BW's crack test team slurps about town

'Tis the season for ice cream spun round and whipped into sip-shake form. Our five testers proved there are many outrageous milkshakes to be found in Boise. The BW team (LR: Leila Ramella; CC: Colleen Cronin; RD: Rachael Daigle; NC: Nicholas Collias and ER: Erin Ryan) sampled a standard chocolate shake from each establishment and whatever shake the staff claimed was their particularly specialty shake. This made for a straw-slurpin', manpurse-staining, sticky-face gettin', car-trashing, belly-aching kind of an afternoon. We fully recommend you try it.

Hawkins Pac-Out

$3.19 for medium (their smallest)

Specialty: Fresh strawberry

Comments about strawberry ...

ER: "Visible chunks of strawberry."

CC: "You need serious lungs to suck this."

NC: "Strawberry is so easy to mess up. A good strawberry shake is one of the rarest around. This is very good."

Comments about chocolate ...

ER: "This has the Carnation Instant Breakfast kind of chocolate flavor."

CC to LR (who hasn't said a word and is wolfing down the chocolate one): "Can I try the chocolate?" LR: "Oh yeah, huh."

NC: "I'm not a big milk chocolate person, but there is a lot of chocolate flavor in there. This is a superior chocolate shake."

RD: "I like the strawberry. But as far as the chocolate one goes, I'd rather have a frosty at Wendy's."

ER: "I agree."

NC: "I disagree."


$2.39 for small

Specialty: Grasshopper

NC: (out of the blue) "I play the clarinet so I can suck and blow very well."

About the Grasshopper ...

ER: "There are chunks of Oreo I can't suck around."

ER: "It has good mint flavor."

CC: "The mint flavor is not working for me and it's too fluffy."

RD: "I like it."

NC: "It's not too thick."

LR: "I'm not feeling that one at all. There's something wrong."

CC: "I don't play the clarinet, so I can't get any."

About the chocolate ...

ER: "This chocolate one tastes exactly like the other one."

NC: "No, I don't think so."

ER: (to NC) "You disagree with everything I say."

NC: "Well that's because everything you say is wrong."

[Things are heating up. Far too many straws are creating milkshake showers.]

NC: "Call Disaster Cleanup."

Fanci Freez

$1.71 for a small

Specialty Shake: Snickers

[The counter guy (who warmed up after chatting up Rachael) tells us Fanci Freez was ranked second after Coldstone in a recent milkshake contest. He's on to us and boy, is he turning up the charm. He recommends a caramel root beer spin, but we decide that's NOT a shake.]

NC: (still visibly upset by the stickiness) "There's milkshake on my man-purse."

About the Snickers ...

ER: "There are big frozen chunks."

CC: "This one is interesting. I like the flavor and all the chunks."

NC: "Good, but it's basically a Blizzard."

LR: "Very subtle, not overpowering."

About the chocolate ...

ER: "I'm having a problem. I can't tell the difference between the chocolates."

LR: "This one is definitely icier."

NC: "This is a very different chocolate shake. Kind of malty."

[Cruising to Goody's, we recap and make predictions.]

RD: "My prediction: Goody's will be the best."

ER: "They do make their own ice cream."

LR: "I didn't like either of the Westside's."

CC: "Those were too frothy, these are too icy. Goody's are going to be good."

NC: "You know what the best part will be, we'll be out of the car. We are about to have a shake storm back here."

CC: "We might have to dispose of some of the shakes."

ER: (whose feet are surrounded by shakes) "Yeah, we might."

LR: "I say Westside is the first to go. They're voted off the island."


$3.50 for a small

Specialty: Peanut Butter

Bittersweet Chocolate

NC: "I'm going through withdrawl here, I'm going to have the milk shakes. Colleen here is going to wear her stains like a badge until the end of the contest."

NC: (gesturing at counter boy) "I think he knows what we're up to."

ER: "Yeah, he might be on to us."

[LR places the order under the name Bobby Sue, her alter ego.]

About the pB chocolate ...

ER: "I just got a real ball of peanut butter. Oh my god, this is heaven. I want to cover myself in it."

RD: "I like the whipped cream, that's my favorite part."

CC: "You couldn't eat a big one of these, it's so rich but so good."

ER: "This my favorite milkshake in Boise."

RD: "I like it."

About the chocolate ...

[It got no playtime due to the killer PB chocolate shake, yet it still disappeared.]


Half is $3.50.

Specialty: Caramel/Fresh Banana

[We enter. The guy at the counter intuitively knows we want milkshakes. He must not have seen the stains all over CC and NC's man-purse. We ask him if he thinks he has the best milkshakes in town. He responds, "in the world." As we chat with our host, he tells us that his mixer is only about 40-years-old—the newest one he has.]

About the caramel banana ...

NC: "I just got a caramel ball."

RD: "I like this. It's perfect."

CC: "The fresh banana is really good."

About the chocolate ...

ER: "The texture is perfect! I could drink this dangerously fast."

CC: "The chocolate flavor is too mild."

ER: "I agree. I would like a little more chocolate flavor."

CC: "The consistency is perfect."

[LR once again remains very quiet, having laid claim to the extra metal cup.]

The Beanery

$3.50 for a small

Specialty Shake: Apple Pie

About the Apple Pie ...

NC: "Mmm. Apple-y."

LR: "The glass is so pretty. But I'm kind of afraid of the shake."

CC: "I didn't think I was going to like it, but I do. It's really good."

About the Chocolate ...

ER: "Ohhh. I like that one."

CC: "I think my lips are going to be sore."

ER: "The whip cream does it for me."

RD: "This one has the best chocolate flavor. I like the whip cream, too. It's fresh."

Overall, the vote for best chocolate shake was tied between Hawkins and The Beanery. And the best specialty shake was tied between Moon's and Goody's. As far as sit-down joints, The Beanery got lots of props for having the most original flavors and great presentation (they also have Bananas Foster and NY Cheesecake), Moon's had the best atmosphere, service and consistency, and Goody's was pure quality. Hawkins was our favorite drive-thru, but Fanci Freez gets the best value award. ER summed up our collective experience: "You know what the thing is, they were all good. I mean, I didn't taste any of these and go eww ..."

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