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Milkshake flavors to choose in lieu of chocolate

It's national milkshake day today!

While we grew up on the most classic blended ice cream concoctions--the vanillas and chocolates and butterscotches of old-timey malt shops like the Convention Grill--sometimes we like to get daring.

Here are a few of our favorite funky flavors of milkshakes and malts at local restaurants:

5. Pumpkin Malt at The Malt Shop The Malt Shop identifies its specialty right in its name. While the classic burger spot covers all the basics, we've found that branching out pays big dividends. When the temps are climbing, try the pumpkin for a little foreshadow of fall.

4. Prairie Espresso "Adult" Malt at Prairie Ale House Here's your excuse to have your coffee with extra calories (ice cream) and kick (liquor). Prairie Ale House offers several "adult" malts, such as the Prairie Espresso with three kinds of alcohol: Frangelico, Baileys, and coffee liqueur.

3. Tomato de Arbol Shake at Chimborazo This one's our funkiest blend yet: at the Chimborazo Ecuadorian restaurant, the kitchen blends several milk-and-fruit based shakes (okay so they're more like smoothies, but let us have this one). One made with a hard-to-find tropical fruit native to the Andes, tomato de arbol (also known as tamarillo or "tree tomato") has a sweet-tart tang of passion fruit mixed with tomato, and an earthiness like ground cherries--it's really a trip!

2. Marshmallow Malt at Burger Moe's We think Moe Sharif should consider renaming his restaurant. While the burgers are fine, featuring the real star would re-title the place Marshmallow Malt Moe's. The subtly toasted sticky fluff is spun into vanilla ice cream for a flavor that the campfire kind could only aspire to. 1. Salted Caramel Custard Shake at Burger Jones Minnesotans raised on Pearson's nut rolls were hip to the joys of salty-sweet way before they were trendy. So our palates were poised and ready for Burger Jones to blend silky custard with rich caramel and spike it with salt. Now find it at the new Burger Jones in Bloomington, too.


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