Column by Taylor Grace Suiter, Senior from Brentwood, Tennessee
Halloween is approaching, and with that, the seasonal closing of our dear Dairy Queen.
From now until March 1, we will disperse to our various second-favorite places whenever the need for soft serve strikes.
I say soft serve because Murray doesn’t really have an ice cream store, DQ included. Even the beloved Belew’s, which people make mini road trips to visit, isn’t an ice cream parlor.
Sure, Culver’s has custard, but sometimes you want a hand dipped cone or cup of plain old ice cream. I want ice cream that requires a metal scooper to retrieve.
Murray makes a great market for food, chains or otherwise, as seen from the longstanding successes of Los Portales and Matt B’s, or the instant hits of Panera (or as the STL natives call it, “St. Louis Bread Co.”) and Qdoba.
This town has all of the different styles of Mexican food a person could dream of, but when it comes to ice cream one type reigns supreme.
Sonic has the blast, McDonald’s the McFlurry, Wendy’s the classic frosty.
These are all great options, but as someone who grew up less than a mile from a Baskin-Robbins, I realize that these leave something to be desired.
Throw me a caramel swirl, give me some cookie dough that doesn’t immediately disintegrate. Give me a classic mint chocolate chip scoop.
The lone spot in Murray where ice cream, I mean true ice cream without the need for toppings or mix-ins, can be found is Winslow.
Whenever Bear Claw or Superman ice creams make appearances in that freezer, the crowd lines up.
Where does that leave the students who don’t have unlimited swipes or freshman friends? It leaves us in the Sonic drive-thru or the Wal-Mart ice cream aisle.
The closure of Nick’s and the giant success that Tap 216 has had signals a change in tastes among Murray residents.
People want quality food, interesting flavors and all with the affordability and comfort that come from small town living.
Where Jasmine, Gloria’s and Tap fill these needs on the savory side, sweets are still left to the fast food chains (and donut shops, if it’s before noon).
Paducah is a perfect model for how the future of eating may look, ice cream included.
If you ask me, the secret to downtown Paducah’s culinary success has been filling the historic buildings with local crowd pleasers – a strategy that Murray is slowly but surely attempting.
We’ve gotten really good at locally owned and operated, now we just need to push it downtown. We already have a fantastic local bakery in Wild Mountain, and I say we now need an ice creamery.
I will give my patronage to whoever fills this void, granted that it happens before the first of March. Then I’m all Dairy Queen’s, the fact that it’s soft serve be damned.
Until then, I’m screaming. I’m screaming for ice cream (and a lively downtown), because we deserve both.