Great Shakes really is great — not for nutrition prigs, mind you, but for anyone who prizes luxurious milk shakes (and malts), plain or fancy. These are not machine-extruded shakes; they are constructed using from-scratch butterscotch, caramel, fudge, etc., and a rich ice cream base (or a lactose-free or no-sugar base), served in high style with a mini-donut wrapped around a large-gauge straw.
Some of the combos available are baroque, flavors layered and swirled in the cup, the whole shebang topped with nuts, melted marshmallows, chocolate shards, or whipped cream. They are wonderful, in a class by themselves; but the one that wins my heart is as simple as can be: the date shake. It’s a signature of this part of California, and Great Shakes boasts that it makes the best around. I’ve not done a side-by-side comparison of date shakes, but if this one is not the best, it’s surely in the running: creamy, smooth, the sheer dairy luxury of ice cream augmented by the fruity luxury of dates. Walnuts are a suggested addition, but even that gilt is unnecessary. It is one pure date shake, sprinkled with dash of nutmeg. It cannot be improved.
The fun of having a shake in this busy little Palm Canyon Drive hot spot isn’t only in the joy of the food. An enthusiastic staff, eager to tell customers which local farm provides the dates and what, exactly, malt powder adds to a shake’s flavor profile, makes visiting here a memorable Roadfood experience.