The Boston Shake at The Snowman

snowman boston shake composite

One more reason to visit The Snowman.

By Daniel B.

People around here go nuts over soft serve ice cream. They do. And in the spring, when the seasonal ice cream stands open, everyone flocks to their favorite place for what they insist is the creamiest soft serve in the region.

Soft serve has its place. There is a certain satisfaction of being handed an improbably tall cone, with a beautiful symmetrical swirl, brought to a point on top. And then there is the challenge and delight of attempting to finish the whole thing before it melts.

But soft serve is not what makes The Snowman in Lansingburgh special, although that's not to say it too doesn't have its fans. The proprietor will readily tell you that it just comes from a mix, like everyone else's. Still as I have learned, this fact does not mean all soft serve tastes the same.

What makes The Snowman special is their homemade hard ice cream. And what makes The Snowman very special is that there you can get a Boston Shake, which allows you to enjoy it two ways.

snowman exterior wide

Perhaps native Albanians who have soft serve flowing in their blood see nothing wrong with using the stuff for milkshakes. But I am a bit of a purist. The modern milkshake as we outside of Boston and Providence understand it has been around for almost a century, corresponding with the invention of the electric blender, and it calls for hard ice cream.

In Boston, Providence and other cities scattered throughout New England there have been some hold-outs in adopting the modern milkshake. These old school denizens tow the line that predates the blender and insist that a milkshake is nothing more than milk flavored with syrup. If you want a milkshake with ice cream in Providence, you'll order a cabinet. In Boston, it's a frappe.

But The Snowman's Boston Shake has nothing to do with Boston. In fact those in eastern Massachusetts I spoke to about this concoction were completely perplexed. So what is it? Well, there is a sign predominantly displayed above the ordering window that describes it as:

Any flavor milkshake with a scoop of our homemade ice cream, some tasty hot fudge, delicious whipped cream, and a cherry to top it off!

For those who need it spelled out for them, that would be a milkshake crowned with a hot fudge sundae. Oh, yes.

The regular size cannot be contained within its sixteen ounce cup and will set you back $3.85 for a silly amount of pleasure. It's a treat you get to enjoy with both a straw and a spoon. Truly, it is the best of both worlds.

snowman boston shake interior closeup

Typical sundaes are large and unwieldy beasts, about the size of a small child's head. They are delicious, but they are a bit much. Plus in the hot summer sun, they melt before they can be finished.

Milkshakes are a great way to both cool down and fortify your body with both calcium and protein. Being able to suck down homemade ice cream through a straw is one of life's great joys. But you can't sink your teeth into a milkshake.

Putting the two of these things together is brilliant. Believe it or not, the milkshake actually insulates the ice cream, so your sundae is protected from summer's searing heat. And even if some of the ice cream melts, it simply adds to the flavor of the shake. Plus it opens up a realm of possibilities for flavor combinations.

two empty boston shakesOn my last visit, I enjoyed a strawberry milkshake topped with a vanilla hot fudge sundae. Then I got a little bit fancier by adding malt powder to a chocolate milkshake for an additional dime, and choosing a coffee hot fudge sundae to go on top.

Yes, that's two shakes. It's really a good thing I can't get these all year because I'm already dreaming about my next one. Will it be a coffee shake with a scoop of coffee mocha chip or a vanilla shake with a scoop of butter pecan?

The Snowman isn't fancy, and it isn't gourmet. There isn't a lot of shade or cover, and there is no place for kids to run around. If you want to sit down, they have one very long, red communal picnic table in the parking lot. But the people who know keep coming back for their homemade hard ice cream.

Not everyone gets the Boston Shake, but they should.

Daniel B. is the proprietor of the Fussy Little Blog.

Find It

The Snowman
531 5th Ave
Troy, NY 12182

Comments

There is actually much much more to the Boston Shake, and I think none of us have unearthed it yet. I still need to see what they hand you when you order the large...

An ice cream shop where I'm from, central Connecticut, calls this a Meteor Milkshake, based off the name of the shop, The Big Dipper. Although the change in name here threw me off initially, what's important is that every person in the country is able to enjoy a milkshake with a scoop of ice cream in it, no matter what the name is. It doesn't get much better.

Jim's Tastee Freeze in Delmar has the best Boston Shakes in the area. Really.

Isn't It Sweet in Albany also has a Boston Milkshake, and a whole store of other treats.

I am a Boston Shake lover as well. My fav spot is Curry Freeze in Rotterdam. It doesn't get better than a coffee ice cream shake with either choc or coffee ice cream & hot fudge on the top. Mmmm thank you Mr. Boston or whoever invented this. What are others' favorite Boston Shake flavors?!

I missed this post when it originally ran, and the last nine months of my life have been poorer for it.

(But probably healthier)

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Stuff to do this weekend

It is the first weekend of official summer -- so soak it up. After the jump, a whole list of stuff we thought might interest... (more)

Morning Blend

Senate Republican health care plan New York reaction to the Senate version of the Republican health care legislation: + Chuck Schumer said the Senate plan... (more)

Today's moment of summer

It was a quality cloud day.... (more)

Bites Camera Action in downtown Albany

The schedule for the downtown Albany outdoor movies/food trucks series -- Bites Camera Action -- is out. You might remember this is the series for... (more)

The Colonie Center Sears is closing

The Sears at Colonie Center is closing this mid-September, the company said in a statement Thursday. the store will remain open until then and a... (more)

Recent Comments

I am Dominican so I totally relate. I have thick curly hair (3c) and some of the hair professionals in this area do wonders with fine curly hair but have no idea what to do with thick (ethnic) hair. For the longest I had to take trips to NYC to get my hair done until I found Islenia (you can find her as "Hair by Islenia" in Facebook).She has been doing my hair for over 10 ears and she is excellent! ...

Bites Camera Action in downtown Albany

...has 2 comments, most recently from Paul

A stylist for long, curly hair?

...has 11 comments, most recently from Carolyn

The Colonie Center Sears is closing

...has 3 comments, most recently from jsc

Gawking at the new Five Rivers visitor center

...has 4 comments, most recently from abby

"Uber may just be a gigantic taxi company after all."

...has 1 comment, most recently from J