The Milkshake Taste Test: ZBurger

Since getting my mouth wired shut, there has been no other restaurant I have visited more (to get a milkshake from) than ZBurger. With four locations throughout D.C. as well as in Arlington, VA and Nottingham, MD, ZBurger has been a little too accessible to me. I have tried dozens of their shakes, and most recently tried four different shakes which I will discuss below.

With each visit, the shakes have gotten progressively better. I think the secret to ordering a shake from ZBurger -especially if your jaw is wired shut, is communication. It helps to have someone with you because unfortunately communication is pretty difficult when your jaw is wired shut. On my first trip I had the Lemon shake. Next I ordered a Butterscotch, but was accidentally made a Butterfinger. (Actually, a pretty big difference.) And last, I got creative with a Root Beer Malt shake. By the way, I learned the not-so-easy way that some flavors pair better with the malt flavoring than others. I will be rating all the flavors in the last two categories.

VALUE: 8/10  ZBurger has two sizes: a regular costs $4.75 and a large is $5.99. The portions are pretty decent and so are the prices. The value is pretty good especially since they offer so many flavors.

SIZE: 8/10  ZBurger serves up a nicely sized Regular shake. It’s not enormous and it’s not a meager portion. This could be the most appropriately sized shakes I have had so far.

FLAVOR VARIETY: 10/10  Perfect score! ZBurger has so many flavors, it could make deciding what to get a bit challenging. Although I like to think of it as more reasons to go!

SO. MANY. FLAVORS!

SO. MANY. FLAVORS!

DRINKABILITY:

Lemon: 3/10  I was not pleased with how long it took me to consume a shake that should have been pretty easy. The Lemon shake was much too thick and became torturous to try to drink.

Butterfinger: 5/10  Butterfinger was not what I had ordered for good reason. It was full of tiny little chunks of the candy bar. The experience of trying to drink it was much like when I went to Ben & Jerry’s. The sips I managed sans candy bits were quite good, but every too often I’d suck candy bits into my teeth where they’d become lodged.

Butterscotch: 10/10 Now this is how a shake should be! When you’re only adding a (what I would assume is a) flavored syrup, nothing should get in the way of proper consumption. Also, after the Butterfinger mix-up, we also told the employees to mix the shake extra well. I’m not sure it was necessary, but it definitely wasn’t so thick like the Lemon shake had been.

Root Beer Malt: 10/10  I think this shake also had special “please mix extra well” directions which gave it the same result. An easy to drink shake is something special.

OVERALL SATISFACTION:

Lemon: 9/10  Lemon is just such a pleasant, summery flavor that went so nicely with vanilla ice cream. Although it was so darn hard to drink, the flavor won out once again. Maybe if I wanted this shake next time, I could just ask them to mix it extra well.

Butterfinger: 6/10  This was not the shake I had ordered. And when we told the people working, they simply threw it away. What a sad waste. Also, had I been able to drink the shake properly without a broken jaw, I still wouldn’t have given better ratings. This shake reminded me of a boring McDonalds McFlurry. Simply mixing in candy bits just didn’t stack up as well as some of the other more creative flavor options.

Butterscotch: 9/10  Butterscotch doesn’t have to be a bold flavor, but at ZBurger they got it right. Although perhaps had it had just a tad more flavor, it could have been even better.

Root Beer Malt: 7/10  I was confident that the cool Malt flavor (for no extra charge!) would pair well with root beer, but unfortunately I thought wrong. It wasn’t bad per se, but the flavor was slightly reminiscent of cereal…like Cheerios. Not really the flavor I was going for, but that’s more just my fault.

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