Midwest Living Review
Though the oil industry has brought growth in recent years, Stanley has long been the definition of small-town North Dakota. There's Main Street, a community pool, a flower shop and homes. And getting to Main Street during our August 2010 visit was no easy task because it was torn up for repaving. But we would not be deterred. The Dakota Drug store has a 1948 machine called the Whirl-a-Whip. It takes hand-dipped ice cream (either chocolate or vanilla), mixes it with up to three kinds of flavored powders and turns it into soft-serve ice cream. (Yes, we said powders. There are about 30 to choose from. Stick with us here.) We chose chocolate ice cream flavored with peanut butter, brownie batter and Oreo cookie powders. Our Whirl-a-Whip was served in a 12-ounce white Styrofoam cup ($3.50). It's nothing to look at. But the taste is amazing. We still don't understand how mere powders can yield that kind of like-real flavor. We kept looking for ribbons of peanut butter running through the ice cream, but no. You'll find flecks of chocolate-looking stuff -- and enormous pleasure in however you order it. Sit at one of the stools along the old-fashioned soda fountain to enjoy your snack, read about the history of the Whirl-a-Whip and imagine what flavors you might try on your next trip to town. In addition to the powdered flavors, you can mix in crushed hard candies or fruits like strawberries and raspberries.