Sometimes the easiest way to expand someone’s horizons is to merely show them the possibilities. While it would be easy to placate my nephew by hitting repeat on “Wheels on the Bus,” the idea that more experimental music could work fueled our driving around Chicagoland suburbs. When we got in the car and he asked me to put on “Fingerpainting,” the 1999 album by the Red Krayola, I knew we were going to be able to get beyond Dairy Queen. He still stuck with Chocolate, and I opted to try a Butter Pecan cone.
Housed at the end of a strip mall, expectations were not for anything that was going to change the world. However, there were surprises inside. Like a large refrigerator case that held simple groceries in addition to take home half gallons. What was most promising was the glass bottles of fresh milk from Oberweis’ dairies. What’s truly amazing is that Oberweis still does home delivery for its milk.
Oberweis began as a family dairy in 1927, with informal origins dating back even further. The Aurora, Illinois-based dairy, started having shops back in 1951, and it seems that is when ice cream became its other central concept. Their products are certified kosher and all contain a minimum of 18% Butterfat. The result is a very rich and creamy product that truly everyone can enjoy.
My Butter Pecan cone probably doubled that butterfat percentage, as you might assume by the fact that it’s got butter in the name. It was an excessively rich treat that was a quick eat and didn’t sit in my stomach like a leaden balloon. While the nuts didn’t have the freshness of a homemade ice cream, there were still large chunks that were integrated throughout. It was so creamy that you really may have assumed that you were eating a frozen stick of butter, but that density is what makes the cone as interesting as it is.
The goal of Oberweis is “not just another ice cream,” and it compares favorably to other regional dairy chains like Brigham’s and Hood. The high quality of the milk and cream used in their ice cream shines through, and is the most memorable part of this shop. While I wouldn’t come here exclusively, I would sign myself up for the milk delivery if I lived near enough, but they’ve got nothing east of Michigan.
In addition to the ice cream, Oberweis offers both iced and frozen lattes, and smoothies with yogurt or sherbet bases. They’ve got a dozen classic ice cream flavors and others that rotate availability, as well as new flavors that pop up on the menu. They even try to compete with DQ’s Blizzard with a soft serve ice cream with mix-ins that they call the Frostbite. And for those that yearn for the era when Oberweis opened up their first store there’s a root beer or Coca Cola float.
Cone – kids $1.99 small $2.79 large $3.89
Sundae – regular $3.99 large $4.99
Shakes and malts – 16oz $4.99
Open year round
7 Days a Week – 10a-11p