Now that the weather’s sizzling up again, here’s something to soothe those heated nerves.
Have I said it before on this website that while hot chocolate is my favorite drink on the planet, a milkshake is a mighty second? There’s no sensation quite like cream careening down the hatch, a collision of cold and sugar, a combination of chill and will: I will finish this milkshake before this blooming brain freeze does me in! While I still maintain that CBD’s Vanilla Peanut Butter Toffee milkshake is the best in Manila, I’ve got some new favorites to add to the list.
Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake at Chuck’s Deli (cover photo above)
This sandwich place is owned by a scion of the Arce clan, who owns the eponymous carabao milk ice cream brand. Their queso milkshake is a longtime favorite but I haven’t had it since they put this peanut butter banana option on the menu. First, it’s got peanut butter and I’m almost unreasonable in my love for peanut-butter-anything. Secondly, it’s got banana, which is my fruit of choice after durian. This is a thick milkshake but not too thick that it can’t be sucked through a straw. The peanutty paste dominates and then catches on a nuance of banana, sweet and tropical. This goes really well in tandem with any of Chuck’s slabwiches or just for dessert.
Salted Caramel Milkshake & Peanut Butter Milkshake at Charlie’s Grind & Grill
At Charlie’s, it makes sense to them that good milkshakes go with good burgers and they’ve done their best to fulfill that. Salted caramel is presently very du jour, so they’ve decided to make it their star ingredient. A judicious amount is blitzed into the ice cream, its telltale burnt sugar flavor lingers, lasting through the lashings of cream before surrendering to a brief assault of salt. And that caramel-swirled glass sure is enticing, pools and puddles of an amber glow frozen on a backdrop of chilly white.
The Peanut Butter Milkshake is every bit as pleasure-worthy as my previous peanut butter paramours, with an added plus: chopped up M&Ms frolicking on tufts of whipped cream and – surprise! – at the very bottom of the glass. The last sip contributes a two-times-two punch of cold, cream, crisp, and chew, the oral equivalent of stomping on bubble wrap. Ooh!
Frappelato at Bar Dolci
What’s better than a milkshake? A gelato milkshake. Seriously, of all the icy concoctions that have slid down throats in the name of milkshakes, there’s none that may be more luxurious than this. With no middle ground between overindulgence and understatement, this milkshake is only for those with macho digestions.
From the constellation of gelato flavors that Bar Dolci offers, I always choose the Ferrero; it’s heavy with hazelnuts and an irresistible wafer crunch. I count three large scoops that go into their impressive looking “blender” before I turn away- more scoops might be asking for too much – or a dream come true, depending on whom you ask.
So what does a gelato milkshake taste like? Well, it’s heavy, really heavy. And thick. So thick that I need to let it sit, thaw out a bit, if you will. But patience and I have never been friends so I persist by prodding, poking, sipping a little. Like a woman being wooed, the frappelato finally gives in, submitting its fullest flavors of chocolate and hazelnut, and whoa, a crisp-crack of chocolate wafer, the shell of the Ferrero Rocher candy. Oh, to submit is always so divine.
Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, Metro Manila
Root Beer Float at Charlie’s Grind & Grill
This is the plus-1 and it’s also from Charlie’s. Root beer floats were a staple of my childhood, I considered myself quite the expert at plopping scoops of vanilla ice cream into chilled glasses of root beer. At Charlie’s, soft serve ice cream sits at the bottom of a tall glass, its exteriors frosted up in complaint at being extracted from its chilly abode.
Little do I know that there’s a difference between scooping the ice cream into root beer as opposed to pouring the root beer into ice cream. With the latter apparently, as they do at Charlie’s, there’s much more foam that’s produced making for a creamier beverage. Like the bubbles dancing before me, I myself get bubble-eyed at the joy of sipping frothy fizz rounded out with ice cream finished with that sour pop! and ping! that’s so characteristic of root beer. I love this but for sentiment’s sake, I still prefer the ice cream being scooped into the root beer; there’s just an overwhelming profusion of fizz otherwise.