Serious Eats: Drinks
Root Beer Shakes, Not Floats, at Omega in Milwaukee
I wasn't expecting to get a very good shake at Omega Jumbo Burgers and Frozen Custard. It's a local suburban fast food spot with a diverse (or perhaps schizophrenic?) menu and a dining room like a hospital cafeteria—sterile and cold with some token potted plants in the middle.
After these shakes though, I will never judge a book by its cover again.
Strawberry actually had real bits of strawberry in it, the kind that get stuck in the straw. The flavor was fresh and bright, not fake or candy-like, with just enough fruit to turn the vanilla custard a creamy pink.
Root beer floats are great, but at Omega burger, they offer a root beer shake. It was dark with concentrated root beer syrup, but the flavor was smooth and balanced. Somewhere between a slightly sharp root beer and the mellow vanilla of the custard. It was extremely thick (you had to scoop it up with the straw to eat it), but so good that I didn't really mind.
There was one thing disconcerting about these shakes, however: both had a slightly grainy texture. As I was eating the root beer version with the straw, I noticed that there were tiny little granules of... something that stuck to the straw. If I had to guess what they were, it'd be undissolved gelatin. They were not hard, not ice crystals, and they made your teeth stick together slightly if you chewed, but dissolved easily. I was so curious, I asked a manager and the woman who made the shakes on the way out if there was any gelatin or powdered milk in them. They claimed there was nothing besides custard, milk and the flavorings. That leads me to believe that whatever the ingredient is, it started in the custard. Perhaps it was a one-time mistake with the custard mix.
Despite the mystery ingredient, I would not hesitate to order either of these shakes again. The flavors were strong, rich and smooth. If anyone has an idea of what could cause the mystery granules, let me know!
Omega Jumbo Burgers and Frozen Custard
7041 South 27th Street, Franklin, WI( map)