My boyfriend, his kids and I went on a road trip last month to catch a little Padres Spring Training in Arizona. A road trip through the desert across Arizona means that we would be passing through Dateland, AZ which has really amazing date shakes in their cafe. I hadn’t visited Dateland since about 2004 and I was excited to be visiting it again. Though… it was a little different this time around.
This is the postcard that I picked up a Dateland back in 2004. When I visited then, not much had changed. They still had this old, kitschy, dusty old gift shop with a separate Dateland Restaurant. They even have old photos still up on their website even though it’s changed. They might want to think about redoing their website… or maybe it’s now a homage?
See, they renovated it and turned it into a “Travel Center”. All of the kitschiness is gone. I was not as impressed by this new fandangled place, but still stopped in and got my milkshake. They did have a cute new edition outside where you can house your pets while you go inside for a break from your road trip. The doggies don’t have to stay in the car while you get your creamy treats! But still. This was not as exciting as before. But I understand why their renovated and upgraded. This place was a lot busier than when I passed through previously and probably increased their business. Kudos. Onto the date shakes!
Next to the Gift Shop and the Quiznos (arrgh) is the little ice cream/bakery stand. They have other date-related baked goods besides shakes. I was only interested in the date shake.
They have other flavors besides “Date” if you’re into dates. My boyfriend doesn’t like the texture of dates in his shake – he likes the flavor, he just doesn’t dig chewing through his milkshake. I have no problem with this whatsoever.
I kept it simple: I got a small date shake ($3.50). It was rich, really thick and super creamy. And it was very, very date-y. This thing is packed with dates – a lot of them get finely mushed into the shake, but there are still a few larger pieces which means you still have to chew. The date flavor really permeates the shakes and it really good. About the only other date shake’s I’ve had are the ones at the San Diego County Fair which don’t even remotely look like this one. Those are still white and you get a lot less dates. This date shake was also really sweet though (maybe a little too sweet) and I wasn’t able to slurp up all of it, but I consumed as much as I could before giving up.
If you’re making your way across the desert in Arizona, you might want to make a pit stop here in Dateland, AZ – either for the shakes, a clean restroom and a chance to stretch your legs, or to simply say, “I’ve been to Dateland!”.
Interstate 8 Milepost 67
Dateland, AZ 85333