Nostalgia works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, it hits us when we least expect it. I, for one, already feel nostalgic for late summer nights, keeping warm only by the heat of a bonfire. I long to feel the clouded, stinging smoke, to smell the bitter mosquito spray (our only defense against those little monsters), and to hear the laughter and joviality of friends I’ve known my entire life. On nights like these, my only worry is the state of my toasted marshmallow. Is it golden brown or have I scorched it to a crisp? I know it has only been about a month since summer, but there is some- thing dreamy about a time without homework, windchill and 7 a.m. alarm clocks. In the midst of first essays, second tests and the fifth week of school, I could really use a s’more.
I descended onto the Pause Kitchen with an open mind and a hearty appetite. Then the nostalgia hit: a fire crackled in the center of the cement floor, my childhood best friends sat around chit-chatting, and the faint stench of bug spray wafted towards me. Alright, so maybe the nostalgia didn’t hit me quite that hard, but Lord Huron’s “Night we Met” was playing in the Pause Kitchen and I was feeling some serious campfire vibes.
I sat down with my s’mores shake, made an attempt to take a less than awkward candid photo (actual awkwardness captured above), and took the first sip. After my brain rebooted from a mini brain freeze, I marked the words, “sweet, but yummy,” in my handy dandy notebook.
But, as a real critic (I’ve learned everything I know from food critiquing knowledge from “Ratatouille”), I swished the shake around my mouth, making sure every flavor got a chance to high five all my tastebuds. The next words I wrote down were: soupy, sweet, fluffy, sweet, refreshing and (you guessed it) sweet. Even for me, a girl with a whole set of sweet teeth, the sugared cream funneling through my straw was overwhelming. Surprisingly, the marshmallows hidden throughout – a food whose main ingredient is sugar – were a welcomed alternative to the sugar rush of the milkshake.
From Pause milkshake experience (I consider myself an expert on the subject), I am used to, and often enjoy, the soupy sugar rush contained in the teal and violet paper cups. The high sugar-to- milkshake ratio did not disappoint me, but the low s’more-to-ice cream flavor did. Marshmallows? Check. Graham crackers? Check. But wherefore art thou chocolate? Chocolate is arguably the best part of a s’more. My first word was “chocolate,” so when I couldn’t find the rich, chocolatey delicious- ness inside my s’mores shake, I was severely disappointed. With only a drizzle of chocolate over the whipped cream top, the shake could have drastically improved. Alas, the only chocolate lay in the ice cream, and even that was sub- par at best.
The more I drank of my shake, the more disappointed I became. The mini marshmallows churned through the shake began to freeze, becoming as hard as Lucky Charms marshmallows. The graham crackers, crumbled up and dispersed throughout the shake, quickly mimicked the consistency of a soggy sponge. And the whipped cream left a sugared layer on the roof of my mouth. The shake was more reminiscent of cereal left too long in milk than a s’more.
As for nostalgia goes, the s’mores shake just didn’t cut it. The lack of chocolate left this chocoholic unsatisfied. But as milkshakes go, Pause shakes still impress. I would recommend this shake to any sweet toothed ice cream lover. The refreshing shake may just give you the needed break from writing that first essay. But, if you’re looking for the reminiscence of a summer s’more, I would recommend buying a bag of marshmallows and renting out the Thorson fire pit instead.