At one time the closest place to get frozen custard was six hours' drive (heavy foot) up highway 40 to Ted Drewe's in St. Louis.
Several years ago came the sudden "custard invasion" of Tulsa metro by Freckles, Custard King and others which are pretty close to the perfection of Drewe's high milk-fat content confection.
Regular ice cream pales.
And so with all sorts of pre-conceived notions about how to produce the best frozen custard, I went to take a taste of Freddy's Frozen Custard.
Also home of the "Original Freddy's Steakburger," this outfit apparently would rather not bet the farm on a single dairy product, offering an old-fashioned-style menu of burgers and fast food.
Freddy's Frozen Custard originated in Wichita, KS, and photos of Freddy out on the Kansas plains with family dot the walls of the dining room. Yes, it appears there really is a Freddy who founded this restaurant. It is said he is now in his early '80s and legend has it he still visits some locations close to his home.
Freddy's menu has a good selection of frozen custard combinations--Freddy's Famous Concretes, which are vanilla or chocolate custard combos with any of the 30 types of toppings and mix-ins; Freddy's Specialties, such as specialty concretes and sundaes; Crunchy Cones; and Tasty Treats, shakes and malts.
My friend and I came to have both dinner and a custard treat. The dinner menu consists of Steakburgers, Chicago Style Hot Dogs, Chicken Tenders and sides. (There is also a Kids Menu.) We chose the Original Freddy's Steakburger, two steakburger patties on a butter toasted bun ($3.09), a Chicago Style Hot Dog with mustard, relish, onion, sport peppers, celery salt, tomato and pickle ($2.79), Chili Cheese Fries ($2.49) and Onion Rings ($1.99) for our sides.
As in many restaurants today, orders are taken at a counter and customers pick them up when ready. We gathered our plastic utensils, napkins and filled our drinks as our meal was being prepared. Soon, it was ready. The mouthwatering aroma of freshly prepared hamburgers enveloped our trays as we picked them up--a foretaste of things to come!
The patties on the burger are mashed into flat circles and fried quickly at high heat, causing the edges to have a delightful crispness to them. They are reminiscent of the mom-and-pop styled burgers, and Tastee Freeze burgers I recall as a kid.
In addition, Freddy's Steakburgers are known for their buttered, toasted buns--these were also a nice addition to this sandwich. My friend and I shared this Original and were very pleased with the flavors and textures.
Varieties of the steakburger include "California style," which comes with onion, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and "Freddy's sauce" (a marketing term for Thousand Island dressing), and a kid burger, which comes with ketchup and pickle.
The Chicago Dog was a modest size and manageable to eat with our hands. It was very different because of the seemingly odd combination of toppings, although we found they worked well together. There was a hot/cold taste going on with each bite and a crispiness with the dill pickle and sport pepper (about one and a half inches long with a medium-hot taste).
We also enjoyed the sweet and peppery taste, with the relish and pepper. It all worked amazingly well.
The Chili Cheese Fries were very good--thin, shoestring crisp fries covered with mild chili, loose, processed cheese and chopped onions. The onion rings were average; the batter had a slight sweetness and was a little too thick for our liking.
Now, for the custard portion of the meal. I ordered a medium size vanilla concrete with hot caramel and rainbow sprinkles ($3.29, and .50 more for the second topping) and my friend ordered a mini vanilla concrete with Heath Toffee ($2.79). Rich, creamy, and most satisfying is the best way to describe the ending to our meal.
Freddy's Frozen Custard
9311 E. 71st St.
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