Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fast Food: Rank Something Different

Dairy Queen is a fast-food chain based in Minneapolis, MN. Their first store opened in Joliet, IL in 1940. While primarily known for their ice cream treats, DQ fits the necessary qualifications for review in this blog: 1. Chain restaurant. 2. Drive-thru. 3. Serve cheeseburgers. 4. Don't have to call ahead to get a reasonably fast meal.

Pros: A fantastic place for ice cream. Pun City will often trek there just for a Blizzard, which is good stuff. Ice cream cakes are pretty decent also, pretty good soda selection, offering Wild Cherry Pepsi, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Code Red, and Mug Root Beer, among others. (This blog seems to recall Pibb Xtra being available at some locations, in addition to Cherry Coke). Lots of locations near this blog, very convenient in that respect. The chicken finger basket is a classic, the Texas Toast included isn't very expensive for them, but extremely tasty with the butter they put on it. Very filling also, the chicken and fries really make for a big meal. Offering chili dogs is a good move, they've checked that one off the list. Service has been very good all around in this blog's experience. In summer, DQs are usually ice cold, which is nice. French fries are very good, usually include a good amount of salt. With over 5700 locations, Dairy Queen is usually convenient.

Cons: Very underwhelming cheeseburgers. The meat, while a generous portion, is a lower grade than this blog prefers. This is a disappointment for a place that sells the combo of burgers and ice cream, usually you can't go wrong with that combo. Lots of extra condiments that you have to let them know to remove, not used to special orders for that and the service will suffer when you make these requests. Some DQ locations have limited menus, while in Atlantic City, this blog encountered one of these that only served BBQ beef and chili for their "hot eats." Perhaps because of the amount of sugar and dairy served, Pun City has found most DQ locations to be very sticky. It also seems like workers have a hard time keeping up with all of the customer's spills. In the winter, DQs are usually ice cold, which is uncomfortable.

Burger-Only Ranking: 4 out of 10 Fryers. Buns are good, less standard condiments, better meat, and this would move up a lot. Also, less emphasis on crazy fireburgers and crap like that, just hone in on a good regular burger. It doesn't even have to be great, just solid and people will go to DQ over better burger purveyors just because they can have some good ice cream for dessert at Dairy Queen.

Overall Ranking: 6 out of 10 Fryers. Given the reasonably-priced, quality ice cream, in addition to the chicken and chili dog options, the lack of a good burger is somewhat forgiveable. Room for improvement on cleanliness, pricing could be a little better in general, consistently offering 3 dark non-diet sodas would also add some value. It's rare when a Dairy Queen ever has a cool "theme" inside, it'd be nice to see some character in these. Also, using styrofoam would be a good way to help keep food at optimal temperatures without freezing all of the customers.

Want to see how Dairy Queen stacks up against the competition? Check out these other Fast-Food Reviews courtesy of Pun City:

Burger King
In-N-Out Burger
Jack In The Box
Sonic Drive-In
White Castle

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