“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
That’s exactly how we, Kayla Pinard, Jordan Card, Jackie Cardin, and myself felt when sipping the glorious concoctions that are milk and ice cream, and wallowing in sorrow when the last drippings of whipped cream had been forever sucked from the bottom of the glass. This, ladies and gentlemen of greater Manchester, is the second segment of Shake It ‘Til Ya Make It!, where we transition momentarily from diners to restaurants. In this article, we try the three best shakes from both Friendly’s on South Willow street and Red Robin at the Mall of New Hampshire— two national chain restaurants that we had to put to the test.
Our first stop was Friendly’s. As per usual, we asked our waitress what the three most popular shakes are. Friendly’s shakes are called “Fribbles”, and they are milkshakes that consist of any ice cream of the customer’s choosing. In this case, the waitress said they were Mint Chocolate Chip, Black Raspberry, and the Rockin’ Poppin’ Cotton Candy ice cream with (yes, you guessed it) actual pop rocks.
Here are our ratings out of fifteen. Ready, set, GO.
MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP: 9/15
- Presentation: The green color was pastel and nice, just like the others. 4/5
- Consistency: “Mixed well, not too thick… bits of frozen ice cream chunks.” 3/5
- Taste: “It tastes like mouth washed milk… not what I would want in a milkshake.” 2/5
BLACK RASPBERRY: 10/15
- Presentation: Pastel purple, similar looking to the rest. 4/5
- Consistency: “Thick, but in all the wrong places.” (If you can tell, in the photo, there is a large clump of unmixed ice cream floating at the top) 2.5/5
- Taste: “Slightly tart, but also sweet.” “It’s nothing special.” 3.5/5
*ROCKIN’ POPPIN’ COTTON CANDY: 13.5/15*
- Presentation: “Two words: pastel palooza”. But really, it’s light blue colors and specks of pink were immaculate. 5/5
- Consistency: “Well mixed, but not as thick as a shake should be.” 3.5/5
- Taste: “Amazing. These pop rocks make it ‘poppin.” The flavor of the cotton candy itself is also sweet and delicious on its own. 5/5
Our winner for this restaurant was the Rockin’ Poppin’ Cotton Candy fribble, which just so happened to be our waitress’s favorite shake as well! These fribbles are, according to the menu description, “Super thick milkshakes in your choice of any flavor of our creamy, homemade ice cream.”
Our next stop just down the road was Red Robin, notorious for their gourmet burgers and delicious shakes. Along the way, we even ran into one of our friends (who also happens to be the Treasurer for MMHS’s senior class), Jackie Cardin. She helped us in this rigorous process.
At Red Robin, after devouring our burgers and bottomless fries, we peered at the milkshake menu and knew that any choice we decided would be delicious. Our kind waiter gladly told us the most popular shakes, which were Mint Chocolate Chip, Salted Caramel, and Cookie Magic. We made room for these shakes which we evaluated with the utmost care.
MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP: 14.5/15
- Presentation: “The brownies on top really gave it some flare.” 5/5
- Consistency: “Easy to drink, the chunks not too big either.” 4.5/5
- Taste: “Tasted exactly like mint chocolate chip.” 5/5
SALTED CARAMEL: 14/15
- Presentation: It looks similar to The Airport Diner, with nearly identical shake glasses. Yet, the Hawaiian salt and cinnamon sprinkled on top made it shimmer. 5/5
- Consistency: “Good! This is the best consistency I’ve tasted so far.” 5/5
- Taste: “It’s a tad too salty; sometimes I swallow a large grain of salt. Otherwise, it’s great!” 4/5
COOKIE MAGIC: 13.5/5
- Presentation: Cookie bits on the top also give this shake flare. The oreo bits and milk give a beautiful gradient texture and color along the glass. 5/5
- Consistency: “Too liquidy for my liking.” 3.5/5
- Taste: “Perfect. This is what kept me going when I was too full.” 5/5
The winner for Red Robin was Mint Chocolate Chip, by only .5 points! And better yet, it won out of the two restaurants with a one point difference from the Rockin’ Poppin’ Cotton Candy. Another waitress who delivered our shakes said that her favorite was the flavor Banana Chocolate, also known as “Nana-Nana Moo-Moo” on the menu. Red Robin has had flavors that go on and off the menu, including some like Cupcake, Confetti, and Reese’s Cups. This screenshot says how the shakes we tried, along with a few others are made, if our readers are interested :
Once again ladies and gentlemen, it has been an honor serving our duty in the state of New Hampshire to try what shakes we can, and give you our honest opinion. Don’t let our answers bias you – try them for yourself! And, as always— consider these shakes shook.