Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Scoop

Ted Drewes is a St. Louis institution, selling frozen custard since the 1930s. Although they serve only one flavor of frozen custard (vanilla), there are infinite combinations of flavorings and toppings that can be added to make sundaes, malts, or floats. However, they're probably best known for their concretes. A concrete is custard (with mix-ins) blended in a cup that's so thick that it doesn't fall out when the cup is turned upside-down.

Somehow it slipped by me that the 50th anniversary of the concrete occurred back in May; this weekend we went to Ted Drewes to celebrate.

Feast: St. Louis Magazine's food, wine, and spirits blog tells the story this way:
Just so happens that in 1959, 50 years ago this May, a guy named Steve Gamber (who's now 64) began bicycling to Ted Drewes' Chippewa location for a daily Landshire sandwich and a chocolate malt. Each day he'd ask 30 year old Ted Drewes Jr. to make the malt thicker. Ted made the successive malts thicker and thicker but the 14 year old wanted them thicker still. One day, "Just to shut me up," reports Gamber, "Ted turned the malt upside down right in front of me and said 'is this thick enough for you? If it falls out, it's free.'" Gamber paid for his malt.
Ted Drewes was a very busy spot on a weekend night. We didn't even try to park in the lot, but found a spot on the street a block away. As always, there was a crush of people in front of the building, but every window was open and it didn't take too long to get up to the front of a line. After we received our order we walked over to the side of the building and found a spot to eat our treats. Since everyone ordered a different concrete, we had fun tasting each others treats. After we were finished, we people-watched for a while, then walked back to the car.

Although there are several frozen custard stands closer to our house, it's always worth the drive to go to Ted Drewes.


  1. I've never heard of frozen custard. I am now intrigued with this new treat...though I suspect it might be hard to find in these parts.

  2. Sydney, frozen custard is like ice cream, but richer and with less air incorporated.