Ted Drewes Custard

We met up with my friend Charlie and his lovely wife Cathy for dinner at the St. Louis, MO Italian restaurant Biggies on Watson Avenue. Dinner was fun, but truth is, I can’t remember too much from our conversation as I had heard too much about the world famous custard we were going to scarf down at our next stop.

Ted Drewes is a St. Louis institution. Originally opened in 1931 and moved to its current location in 1941, the tiny shop has been selling purportedly the world’s most delicious frozen custard to Rt. 66 travelers for eight decades.

Tonight, even on what Charlie described as a slow night, there was something mystical about this place.

Impatiently poking down the street behind Charlie’s pace car, I wondered what kind of accident, or civic planning failure was causing us to fall into this stop and go pattern. It wasn’t until I saw the neon sign that I realized we were approaching Ted Drewes and the delay was the stand’s relationally small parking lot. There were lines of car pouring in East- and West-bound and barriers had been set up at the street (as usual) to keep the overflowing window lanes from stopping traffic.

In the parking lot, families and friends had dropped their truck gates, pulled out chairs and blankets and picked what appeared to be permanent “ice cream tailgating*” spots for the evening. What the Pope is to Catholics, apparently frozen custard, and Ted Drewes, is to St. Louis.

After asking Charlie and Cathy what to order, and being convinced that the classic “concrete” was the route to go, we got in line. The concrete is like a Dairy Queen Blizzard, only thicker. In fact, it’s so thick that the server will hand it through the window to you upside down – proving that it is apparently ready to be poured into the ever-expanding construction zone called my belly.

I have to say, being Ice Cream/Custard Connoisseurs, we were very impressed. This mystical place has us hooked!

This place is not a one trick pony either. In the winter, the two locations switch over to become another St. Louis institution – Ted Drewes Christmas Trees. That’s right, the world famous frozen custard shop becomes the St. Louis famous Christmas tree reseller.

Ted rejoices in the fact that some of his tree customers don’t even realize he sells frozen custard. But honestly, if you live in St. Louis, you you’d either have to be living under a rock or morbidly lactose intolerant not to have partaken in the delicious, creamy Ted Drewe Concrete.

* Credit has to go to Charlie for coining the term “ice cream tailgating”, but all the other funny stuff in here is mine!