Eating with Wolves is back and shaking things up with another review from the staff at the Daily Lobo. Editors Amanda Britt, Megan Holmen and Alanie Rael rated local restaurants in the Downtown and EDo districts on both their chocolate and speciality milkshakes.
As temperatures get colder and fall approaches, Standard Diner, Holy Burger and 66 Diner all offer great options for this end of summer favorite.
Each milkshake was rated on the following criteria: taste, atmosphere, service and presentation.
The first stop was Standard Diner, a local eatery in downtown Albuquerque. Standard Diner hosts dark walls and big windows, located in what used to be a car dealership. The restaurant bustles with life. As patrons sit and chat over their meal, they are surrounded by cute lighting and decor. Standard Diner has good service, and everyone who worked there is kind and friendly.
Both of the shakes we tasted have a simple presentation that mimicked their taste — neither spectacular. The chocolate shake is the group’s least favorite of the two. Although the texture is smooth and creamy, it is clear the shake is made with Hershey's chocolate syrup. The taste of dark chocolate prevailed, and it has a powdery aftertaste, similar to a hot cocoa mix.
The cookies and cream shake is definitely the better option, since it has a good texture and delicious flavor. The cookie pieces are fresh and still maintain the crunch that is always desired in a cookie shake. In other cookies and cream shakes, all too easy do the cookie pieces turn to mush, which is not the case here.
Taste — Chocolate: 5/10
Taste — Oreo: 9/10
Presentation — Chocolate: 5/10
Presentation — Oreo: 6/10
Eventually, we found our way up the road to Holy Burger, a local burger joint in EDo. The small hole-in-the-wall location offers more than meets the eye. Again, we ordered the chocolate milkshake as well as their salted caramel pretzel — and neither disappointed.
The friendly server delivered two narrow glasses filled with blended ice cream, topped with thick whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate. The salted caramel pretzel shake even had broken pretzel pieces on top.
The chocolate shake offers a Belgium-like experience. The flavor is a rich balance between sweet and bold with a smooth feeling texture. Unlike Standard Diner’s chocolate shake, Holy Burger brings a chocolate taste to the table that is more than just Hershey's chocolate syrup.
The salted caramel pretzel shake wowed our entire group and left us sucking the last drops out the bottom of the glass. The shake is a wonderful mixture of sweet candied caramel with a hint of salty crunch from the pretzel. The creaminess of the ice cream made it easy to drink. It is the kind of shake that makes the customer want more.
Despite the small space and high murmur from the customers, it's no surprise Holy Burger’s shakes keep people coming through their doors.
Taste — Chocolate: 9/10
Taste — Salted Caramel: 10/10
Presentation — Chocolate: 9/10
Presentation — Salted Caramel: 10/10
The group’s last stop was 66 Diner, located within walking distance south of the University of New Mexico and down Central Avenue. In terms of atmosphere, this location is voted to be the overwhelming favorite due to its retro decor, lighting and all around good feeling.
It truly feels like being transported back in time to a simpler era — the 1950’s. Even the wait staff wears vintage apparel to fit the overall ambiance. Service is speedy, efficient and kind as well.
Both milkshakes come with fluffy whipped cream in classic milkshake glasses. Their chocolate milkshake is liked by all of the Eating with Wolves crew. It is rich in chocolate flavor, but not too overpowering. The texture is fresh and light, but a bit too milky.
The specialty shake, the Pink Cadillac, has a great texture and is evidently freshly made. However, two of its ingredients — strawberries and Oreo-like cookie pieces — left more to be desired from the taste. The flavors clashed and left an odd, sour taste in our mouths after drinking it.
The strawberry tasted artificial, though it seemed like the kind of carnival flavor a child might enjoy. To us, it was a slight disappointment, considering the menu advertised the shake as a deluxe signature. Overall, we were let down by this option.
Taste — Chocolate: 9/10
Taste — Pink Cadillac: 4/10
Presentation — Chocolate: 7/10
Presentation — Pink Cadillac: 7/10
For anyone with a sweet tooth looking for an evening snack or first-date idea, Standard Diner, 66 Diner and Holy Burger all have their own individual positive aspects that make them must-tries in Albuquerque.