There is something enticing about things that don’t belong. Walking into the Menomonie Street Dairy Queen (DQ) is just that: It is something of a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory experience. Everything is colorful and there are handwritten menus hidden everywhere of foods that shouldn’t exist together.
I am not from Eau Claire — this was actually my first winter here — and there was one thing I thought was strange; people do not let the cold stop them for anything, especially ice cream.
The DQ in my hometown does not even open in the winter, so this year-round ice cream season was new to me.
Now that Spring is quickly approaching — bringing brighter skies, longer days and warmer nights, it is officially the beginning of ice cream season. An ice cream season where you are able to eat your treat outside without having your nose and fingers freeze.
Over spring break, I explored the famous Menomonie Street DQ. Of course, all DQs are great, because how could they not be? But this DQ takes everything to the next level.
The menu is like a picture from an “I Spy” book, with the most interesting combinations of food that normally would not work.
The menu has the classics: Blizzards, Dilly Bars, cones and dipped cones — but also has a variety of other foods: tacos, organic to-go breakfasts, french toast, doughnuts and homemade chili and chicken dumpling soup.
All of the food from scratch is made from mostly organic ingredients and free range eggs, and for the cheap price of nearly $5 for every item on the menu, this DQ is something special.
Not even the classic DQ items are safe from change. The Dilly Bar for example, has 10 flavors, from cookie dough, Oreo and even a seasonal peppermint flavor.
What drew me to this specific DQ, though, was hearing people talk about how massive the Blizzards were. So, of course, I had to check this out myself. I ordered my favorite, a cookie dough Blizzard with extra cookie dough. To my surprise, the Blizzard was almost double its size, towering over the lip of the cup. And the Dilly Bars are said to be the size of a normal small Blizzard. The rumors I heard were not wrong about this place.
I ordered the small Blizzard which has a price of $4.70. Because it’s actually the size of a large Blizzard, I would say that is a great deal. There are also kid sizes for just $4.20.
For the vegans out there, you can still get an icy treat from this DQ! They have Mr. Misty options in a variety of fruity flavors. There are also vegan meal options: french fries, chips and homemade salsa, and the salad options from their “Calorie Conscious Diner.”
Of course, eating ice cream, tacos, or a doughnut automatically equal a great time, but the sense of pride the Menomonie Street DQ has makes being a customer there even more special.
The different handwritten menus plastered all over the counter, the sweet smell of cones and ice cream make you feel like a kid in a candy store with sensory overload. Everything about this DQ is different from the cold, sticky DQs I know, and for that I love it.
With the beginning of the warm and sunny ice cream season rolling around, I am sure I will be here much too often.