This week, my mission was simple: find an oasis in Pittsburgh that can save me from this ridiculous heatwave.
Located between 18th and 17th Streets on Carson in the South Side this quaint little Milkshake Factory (aka Edward Marc Chocolatier and formerly known as Chocolate Celebrations) has undergone a lot of changes while hanging on tightly to its neighborhood friendly appeal.
You've probably seen it, heard of it and very likely even passed right by. But if you haven't yet rung the jingle bells by opening the door, now is the time. The moment you step inside you'll be overwhelmed -- in a good way -- with the sight and smell of chocolate (not to mention the refreshing kiss of cool air which, especially during a week like this one, was more than welcomed).
EMC offers everything from turtles to truffles (I suggest the turtles with all of my heart) neatly packaged in beautiful blue boxes.
But that's not what I came for today. It's been so hot (I'm talking sneaker-rubber-melting-to-the-sidewalk, hot) and I was in desperate need of something VERY, VERY COLD. And ice cream is in fact very, very cold.
But this is The Milkshake Factory, darnit! And at the suggestion of a very pleasant and passionate employee, I opted for a strawberry banana flavored milkshake. And let me just say, thank goodness I did.
Strawberry banana was heaven. Not too heavy, very refreshing, hit the spot.
It had such a perfect consistency that it actually chugged up through my straw without me having to exert a lavish amount of cheek muscle to do so, yet it still kept it's thickness through my muggy, heated walk back to the car.
The cool part (no pun intended)? The Milkshake factory will make a shake out of any of their unique flavors. I was most intrigued by Pistachio while my shake-maker said that "Piece of Cake" is the most popular flavor to near-liquify. But they also offer a plethora of syrups and add-ins which they can blend in to customize any shake to tickle your fancy.
My strawberry banana consisted of strawberry ice cream, fresh milk, an actual, real, ripe, fresh banana and one large strawberry at the bottom. DELICIOUS!
Believe it or not I decided to blog about The Milkshake Factory BEFORE I saw the WPXI-TV segment praising it. (Hey! That girl was my shake-maker and strawbanana suggester!). I've been a long time fan of what I still refer to lovingly as The Chocolate Shop. My very lovely college pal, Irish Kate, was a loyal employee for nearly 5 years and I spent many a hot summer afternoon cooling off at the old hi-top soda fountain tables which have since been removed.
So this "less-word Wednesday" is dedicated to Irish Kate and Donna Edwards, original owner of Chocolate Celebrations (and mother of EMC founder Marc Edwards). Love and miss ya, ladies!
Oh and by the way... this Thursday is Milkshake Happy Hour: 1/2 price milkshakes (which comes out to around $2) from 5-7 p.m. Don't forget to bring cash though, purchases under $10 require it (although I'm you won't be TOO hard-pressed to find a delicious addition to bump up your total). So what are you waiting for? It's hot and your milkshake is waiting for you...