Green With Envy

Houston Needs the Shamrock Shake

The popular St. Patrick's Day treat is nowhere to be found here.

By Timothy Malcolm March 14, 2019

Houston, you have plenty going for you: smoky brisket, cheesy Tex-Mex, restorative bowls of pho, and kolaches. But there's something you don't have, and while it's not your fault, it's a travesty that requires immediate rectification.

Have you ever heard of the Shamrock Shake? I ask this because a knowledgable native Houstonian had no idea what I was talking about, and that's depressing. The Shamrock Shake is a beverage of vanilla soft-serve blended with mint-flavored syrup, topped with whipped cream and a single cherry, and sold every February and March by a small-time food proprietor called, oh, McDonald's. That's right, the biggest and most profitable fast-food chain in America makes a glorious St. Patrick's Day treat that you can't get in Houston and you may not even know about. Unbelievable.

I'm not a McDonald's person. But when March 1 rolls around every year, I start craving the rich, cool, minty taste of a Shamrock Shake. I would only get one annually, savoring the creamy mix. Some people I know would drink one daily. I do not recommend that. 

But I can't even recommend Houstonians to buy one at all, because the Shamrock Shake is not available here, per the McDonald's Shamrock Shake locator. I recently tried ordering one at a local drive-thru and got some contrived excuse about not having any in, but "some will come in by the end of the week." At another local McDonald's, the server seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. "We have chocolate and vanilla shakes," she said. Yes, I know what you have all the time. I don't want that. I want a Shamrock Shake.

It's ridiculous you can't get a Shamrock Shake here. It's soft-serve, syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry. They already have the soft-serve and whipped cream. How hard is it for McDonald's, a company that reported $21 billion in revenue last year, to stock up its stores across the country with syrup? They don't even need the cherries! 

Maybe McDonald's just figures Houstonians (and Texans, because apparently you can't get it anywhere in the state) don't want them. But hey, Houstonians will apparently line up for four hours for shakes decorated with unicorns. Come on, McDonald's, give it a chance. I'll be the biggest advocate. I'll douse myself in the green syrup if it's necessary. I can't drive out to New Mexico or fly back to Pennsylvania for just one shake. (I mean, have I thought about it? Maybe.) Get the darn Shamrock Shake in Houston.

Until then, you could make your own Shamrock Shake

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