Ambience, Ingredients, Neighborhoods, Seasonal, Service, South Side

The Milk Shake Factory.

This is probably one of the many ways in which I’m broken.

I don’t want a milk shake in the summer. When it’s hot, the idea of all that thick dairyness sliding down my throat and sitting heavy in my belly is not precisely appetizing.

Fitting, then, that I first stopped in at the Milk Shake Factory on the South Side on a snowy, blustery day not unlike today, with the air thin and sharp.

This is where I would usually link to the place’s website. Skipping that this time. There’s music. It’s annoying. Better to just follow on Twitter: @MShakeFactory.

I didn’t know I wanted anything when I walked in the door. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. But I was curious.

Walked past the Edward Marc chocolates — more on that little bit of funny in a bit — and spent a couple minutes looking at the giant board of 55 different kinds of milk shakes.

I’d been walking a while outside in a giant coat. I’m not small. I was plenty warm. And they had my favorite: pistachio. I sat down on a painfully uncomfortable metal stool — clearly not built for, like, large people — at the back counter and ordered.

Yum. More than a little bit. They don’t use any special kind of milk, just good ice cream, a good recipe and good technique. Delightful.

It was slow in there — weather-related, I’m sure — and the folks working were happy to chat. I looked over their chocolates and decided I sort of wanted a salted caramel. Hell, I had 85 cents. Most people buy the milk chocolate one, one of them told me, but the dark chocolate’s better. So I went for the dark chocolate.

Here is where I pause to laugh. The name on all the chocolates is Edward Marc, which sounds totally fake. Possibly a Canadian first and middle name, but probably made up. So I asked if there was actually an “Edward Marc.”

Yes, they told me. Well, sort of.

Apparently his name is either Mark Edwards or Mark Edward Something. They weren’t sure. And the Mark’s with a K. I suppose I could look it up, but I like it better this way, not knowing for sure and relying only on the way his employees tell it. Far more amusing.

Even if he’s confused about his name, the man knows his chocolate. The salted caramel was delightful. Soft, melting, light. The dark chocolate didn’t overwhelm what was a far more delicate caramel than I’d expected.

Maybe the next time the snow and the wind pick up, I’ll be back in for more.


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