Chompers rejoice: Freddy’s adds chewin’ ice

Very few things make me happier than the soft, crushable ice pellets that some convenience stores and restaurants serve in their drinks. I could crunch, crunch, crunch that stuff all day. (One close friend has threatened to un-close friend me over the noisy habit.)

In my circles, it’s known as “Sonic ice” because Sonic is the place that so famously serves it. But you can get something similar at Quik Trip and at several other restaurants around town. Sonic, as you may know, sells it by the bag.

Now, Freddy’s Frozen Custard owner Scott Redler tells me that his chain is spending big money to add chewing ice to its list of offerings. Customers prefer it, he said, and each Freddy’s will spend between $12,000 and $14,000 adding new ice machines that produce the stuff. The Wichita Freddy’s have already made the switch, and other stores across the chain will soon follow.

Studies have been done showing what texture of ice makes customers most happy, Redler said, and even though it sounds strange, he’s a student of those studies. “It’s one of those things where we had to justify the expense,” he said. “We know our guests want it.”

(In other Freddy’s news, Redler told me that within the next 60 days, his company will begin construction on a new free-standing Joplin store to replace the one destroyed in the May 22 tornado.)

By the way, I also love love love the ice served in the drinks at Taco Pronto at 8385 W. 21st St. N. It’s shaved ice, almost sno-cone-ish in texture, and although it melts quickly and makes your cola a bit too watery, it’s pure chomping heaven.

Who else in town offers great chewing ice? Tell me in the comments section below.