Chow Town – In the Mood for Take-Out or Dine-In?

“Chow Town” is a new sub-series (started in 2014) within the very popular “Original Snow Village”. It is our homage to our favorite restaurants whether they are part of a popular chain like Dairy Queen, independently owned family establishments, diners, or one of the thousands of popular places that serve ethnic cuisine – German, Asian, Italian, Greek, or French cuisine. Which are your favorites?

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New this year is “Panda Palace” – third in the continuing series of fun buildings on our restaurant row. The pagoda style slate roof and heavy wooden front doors punctuate the Oriental style. Golden dragons, a symbol of luck, adorn the front windows. In 2015, we introduced “The Black Forest Restaurant”. Stop in for Oktoberfest or any other time of the year for authentic German fare.

Another favorite is “La Fiesta Restaurante”. With the growing popularity of Mexican cuisine, this quaint little restaurant is just the type you’d visit to get true, authentic Mexican food. Ole!

They say that 77% of all Americans eat ethnic foods at least once a week and many of us more often. Several recent and reputable surveys show that the most popular are Chinese, Mexican and Italian. Because Americans eat out so often, these choices are available through the country even though there are many regional favorites. The millennial generation of young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely to go a step further and try fusion food, like French – Vietnamese or Moroccan – Indian. However you sample it, food is a social experience and picking a restaurant can be challenging for couples and families with varying taste buds.


• Americans spend $1.7 billion per day on restaurant food alone.
• Other than the government, the restaurant industry employs more people (12.5 million) than any other industry in the United States.
• Salmon and shrimp are the most popular seafoods in American restaurants. In 2001, shrimp replaced canned tuna as America’s favorite seafood.
• More than 25% of all US adults had their first job in a restaurant.
• The most popular day of the week to eat out is Saturday and the least popular day is Monday.
• One of the most popular toppings on pizza in Brazil is green peas. (Really?)
• A popular doughnut flavor at Dunkin’ Donuts in South Korea is Glazed Garlic.
• McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers every second of every day.

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Summertime Soft Serve with Dairy Queen

When soft-serve ice cream was first produced in 1938, there was no Dairy Queen. John “Grandpa” Fremont and Bradley McCullough developed the formula for this summer favorite and convinced a friend, Sherb Noble to test it in his Kankakee, IL, ice cream parlor. Noble sold 1,600 servings for 10¢ each in just two hours! The trial was a definite success! Because McCullough deemed that the cow was the queen of the dairy industry, name “Dairy Queen” was chosen. The first Dairy Queen ice cream stand opened in 1940 and today there are over 6,000 locations in 30 countries.

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Department 56 designed a ceramic version of one of the earliest ‘drive-in” versions to celebrate the 75th birthday of the company. A retro highway billboard designed to look like the drive-in is also available. Other cleverly designed accessories and a new North Pole “Cone House” have been added this summer. When used together, these pieces allow collectors to create a small stand-alone display, or add the pieces they like to their existing Village display.

Starting with the simple soft-serve cone with the trade-mark curly Q one top, Dairy Queen has developed a number of fan favorite frozen treats including the “Dilly Bar” (1955), “Peanut Buster Parfait” (1973), the Dairy Queen Cake (1981) and the “Blizzard” (1985). All of these, and more were inspiration for our designers to create a  collection of blown glass, hand painted ornaments and are available to enjoy on your Christmas tree (and they won’t melt!).

Did you know:

dq_vintageThe state where there are the most DQ franchises are located, is Texas.
• Dairy Queen was one of the first companies in the US to offer franchises of their business to prospective owners.
• Dairy Queen® soft serve contains 5% butter fat and has only 140 calories per creamy 1/2 cup.
• All Dairy Queen soft serve is stored at 18 degrees F rather than the normal 0 degrees that is required for regular ice cream products. This is why you can dig in to a DQ treat as soon as it is in your hands.
• The world’s largest Dairy Queen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The two-level restaurant is 7,500 square feet and can easily seat 240 customers.
• The number one selling Blizzard is Green Tea (sold only in China) followed by Oreo, a favorite here in the United States.


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