Weird and Wild WNY Eats: Hertel Avenue Poutine and Cream’s “pickle freak shake”

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Western New York is full of weird and wild foods- and we’re going to try them for you.

When Hertel Avenue Poutine and Cream opened in May 2017, they brought the zany “freak shake” to Buffalo.

“They’re really big over in Europe,” Poutine and Cream general manager Bradley Southworth said. “We’re trying to bring something a little different to Buffalo.”

A freak shake consists of 16 oz. of milkshake, “dipped in fudge, dipped in toppings, whipped cream, fudge, caramel, a brownie, a cupcake, Reese’s cups- anything we can put on it, we will,” Southworth explained.

Poutine and Cream (1488 Hertel Ave.) regularly rotates its Freak Shake offerings, serving up a new variety weekly.

One of the current offerings is quite a pickle.

The “Pickle Freak Shake” consists of a pickle ice cream milkshake with all of the toppings, with a dill pickle spear as a garnish.

Southworth came up with the salty/sweet concoction.

“I tend to go through the internet and see what weird flavors are going on throughout the country,” Southworth said. “I saw ‘pickle shake’ and I thought ‘Hey, we do lots of other weird flavors’ so I wanted to try it.”

They gathered some pickle concentrate and fresh dill, and came up with the right mix in about a half hour.

There are two pickle flavors to choose from: regular and spicy.

“People come in and go ‘Pickle ice cream? Ew’ and we go ‘Well, just give it a try, you may love it, you may hate it’,” Southworth said.

Poutine and Cream puts out many other inventive flavors- they’ve done balsamic vinaigrette, brown butter bacon, and “sweet beet”.

“I do my own “butterbeer” flavor, with homemade butterscotch,” Southworth laughed. “We’re not opposed to trying new things.”

Like most of what Poutine and Cream offers, the ice cream is made in-house.

“Pretty much the only thing that’s not made here is the cheese,” Southworth said. “We get all of our milk every month, we get our ingredients from Italy, we make high-end Italian gelato.”

The ice cream offerings have expanded since the shop opened, from 12 flavors to at least 18 at all times.

The ice cream flavors always include a vegan option, Southworth added.

The menu has expanded too- in addition to poutine, you can find house-made burgers.

You can also find Poutine and Cream ice cream at their sister location, Allen Street Poutine Company, 242 Allen St.

If you want to get your hands on a pickle freak shake, act fast- it’ll only be available until it runs out.

Is there a weird and wild WNY food you’d like to see featured? Email us at or

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