I have a confession to make. And yes, this is serious. Ever since I could hold a cone, I’ve struggled with a serious addiction to ice cream, custard, frozen yogurt, whatever you want to call the heavenly concoction. In fact, one of my first words was “nilla” (short for vanilla). Lord knows I’ve seen and sampled it all — like a cup of Potato Chip down in Florida’s panhandle to a double scoop of Blue Cupcake in a waffle cone from northern Wisconsin. Yet, you don’t need to be an expert to know the obvious. The Custard Station has and will always wear the Custard Crown of Kirkwood.
I’ll give it to you, Andy’s fiends. Andy’s is the new ‘cool’ kid on the block with its sleek exterior and drive-thru option. It’s conveniently open all year round, and they even serve custard until midnight during the weekends — a perfect swirl of ingredients to win your favor. I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t enjoyed a few Snowmonster concretes, myself. But don’t be deceived.
The flashy neon lights that decorate Andy’s are solely used to draw your attention away from their overpriced and mediocre custard.
Getting custard is a treat and always a positive experience at the Custard Station. As soon as I walk into the cozy fortress of shaded benches, I can smell the flavors drifting from the little striped hut and feel the warm summer air. The lines move quickly, and the sweet Custard girls call my order swiftly — making a cone in just 23 seconds. I have never witnessed confusion between customers about who ordered what.
For operating 62 chains, Andy’s has still not figured out how to create the same satisfaction as the one and only Custard Station. Andy’s Frozen Custard leaves its customers frozen in the cold, waiting, and waiting, and waiting by the window for their order to be called or snatched by another customer. It takes them nearly a minute longer to make a simple cone. The lines are way too long, and when you finally reach the window, the workers are just as unhappy as you are. Sounds more like waiting at the DMV than a special occasion to me.
Being a teenager comes with its expenses: paying your share for pizza on a Friday night, those new shoes you want and looking onward to college. You should not have to sacrifice those new Vans for one or two custard outings. At the Custard Station, you can buy a cone with just a few quarters whereas Andy’s has a different story. One Yelp user couldn’t have said it better: “16 freaking American dollars for three of the absolute worst cups of frozen custard I’ve ever had,” John T. said, describing Andy’s. “We ordered the Snowmonster, the key lime pie and the peach. What we got was a cup of unexceptional custard with a small amount of the topping squatting on top like a malignant toad.”
Most importantly, it all comes down to the taste. Consistently, I have been more than satisfied with the Custard Station. The way the perfectly blended ingredients melt in your mouth. The pillow-like texture making each spoonful pure bliss. The genius combinations like Fluffy Elvis or Grasshopper Pie that leave you awestruck. The craft behind each piece of art is evident.
At Andy’s, the thought behind most cups is evident as well. Just look through the glass, at the disdained teens dumping in ingredients.
The next time you find yourself debating between the two spots, just ask yourself this; Walmart or Chanel?