Oh man, Cool Inside has been hankering for this one all summer long.
We’re talking classic milkshake, made to perfection, and served up at the pink Formica counter of gleaming, chrome-sided diner redolent of postwar prosperity and optimism.
What is it called?
The Black & White, one of numerous milkshakes on the menu.
This one was made by Linda Wamsley, the operations manager and member of the Coviello family, which with the Russo family owns the diner and others with the same name in Summit and Bayonne.
Wamsley, a 42-year-old mom with two kids and a third on the way, chose this diner staple for Cool Inside because, she said, “you can’t go gourmet. There’s something about it. The old-fashioned is the best.”
Where is it sold?
45 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
This archetypal Jersey diner was carted from Belleville to its present location 51 years ago and revived by the current owners in 1996 after a failed run as a Chinese restaurant and a long period of dormancy.
At night, the interior is suffused with a pink light that all but screams poodle skirts and sock hops. But 24 hours a day, it’s a place where all the customers consider themselves regulars, even if they only come in once a year, says Wamsley. Some of them will even wait for “their” seats if taken, despite the availability of other seats, she says.
Bruce Springsteen, she says, comes in on occasion with one or more of his kids, and was delighted recently when asked if he wanted his “usual” order.
“Everybody wants to feel like they’re in a familiar, homey place,” she says.
What’s in it?
Three scoops of Hood’s hard ice cream vanilla, of course whole milk and chocolate syrup. But the “trick” to making a great, fluid milkshake, says Wamsley, is one she learned from a waitress at a Bayonne diner in 1980: a splash of club soda.
“It foams everything up, and makes it easy to drink through a straw,” she says.
Reason to be envious: the Broadway in Summit has a liquor license, which means shakes can be made with your favorite liqueur. Road trip!
What’s great about it?
Wamsley says the diner’s milkshakes, though simple, are “a made-with-love kind of thing” that pack a nostalgia wallop, evoking a time when life was less hectic and less complicated.
“A cheeseburger and a milkshake is still a cheeseburger and a milkshake,” she says.
But even little kids having their first-ever shake light up as if they’ve found wonderland when they lay eyes on that heavy parfait glass topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, she says.
Fill in the blank with the first word that comes to mind:
If this milkshake did not exist, life would be: “less interesting, less sweet.” (Linda Wamsley)