Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The DQ’s open, spring is coming March 15, 2022

DQ Peanut Buster Parfait. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo)

FOR RANDY AND ME, and likely others in the Faribault area, the opening of “the Little DQ” signals the shift to spring in Minnesota.

Late Sunday afternoon we joined the line of vehicles snaking around the small Dairy Queen along Lyndale Avenue. Our mission: To order the five-day opening special, a Peanut Buster Parfait for $1.99. Make that two, please. That totaled $4.28, with tax.

The drive-up (walk-up was closed) DQ opened on February 18 after a seasonal closure on October 29, 2021. The closing special was the same as the opening special—those bargain parfaits loaded with peanuts and oozing layers of rich chocolate fudge over soft serve ice cream. Yum.

But the treat is also loaded with calories. As we waited, I noted the calorie count of 710 on a sign. Yikes. It’s a good thing we treat ourselves to DQ only twice a year. In October and then again in March.

I also struggle with the regular price of $4.99 (I wouldn’t pay that price) for a single parfait. I realize DQ is in the business of making money, but that price point exceeds my cost comfort level. I can purchase a 1.5 quart container of ice cream from my local grocery store for around $3. That yields nine servings with a lot fewer calories. Around 200 for two-thirds of a cup versus 710 for that Peanut Buster Parfait.

I know, it’s not the same. Different type of ice cream. Different experience. DQ, for us, is a treat. It also signals the shift in seasons. In October, the move from fall to winter. And in March, the move from winter toward spring. Even as remnants of snow still bank the ground.

TELL ME: What’s your favorite Dairy Queen treat? How often do you go to DQ? Or do you have another favorite ice cream source?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “The DQ’s open, spring is coming”

  1. Valerie Says:

    Sounds yummy.
    Hogan Brothers is a great place to get ice cream in NF.

  2. Neil Says:

    In all my many, many years of ice cream taste testing, I’ve never had better than at Jimmie Cone in Damascus, Maryland (there’s also a newer location in Mount Airy, Maryland). Their soft serve ice cream is better than Dairy Queen’s because the butterfat content is around 10%, which is about twice as high as Dairy Queen and other chains.. The result is a very smooth, creamy texture. I haven’t been there in years; 16 hours is just a little too far to drive for ice cream.

    The prices there were always better than at DQ, and they never skimped on portion size. Service was also quick, despite the place almost always being packed with customers. Calorie content: no idea, but it never seems to fail that if it tastes better, the calorie count is higher. I always ordered my cone without the jimmies (which are just your choice of either rainbow or chocolate sprinkles), so I guess that I can say that I cut out a few calories that way. Jimmie Cone is so named because they go through over 100 pounds of jimmies each week.

    • Neil, that sounds like ice cream I’d like a whole lot. Thank you for sharing that once-upon-a-time-I-lived-closer favorite ice cream shop. The Pearl in La Crosse, Wisconsin, is a favorite for me, only 2.5 or so hours away.

  3. Yum! I am so in the mood for sweet ice cream treats!

  4. I am with you on peanut buster parfait. Yummy. Only once when I am home on visits. Way too many calories.😬💙💛🇪🇺☮️

  5. I always look forward to your spring visit to the DQ. I think It’s “sweet” that you and Randy do this each year. I try not to go to DQ because I happen to like it ALL, but especially the Blizzards. I might splurge, like you a few times a year.

  6. Norma Says:

    My go to place is Sonic. They make the best milkshakes!! I like any that has chocolate in any form. Crushed Oreos are fantastic in the shake.

  7. We buy DQ ice cream cakes for birthdays but other than that we don’t go. My mother in law has a recipe for Mr. Buster Bar’s that are as good if not better than the ones from DQ. I can share it if you like it.

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