Monday, September 3, 2007

Mini Review: Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen
305 E. Appleway,
Coeur d'Alene

I had a hardcore craving for some chicken strip action, and Dairy Queen happened to catch my eye. It's not a place that usually crosses my mental food radar yet I've been there
so many times over the years. Not to date myself, but when I was growing up, DQ was significantly more campy, with psychedelic orange tables, waxy multicolored dilly bars, workers in brown polyester uniforms, and hours of Donkey Kong.

According to rumors, the place had become a little cracked out in recent years and I heard more than one alleged story of folks enjoying the convenience of picking up some meth along with their kid's meals. I didn't really care as long as they didn't get any in my Cotton Candy Blizzard. They've since remodeled and the place seems clean and free of riff-raff these days.

DQ must have hired a jazzy marketing team in the last few years, and now they've gone a bit high gloss and mainstream, with a modern image update, and a series of clever TV ads portraying customers in random office scenarios eating Flamethrower Sandwiches and nearly burning the place down with their firebreath. I liked the old hokey Dairy Queen better, but the thankfully the actual food doesn't seemed to have changed much.

I ordered the "Hot Dips" Chicken strip basket with Spicy Buffalo Sauce and a Diet Pepsi, of course, and the cashier was odd to me because he looked like a totally normal and boring nondescript kid, except he had elaborate, colorful tattoos up and down both arms, and it made me realize how prevalent tattoos are getting, even in untrendy North Idaho.

My Hot Dips basket was actually served in a thin paper box, which was dripping red stuff when I pulled it out of the bag. The lid had come off the Spicy Buffalo Sauce and when I opened the box, every french fry and every blessed chicken strip was coated in a nice even layer of the stuff. Also making an appearance in my box, for no explainable reason, were three warm and soggy celery strips and a side of blue cheese dressing. Was this some kind of lame attempt to hop on the health craze bandwagon, like Subway and their lame-o apple slices?

Regardless, it was a beautiful and delicious mess. It looked like hurricane Spicy Buffalo had hit my Hot Dips box. I can't imagine eating this any other way from now on. It did start to get messy and required a fork to eat those soggy fries swimming in the actually-quite-spicy-and-delicious sauce and then finally killing them off by drowning them in the cool blue cheese dressing. Even the celery turned out great that way. The large chicken pieces remained totally crisp on the outside despite the dousing and was moist and mighty inside. My recommendation: Order this meal, open your basket box, dump the sauce cup all over everything, close your basket box, shake well, enjoy. Amazing for only $3.99.


OrangeTV said...

Comments from Huckleberries Online where review was highlighted:

Question: How often does Dairy Queen cross your "mental food radar"?
Posted by DFO | 5 Sep 1:33 PM

There are 9 comments on this post. (XML Subscribe to comments on this post)

Interesting question. The other day I was at a mall food court in Nashville and saw the DQ sign and decided to get a milkshake or something. Well I got in line and watched for a while as the employees worked with the customers in front of me, and talked among themselves. They were a dirty looking bunch, filthy greasy, and I was thinking about walking away when someone pushed her way through the line to announce that she had found a hair in her hamburger. Right in front of the people in line she peeled the dripping thing apart to show the hair. (I did not see the hair.) That was the last straw. I walked away. Dirty employees and tasteless customers is enough to drive me away forever.
Posted by brentandrews | 5 Sep 1:48 PM

I remember being kind of excited when a brand new Dairy Queen opened up across from Timberline High in Boise, but then we got sick the first time eating there. So I try not to let DQ anywhere near my radar now.
Posted by Family Phil | 5 Sep 2:04 PM

Whenever we are over in Pullman and feel the need for a double bacon cheese burger and a Blizzard.

I used to go to DQ a lot when I was in high school, usually for a peanut buster parfait.
Posted by JeanC | 5 Sep 2:13 PM

I guess it's "franchise is as franchise does"...some are good...and the same brand in another town may be aweful!!
Posted by Steve | 5 Sep 2:25 PM

About the only things I ever buy at DQ are Heath blizzards, peanut buster parfaits, and dilly bars for the freezer at home. If I want a hamburger and fries I'll search out a Burger King.
Posted by CdA Canuck | 5 Sep 2:33 PM

Never. I used to live a block away from one in Spokane. Every time I went there they either got the order wrong or the food was cold or both. So we stopped going. I just didn't need the aggravation.
Posted by A Token D | 5 Sep 4:00 PM

A time or two in the summer, when I want a blizzard or a misty float. For burgers or something, never.

Mmmm, misty float.
Posted by Kristin | 5 Sep 4:23 PM

Only when I want a Large Mocha MOO-LATTE......I sure wish we'd gewt an 'IN-N-OUT' Burger up this way....
Posted by Milt Nelson | 5 Sep 5:59 PM

There is a Dairy Queen about a mile south of me, on the road that skirts the bay...oddest little place for a drive-in, but it does a brisk business. And DQ makes great burgers. MMMMM.
Posted by Idaho escapeE | 5 Sep 6:56 PM

Unknown said...

Pat, do you remember Charity (a.k.a. Foof) ?

A recent chance encounter brought me to DQ recently. And, in light of my discovery, the tremendous improvements therein are no mystery whatsoever.

Our girl, once covered literally in rattle-can spray-paint with black and yellow stripes atop a bald head, down skinny legs and jangly elbows - is now to be found slinging Dilly bars and kicking that place into high gear in grand style.

It is a fortunate thing for DQ, to have had it's magic restored. And, it is a decidedly excellent experience when you know the manager. *wink*

ha! just a little humor there on my part, Foofoo, don't drop a Twinkie.

As Ever,
a.k.a. Angela