Here’s a secret you don’t know: ice cream is actually the lesser cousin of the infinitely richer, creamier frozen custard. Robert Sietsema of the Village Voice writes that it was created in New York, but Milwaukeeans call it their own.
According to Wikipedia, the difference between frozen custard and ice cream is that the latter has more than 10% milkfat and egg yolk, whereas ice cream boasts less than 10% milkfat. In short, ice cream may be better for you (yes, let the surprise register for a second) but those of us who know frozen custard would happily swap ice cream every day for custard once a month.
Frozen custard, like ice cream, comes in the standard flavors of chocolate and vanilla. It’s common practice at custard stands, however, to offer a third flavor that rotates daily rather than a wide selection. Flavors vary widely, from familiar ones like chocolate chip cookie dough to more intricate ones such as key lime pie.
Hint: frozen custard makes better, creamier milkshakes and fantastic floats. If a dish isn’t your thing, try a variation to get the feel of it.
If you’re in the Milwaukee area, you’ll want to check out some custard stands and experience it for yourself. Below is a list of recommended stands:
Kopp’s Frozen Custard
5373 N. Port Washington Rd.
Glendale, WI 53217
Flavor Hotline: 414-961-2006
Sun – Thu: 10:30am – 11pm
Fri – Sat: 10:30am – 11:30pm
Kopp’s has two other locations, in Brookfield and Greenfield, but this is the one to visit. Not only is it conveniently located right off of I-43, but it was the inspiration for the custard stand of Happy Days.
It’s no longer in the same iteration as it once was, but the important thing is the food. And is it good! Not only does Kopp’s offer such tasty flavors as Red Raspberry (bursting with real, fresh raspberries) and Tiramisu, but it also has burgers and fries that are among Milwaukee’s best. Come in the summertime and sit outside licking a cone. Wipe up the last drops with the flaky wafer cookie stuck in every scoop.
Oh, and one last thing: they deliver. As in, nationally.
Leon’s Frozen Custard
3131 S. 27th. Street
Milwaukee, WI 53215
Leon’s, on Milwaukee’s South Side, has served such luminaries as former President Clinton. Whatever you may think of his political beliefs, Bill knows from good food. For the full old-fashioned experience of a custard stand proper, neon and all, Leon’s is the place to go.
2597 N. Downer Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Daily 11am – Midnight (summer)
Daily 11am – 11pm (spring/fall)
Mon – Thu: 11am – 10pm
Fri – Sun: 11am – 11pm (may close earlier depending on weather)
Located in a chic district on the east side of Milwaukee, right around the corner from an indie movie house, Lixx is your best bet if not everyone in your party wants to gorge themselves on custard. Yes, Lixx has custard, but they also have frozen yogurt, smoothies and other, healthier foods. Lixx is trendy right down to the gorgeously painted bathrooms. Come in the daytime and have something to eat while window shopping.
If none of these places suit you (or you’re not in the Milwaukee area), try a Culver’s. This chain serves up custard with just as many daily flavors as anywhere else. If you like brand-name candy swirled into your custard, this is the place.