Andrew Ullom handles dessert for half a dozen of the best restaurants in Raleigh, North Carolina, but he doesn’t overthink a milkshake. “When you have three or four ingredients that taste good by themselves, nine out of ten times they’re going to taste good together,” says the executive pastry chef for Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, and several other spots owned and operated by chef Ashley Christensen, who has been one of the driving forces behind the city’s dining scene for the past decade.
Chuck’s is Christensen’s burger joint, where the toppings range from lettuce, pickles, and onion to roasted tomato slaw and chili with heirloom red peas. The shakes on the menu stick to the same soda-fountain-meets-serious-restaurant theme, with pound cake crumbs and malted milk powder as well as peach preserves and peanut butter from the kitchen. “And to make everything better, we add booze every now and then,” Ullom says. Locals who like their cocktails ice-cold generally ask for whiskey with vanilla malt and the peach-and-pound-cake swirl, and dark rum with peanut butter and banana. Liquor is optional, but a shot of the hard stuff in a chilly milkshake sure can help to beat this heat.