Over the years, we’ve stopped at the Malt Shoppe on University Avenue in Provo from time to time, usually for a shake. It had been years, but we took the whole family in for a bite to eat (well, mostly for the shakes).
Malt Shoppe has a great location: on University Avenue near BYU. It also has a quaint 1950’s diner atmosphere, decked out in red and white with a jukebox and pop culture memorabilia all over the walls. It should totally work, but the big problem is that the place is dirty, worn, and just plain needs a huge overhaul.
We placed our order at the counter inside and then waited for it to be ready. Service is not great and is sometimes quite slow. Malt Shoppe specializes in shakes and malts of all flavors. Their list of choices is quite extensive. Their food menu features typical grill choices: hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc.
This particular evening, the three guys were in the mood for hot dogs and each ordered a foot-long with some fries. The hot dogs were long & split down the middle, but were not very well grilled.
Sweet Diner got the kids chicken nuggets & fries meal. She hardly touched it after the first bite because the nuggets were very dry.
I ordered the shrimp & English chips. The shrimp were overdone, and I could taste nothing but the over-fried breading…flavorless shrimp. And there wasn’t any lemon or sauce for the shrimp…unless you count ketchup or fry sauce. I love English chips…they seem like little potato pillows. These had a decent potato flavor, but were still just mediocre.
Yep, none of us got the hamburgers this time, which was a shame since we were fairly disappointed with our food. We’ve had the hamburgers before and they are okay; nothing spectacular.
The shakes here are better than the food. One time I ordered the hot fudge banana shake, which had an incredible flavor, but because they really used hot fudge, it was really melting. The shakes start at $2.99, but that price includes an extremely limited number of basic flavors. To that base price, you add on the price of the flavor topping you select. Most toppings are an extra $1.20-$1.30.
On this trip, a couple of us ordered fruit flavors. Amazing ordered the Strawberry-Banana & I ordered the Jumbleberry Pie (combination of multiple berries and pie crust and the most expensive shake on the menu). The Jumbleberry Pie was a favorite with lots of berry flavor and the nice added texture and flavor of an occasional piece of pie crust. The Strawberry-Banana was mostly banana with a lack of much strawberry flavor at all.
Then we had a couple chocolaty shakes. Mr. Diner ordered his signature Butterfinger and Sweet Diner got her favorite: Cookie Dough. Both were creamy, but needed more of the added topping to make a really flavorful shake, especially the cookie dough (do you even see any cookie dough in that thing?).
Malt Shoppe has a drive through window, but it’s super slow, so I don’t recommend it. They also have a fabulous $4.99 special that includes a burger, fries, & a shake (from the 60 cent topping category) from 11 am to 5 pm, a pretty good deal when you consider the shake alone would cost $3.59.
I really want someone to do an overhaul of this place. It could be really great. Can’t you just see this little outdoor stand serving simple frozen treats & drinks from the window during the summer with the full menu being served from the main counter? Until then, you can get both a better burger & shake at several places for about the same price. Choose JCW’s or Coneys, which both serve great burgers and shakes.
Entrée Price: $
Average Fork Rating: 3
Mr. Diner: 3
Mrs. Diner: 2
Amazing Diner: 4
Sweet Diner: 3
Little Diner: 3