The beloved cherry-dipped ice cream cone may be a thing of the past at most Dairy Queen restaurants, but fear not, vintage ice cream enthusiasts. It just so happens that you can still order some of your favorite throwback Dairy Queen menu items, if you know where to look. Just call this the ice cream *scoop* of the century.
Just across the river from its famous neighbor Fargo, Moorhead, Minn., has a secret. On the corner of Main Avenue and 8th Street, people are lining up around the block to travel back in time. Of course, there's no hot tub time machine or magic phone booth in Moorhead, but they do have the only Dairy Queen that is serving up treats like it's 1949.
Owners Troy and Diane Deleon are grandfathered into a 66-year-old contract that not only allows them to keep their menu super old school, but they also pay the same royalty rates on items that they buy from corporate headquarters as the original owners did in 1949. Moorhead DQ owner Troy Deleon tells Serious Eats that it figures to be about 32 cents per gallon of ice cream, or roughly one percent of their cost. A modern Dairy Queen, by comparison, pays between four and five percent of their costs back in the form of royalties.
Talk about sticking it to the man, right in the Dilly Bar. Because they are able to keep costs and royalty payments low, prices are much lower than you'd find at a regular DQ. This little legal loophole allows them to sell their famous Curly Shake, or milkshake with an ice cream sundae on top, for $3.25, and because the store is allowed to call in outside sources for ingredients and materials, it can still create items that have long since been discontinued by the Dairy Queen franchise, like cherry-dipped cones.
So if you thought that the hand-dipped Dilly Bars had gone the way of the Dodo, keep scrolling. The curl in the middle of your Dilly Bar is just keeping a low profile, like Sisqo or the Giant Palouse Earthworm. Check out this collection of amazing retro ice cream novelties, once thought to be extinct, that you can still order in the now famous Moorhead Dairy Queen.
1. Candy Crunch
This mixture of crushed nuts, candy, and sprinkles adds a delightfully festive crunch to the softest of soft serve, and while you can't get this topping many other places, your taste buds will be delighted to find this in Moorhead.
2. Cherry-Dipped Cone
Cherry-dipped ice cream cones have their own appreciation group on Facebook, and I'm going to need to taste one for myself. The time to bring these back to all stores is now, DQ HQ.
3. Handmade Dilly Bars
On Dairy Queen's FAQ page, they include an explanation for why some modern Dilly bars don't have the trademark curl in the middle. Apparently, "The manufacturing equipment is not able to duplicate the trademark curl on our Dilly® Bars. There are positives, however, to the manufacturing process. We can offer our Dilly® Bars in additional flavors, including Mint and no sugar added." Legend also has it that the Dilly Bar was invented in the Moorhead store.
4. Mr. Malty
A Mr. Malty is a frozen chocolate malt on a stick. I want one, and Moorhead has one.
5. Monkey Tail
A Monkey Tail is pretty much just what it sounds like — a frozen chocolate covered banana on a stick with a side of yum.