syrup, but no ice cream. A classic milk shake, presented in the silver beaker in which it was mixed, is thin enough to be sucked up through a straw, but several variations are too thick for that. The “concrete,” an invention of Ted Drewes custard stand in St. Louis, is a milk shake that is so thick it is presented to the customer upside-down, demonstrating that it won’t even drip. A similar concoction, known as a Bittner after the customer who first requested it, is made at Taggart’s Ice Cream parlor in Canton, Ohio. A Bittner forgoes milk altogether. It is three-fourths of a pound of ice cream swirled with chocolate syrup and heaped with roasted pecans. The pie shake, a crazy invention of Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors, Minnesota, has gained popularity at soda fountains around the country. As its name suggests, it is all the ingredients of a milk shake plus a slice of pie all whirled together. Any kind of pie is available in any flavor shake, but connoisseurs tend to avoid fruit pies, which yield too grainy a texture. On the other hand, cream pies are an ideal addition. Whatever kind of pie is included, there is no doubt that it will clog the straw, making this a milk shake to be gulped or spooned.

Restaurants With This Dish

Cold Cookie Company - Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich with Birthday Cake Ice Cream, M&M's, and a peanut butter drizzle
Cold Cookie Company


Ted’s Hot Dogs


Bruxie Green Eggs and Ham


The exterior sign out in front of Mr. Gene's Dog House
Mr. Gene’s Dog House


Tony’s Burgers | Best Mile High Hamburgers in California


Charcoal Pit - Bacon Cheeseburger
Charcoal Pit



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