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A fast food franchise. In large parts of the United States, especially the South this franchise is the poor cousin to Dairy Queen. When I was growing up in the South, little towns that were not "advanced" enough to earn a DQ got one of these. Although they served soft serve ice cream and a large quantity of fried foods, they were never as tasty (or as clean) as the red and white DQ franchise (which was "in town"). They are what the Dollar General Store is to Kmart and what the Hydrox is to Oreo.

Tastee Freeze is by no means extinct. In fact one re-opened within the past few months at California & Armitage, the corner of the block I used to live on in Humboldt Park, Chicago. Humboldt Park is a strongly Puerto Rican neighborhood, extremely residential and swarming with tons and tons children.

The Tastee Freeze was revamped and opened by my friend Tony, and since he opened his doors a few months ago he hasn't had a slow moment since. From morning till late night his place is packed with children of all ages, the parking lot is filled with high school drama and bikes falling over eachother, the picnic tables are a constant mess of hot dog wrappings and chewed straws.

Despite the fact that its the dead of Chicago winter right now, and the fact that various hispanic vendors selling all forms of ice cream and other treats ring their bells down the streets of that community several times a day, Tastee Freeze is a huge success.

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