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Issue Date: November 2010 Issue

Frozen In Time

Old-fashioned shakes and malts
Silver Spartan Diner

The only thing you need to order at the Silver Spartan Diner, a gleaming railcar diner on a tree-lined alley in University Circle, is the spectacular Spartan milkshake. These are milkshakes of the real, old-fashioned sort, not some syrupy, soft-serve nonsense generated from a self-pumping automatic machine. Employees scoop real chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream out of 3-gallon drums and blend it by hand under a mixer behind the chrome counter. Finally, the mammoth shakes come to the table in shining, industrial milkshake-machine tumblers. A favorite of ours is the unadulterated chocolate milkshake ($2.99): tastes like childhood, America, and all things good and wholesome. If you must, add peanut butter — one of the several add-ins available to embellish the three classic flavors — for a salty, satisfying variation. 11419 Bellflower Court, Cleveland,

Cruisin 50s Diner

We didn’t think dessert could get much sweeter than homemade apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream. That was until we stumbled upon Cruisin 50s Diner’s daily chalkboard list of roughly eight creative shakes and malts that would make even Elvis proud (peanut butter and banana, anyone?). Never tried a malt before? It’s worth the extra 50 cents for the frothy texture that the malted powder adds to a frozen shake. “It’s much more popular among the older crowd than the younger,” admits manager Dana Aquila. But no diner would be worthy of your blue suede shoes without a fabulous malt. The apple pie malt ($5.50) has chunks of real apple tiny enough not to pucker your straw yet large enough to make the treat a little chewy. Graham cracker crust bits act like sprinkles on top and add subtle cinnamon sweetness. 8807 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-255-1950,

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