Zombie Burger and Drink Lab is serving up some of Des Moines’ strangest culinary concoctions. But the creativity doesn’t stop at the food menu. One of the restaurant and bar’s most popular items is the Zombie Bride wedding cake shake, a yellow cake-flavored milkshake with an optional shot of cake-flavored vodka.
We stopped by Zombie Burger and Drink Lab to chat with Karen Davis, “general manager and slayer of the undead,” at the East Village eatery, who told us the Zombie Bride wedding cake shake is the most popular of the spiked shakes.
“It could be the name, just the fact that it says Zombie Bride cake shake,” Davis said. “The name may draw them in, but then they just love the flavor of it. The inner child will be pleased with the shake and the adult will enjoy the shot.”
It’s made by blending vanilla ice cream, house-made yellow cake batter and two ounces of Pinnacle cake-flavored vodka. The result is, for lack of a better descriptor, ridiculous. And that’s meant in the best possible way. After the initial taste of the ice cream and yellow cake batter is a hint of a vodka aftertaste that eventually develops into a warm sensation as it settles in the stomach. The cream-colored shake is served with a straw, though its cheek-straining thickness may be better served with a spoon. It’s also rich. Very rich. It’s almost a meal unto its own.
Spiked shakes are big business at Zombie Burger. Davis said the restaurant has served more than 500 shakes on a Saturday, and it averages 1,000 spiked shakes a month. Though the standard menu also includes chocolate and red velvet cake versions, the ideas are always evolving. Zombie Burger recently sold out of a sticky toffee pudding shake it created in honor of the Olympics, and it is in the process of perfecting an Iowa State Fair-inspired shake made with funnel cake batter.
Zombie Bride Wedding Cake Shake
Try it: Zombie Burger and Drink Lab, 300 E. Grand Ave.
Cost: $8 spiked, $5 non-alcoholic