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Leon's

3131 S. 27th, Milwaukee, WI - (414) 383-1784
Posted By Michael Stern on 3/16/2009 10:06:00 PM
Would you like to return to mid-century America? We might feel ambivalent about some parts of that trip, but there is one we'd surely relish: a summer-night visit to Leon's in a tailfinned convertible Eldorado. Here is an old-fashioned drive-in that is a neon-edged fun ride for anybody with a sweet tooth and an appreciation for the profound goodness of custard.

Custard looks like soft-serve ice cream and the broadest definition of frozen desserts might lump the two together. But as Leon's makes it, there is virtually no similarity to the wan soft-serve available in national chains outside of America's dairyland. And to compare it to the sort of ice cream that you buy by the pint in grocery stores – even the superpremium brands – is like comparing vintage Burgundy to screw-top wine. This custard is egg-rich, smooth as alabaster, sweet but not cloying, and uncomplicated. No mix-ins, no silly names for flavors, no cookie dough or brownie chunks. Choose vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or butter pecan. Have it in a cone or cup. Or have a sundae topped with sauce of your choice and some of the most delicious toasted nuts on the planet: pecan halves that have a wicked crunch, a salty punch, and an earthy flavor that only helps accentuate the heavenly clarity of the superior custard itself.

Dining facilities at Leon's are limited to a few chest-high counters around the side of the drive-in. Most customers eat standing up or sitting in their parked cars.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Custard
Super Sundae
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A Leon's
"A Leon's "Super Sundae." Jane was delighted that the sauce menu included both butterscotch and caramel (so often confused or not differentiated). This one is topped with caramel. And oh, those salty-crunchy-rich nuts!"
Michael Stern





This cone features long, elegant swirls of the delicious raspberry custard.
"This cone features long, elegant swirls of the delicious raspberry custard."
Cliff Strutz


Looks simple … and it is. But there really is no need to complicate things at Leon's, where chocolate and vanilla are each their perfect selves. This four-dip cup could not be improved.
"Looks simple … and it is. But there really is no need to complicate things at Leon's, where chocolate and vanilla are each their perfect selves. This four-dip cup could not be improved."
Michael Stern


The glowing red neon serves as a beacon for custard lovers all over southeast Wisconsin.
"The glowing red neon serves as a beacon for custard lovers all over southeast Wisconsin."
Cliff Strutz


Leon's is a fast-food icon on 27th Street. For most Milwaukeeans, it's always been there, always will be.
"Leon's is a fast-food icon on 27th Street. For most Milwaukeeans, it's always been there, always will be."
Michael Stern



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