I was traveling back from a week in California on Friday. I had spent the time at an industry summit. It was a great week, but also an exhausting week.
After checking in and heading through security, I found myself stumbling through LAX looking for something to eat. Along the way, I ran into Henry “The Fonz” Winkler. He was chatting, smiling and interacting with the miscellany of travelers. He seemed very gracious and down-to-earth. But I was hungry, so I pressed on and found myself at Ruby’s Diner.
I don’t know if it was the nostalgia of the diner atmosphere, or the burgers and shakes, but I was suddenly reminded of one of the favorite treats from my youth. OK, steady yourselves … French Fries dipped into a Vanilla Shake. I know, it doesn’t sound really good, does it? I ordered a small burger, some fries and a shake. When they arrived, I carefully pulled some fries from the basket and gave a dip.
Oh my, oh my … it was more fabulous than I had remembered. I probably haven’t dipped fries in over 20 years, but there is something incredible about the taste, texture, and temperature combinations. Let’s break it down people. You have the salty taste of the fries, coated with the sweet ice cream. Next, you have the crispy fries slathered by the smooth, creamy shake. And finally, you have the internal steamy part of the potato wrestling with the frozen coating. All I can say is, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Technique is critically important, so let me give you a couple of tips. You want to find four relatively equal length fries and get them aligned and stacked into a two-by-two grouping, so that you are really dealing with essentially one bigger, fatter, fry. Of course, this assumes you are using normal French Fries, not those big fat steak fries of crinkle cut things. Once you have them stacked, which provides additional strength and surface area, you want to get a good dip and scoop of ice cream, and right down the hatch it goes. There should be no dilly dallying, for you will be dealing with the immediate melting effect the fries have on the scoop of cream. Once you get down to the lower portion of your shake, then you can use the three-fry, pier maneuver. You should simply line up three fries next to each other, and pick them up squeezing from the sides. You then use a spoon to scoop the bottom of the shake out and drop globs onto your little platform of fries.
I know this sounds like a crazy combination, and I must admit that I was getting some odd stares from some of the locals in the Ruby’s, but you just may want to give it a try next time you are looking for something fun.