If you have known me for any length of time, odds are I’ve regaled you with the story of the chocolate shake. At least once, probably twice.
My senior year in college I drove to Chicago one weekend to visit some friends. I don’t remember much about what we did that evening, except that for some reason it involved a car trunk full of bowling shoes and the student body president (or maybe he was just the treasurer).
Some of us may have gone bowling at the new campus bowling alley; some of us didn’t.
At any rate there was beer involved, and after that a discussion regarding drunk food as in, Where To Get It.
My answer to this question is usually ‘Anywhere, as long as they serve French fries.’
Bowling-shoes-Guy was adamant—adamant—that we had to go to the Weiner’s Circle, especially when he found out that my friend Helen and I had never been.
“You can’t graduate college without going to the Weiner’s Circle,” he said.
Yes, that’s right. The Weiner’s Circle.
They serve hot dogs, and also there is a picture of a weiner dog on the sign. Brilliant.
There was some protest because it was all the way on the North Side and we were most definitely not on the North Side. But Mr. Bowling Shoes Guy insisted and also offered to drive so we gave in and all piled into his car.
He spent most of the drive trying to talk Helen into ordering the Chocolate Shake.
“It’s an off-the-menu item,” he said, “so you just have to order it. It might be kind of expensive, like 10 or 15 dollars but it’s totally worth it. You’ll probably have to haggle with them but you should definitely get it. It’s the best chocolate shake you’ll ever have.”
Helen and I were skeptical–$10 for a milkshake?—but since it wasn’t my money, I told Helen she should go for it because I was interested in finding out what a 10 dollar milkshake tasted like. Maybe they use real cream, I thought.
Now, Helen is kind of shy and quiet. Like me, she is the kind of person who hates to be called on in class, or who never sends food back in a restaurant because she doesn’t want the server to be mad at her (or maybe that’s just me).
After some last-minute instructions from Mr. Bowling Shoes (“Just tell them, ‘I’ll give you $10 for a Chocolate Shake,’”), we went inside.
Up at the counter 5 or 6 people were lined up to order.
And behind the counter, several black women were screaming obscenities at them.
At first I thought there must be something wrong, something for which the police would soon be called.
But oh-ho-no, was I wrong.
Turns out it’s all part of the fun, that in addition to the hot dogs and fries, customers also come to the Weiner’s Circle to get yelled at.
It’s a lovely ambience, really.
Though Helen and I at that point were both in favor of leaving immediately, it was late and we were hungry and there was nothing else nearby that was still open.
So I did the brave and noble thing: I told Helen to order for me.
“Which one of you assholes is next?!”
“Um…” began Helen.
“Speak up, motherfucker, what do you want!?”
“Can I get a large onion rings and…I’ll give you $10 for a chocolate shake.”
“Ten dollars? Naw, for you bitch, twenty!”
“Uhh…” said Helen, “no, nevermind.”
And then a few seconds later Helen, still recovering from her encounter with the cashier, accidentally knocked over a full container of straws.
“Now which one of you drunk-ass motherfuckers knocked over the goddamn straws?!?” screamed the cashier.
“Quick, let’s get out of here,” Helen whispered to me.
So we sat outside to eat our food, despairing of ever having a Weiner’s Circle chocolate shake.
Inside a crowd had gathered at the counter and through the open door we could hear a girl trying to order a chocolate shake.
“I’ll give you $20!” yelled the girl.
“Twenty dollars?” The cashier turned around to confer with a coworker.
“Alright, you can have a chocolate shake.”
That must be a really good shake, I thought.
From the back of the restaurant a large black woman walked up to the counter, lifted up her shirt and shook her boobs at the crowd.
And that’s a chocolate shake from the Weiner’s Circle.
But let me tell you about my chocolate shake which may in some ways be better as it involves actual chocolate but which may, in some ways, be worse as it does not involve any actual boobs or shaking thereof.
It is also healthier than a real milkshake because—spoiler alert!—instead of ice cream you use a frozen banana. (An idea I shamelessly stole from Jane).
Trust me, it still tastes just as good as a regular milkshake only with less guilt. And also less boobs.Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake/Smoothie 1 banana, peeled, chunked and frozen 2 heaping spoonfuls creamy peanut butter Chocolate soymilk (or regular chocolate milk), enough to cover (about 8 oz) ice cubes ½-2/3 cup frozen blueberries (optional–if you want to be more healthy-like)
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more milk or ice cubes to reach desired consistency. (Alternately, place in a wide-mouth glass and use an immersion blender).