1490 South Lake Street, Mundelein, IL 60060
Summer is coming to a close. You can feel the cool air hovering over you like a silk sheet. You can smell the distant firepit drifting closer. The sun seems like a close friend who must now pack up for their return trip home, so far away.
Greg’s Frozen Custard is the island of retreat, the place where we remember and relive simpler times and better days. And better treats. If you haven’t, you’d better.
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I’ve been going to Greg’s Frozen Custard for several years. Lisa introduced me to this wonderful place of pure fun and unbelievably good frozen custard treats. I can’t stop going. And I can’t stop talking about Greg’s Frozen Custard when I’m not going to Greg’s Frozen Custard. Somebody stop me! Actually, the only thing that can stop me is late November.
Greg’s Frozen Custard serves up a Flavor of the Day every day. Sometimes there are two flavors of the day with a twist variation between the two, such as Lemon and Lime. Every Friday, the Flavor of the Day is either Butter Pecan or Pistachio. The Flavors of the Day can be viewed on the Greg’s Frozen Custard FaceBook page (link available at the end of this post.)
I wanted to review a few Flavors of the Day. The first would be my favorite, one that I hadn’t tasted since the first time a few years ago—Lemon. I had talked about Greg’s Frozen Custard (would you believe it?) to our friends Roy and Adele, and I also threw in the accelerant of Lemon to speed things along. We were hot to light this lemon!
“The Lemon is creamy and full-bodied. The Lime is a little more tart!”
Lisa, Adele, Roy and I walked up to the window at Greg’s Frozen Custard on an uncharacteristically cold and rainy summer afternoon. It mattered not that it was gray and damp. We were going to brighten up everything with a ball of sunshine in a cone or a cup. You didn’t know? Let me enlighten you.
The Flavor of the Day signs read, “Lemon” and “Lime”. I stood still. Roy moved in on a scoop of Lemon and a scoop of Lime in a cup. Roy is the Tesla of treats. Lightning quick. His cup was up, and so he tasted. He marveled at the color spectrum and the flavor gradation, “The Lemon is creamy and full-bodied. The Lime is a little more tart!” He looked at his custard like he couldn’t believe what he was tasting.
Adele had been the one really pushing to make the trip to Greg’s Frozen Custard, especially when she heard about the Lemon Flavor of the Day. Here she was and there it was. I watched as she tasted, “The Lemon is rich with a nice touch of lemon.” That was the last anyone heard from her until the Lemon was gone.
Lisa has a favorite Flavor of the Day, but I was curious to see what she thought of Lemon in light of it being my favorite and a fast favorite of everyone. Lisa pulled her Lemon custard closer with eager anticipation. She took a taste, “The Lemon is velvety, smooth and delicious!” Lemon was undeniably the cream of the custard, but she still reserved a special place for one particular Flavor of the Day.
“The Lemon is rich with a nice touch of lemon.”
My two-scoop Lemon custard was served at the pass. I held the sunny cup in my hands. I was shaking from excitement and the cold. I had a fever for which the only prescription was more Lemon custard! I excavated my first spoonful, “The Lemon is my favorite. It’s refreshing and bright. It has the lightness of Italian gelato with the creamy body of Greg’s Frozen Custard.” Whoever said it’s never as good as the first time?
“The Mocha is unbelievably smooth with a creamy blend of mild chocolate and a hint of coffee.”
Another day, another group of friends, another Flavor of the Day—Mocha. Usually “mocha” is followed by “cappuccino” or “latte”. You can set aside your frou-frou and your chichi. I was ready to pull up to the window and order my custard.
This time it was all me for Mocha. I like my coffee and I’ve been known to make chocolate disappear. If there were a Bermuda Triangle of Chocolate, one of the points would be fixed on me. And moving. Despite my familiarity with mocha flavors in drinks and desserts, this was my first time tasting the Mocha Flavor of the Day at Greg’s Frozen Custard. The Mocha was imbued with a lovely mellow, golden hue. I tasted a spoonful, “The Mocha is unbelievably smooth with a creamy blend of mild chocolate and a hint of coffee.” This was the real Mocha. All other mocha is lowercase mocha.
Our friend Jenn and her daughter were visiting from Canada. They could not go back without a trip to Greg’s Frozen Custard. Emily took her time studying the long list of choices before she zeroed in on the Turtle Split. I had never seen one of these in the wild. Leave it to a Canuck. Lens cap off and microphone on, I waited for Emily to taste and proclaim, “It’s heavenly!” I thought there would be more but she was a hard charger floating through her little paradise.
“The Butter Pecan is the best I have tasted.”
The next visit and Flavor of the Day was Butter Pecan. Long story short, we were thinking that the Flavor of the Day was Pistachio. Before you think Butter Pecan some black sheep, this was no consolation prize. Somehow we (okay, I) miscalculated the Flavor of the Day schedule, and so we were treated to a pleasant surprise in Butter Pecan.
Lisa, my mom and I were expecting to see green; instead, we saw creamy, Sahara dune delights. My mom always liked butter pecan in her past experiences. Lisa and I really had no shared opinion. The sands were about to shift.
“The Butter Pecan tasted far better than any other. It wasn’t sweet at all and had a nice balance of salted pecans.”
We all held our
Pistachio Butter Pecan Frozen Custard treats. A barely perceptible delay preceded our first taste as we shook off the shock of our my snafu. My mom took a taste. She is always shy to contribute with a quote but I did manage to hear her say in casual conversation as the Butter Pecan took over her like a truth serum that “The Butter Pecan is the best I have tasted.” Lisa and I were enjoying our Butter Pecan, more and more, and we realized that this sheep was not black but Sahara khaki, and we loved it! We both chimed in and agreed that “The Butter Pecan tasted far better than any other. It wasn’t sweet at all and had a nice balance of salted pecans.” Now we might come on a Friday knowing that it’s Butter Pecan Flavor of the Day! But then it would be Pistachio.
The best is saved for last. I kept alluding to a favorite Flavor of the Day of many. This is the favorite of Lisa and my mom. It is my second favorite. A close second. How close? Thisclose.
Lisa and I headed out to Greg’s Custard on a day when it was certain that the Flavor of the Day was Pistachio. Right. As we pulled up, we knew it was the right day. The parking lot was packed. The lines were long. Both windows were open and busy. Everyone was eating, vocalizing and excited. It was like being at the zoo when all the animals were being fed their favorite treats, so much activity.
In the past at other places, I was never a fan of pistachio-flavored anything. In those experiences, I was always disappointed and stupified that “green” didn’t necessarily lead to “mint” flavor. The pistachio thing was a complete mystery to me. The flavors tended to be vague and the scraps that passed for nuts were hard, possibly inedible.
Then everything changed when I tried Pistachio Flavor of the Day at Greg’s Frozen Custard.
“The Pistachio is beyond my favorite. The pistachios are plump and meaty. The custard is luscious. It has a hint of amaretto that gives it a nice finish. I would walk on broken glass to have the Pistachio custard from Greg’s.”
According to Lisa, this is the only flavor that she orders without hesitation—and I do mean without hesitation—as two scoops. All other flavors are single scoops. This is also an automatic two-scoop treat for me. And it goes so fast, oh, so fast.
Lisa picked up her two-scoop Pistachio cone. I had to take pictures fast and not screw up. Breathe. She tasted her Pistachio cone and articulated, “The Pistachio is beyond my favorite. The pistachios are plump and meaty. The custard is luscious. It has a hint of amaretto that gives it a nice finish. I would walk on broken glass to have the Pistachio custard from Greg’s.” I believe her.
“I don’t even like pistachio anything but this is my second favorite–a CLOSE second favorite!”
My two-scoop cup was next. I weighed the cup and my feelings about my conversion from pistachio ambivalence to Pistachio Nut. Everything seemed proper. Spooning a mouthful, I opined, “I don’t even like pistachio anything but this is my second favorite–a CLOSE second favorite!” Now you know the whole story.
I want to mention that besides the Flavor of the Day everyday Greg’s Frozen Custard serves Chocolate and Vanilla Frozen Custard. Chocolate is Lisa’s second favorite when Lemon is not available. Lisa describes the Chocolate Frozen Custard as “Velvety and not too sweet with a real chocolate taste.” For those keeping score, our favorites break down, so far, as:
Look at the one and two. So close. Soclose.
Summer is coming to a close, but Greg’s Frozen Custard is open until Mid- to Late-November! Check the schedule and prime yourself with the Flavor of the Day by visiting Greg’s Frozen Custard
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