cabinet~milk shake

Indigo Som indigo at WELL.COM
Tue Aug 7 06:29:44 UTC 2001

>>"Coffee cabinet" = "coffee milk-shake" seems to be very frequently
>>mentioned ...
>To clarify: I will use "milkshake" here in what I believe is a standard
>sense, = "milk + ice-cream + flavoring, shaken/blended".
>Apparently in RI, a common term for this item is "cabinet". [Any expert or
>Rhode Islander please correct me.]

This is my understanding too. I grew up in CA & then spent 2 years
(1984-86) at Brown Univ. in Providence RI, where I had it carefully
explained to me that I should say "cabinet" instead of "milkshake" -- their
"milkshake" being something else that I wasn't expected to like. Nobody
ever said anything about coffee cabinets in particular, but maybe the whole
cabinet concept was simplified or dumbed down for us temporary RI
residents. On campus I had no trouble ordering chocolate cabinets or
strawberry cabinets.

A few years later on a visit to Manhattan I ordered a strawberry milkshake,
believing that I was well out of cabinet territory. To my distress it
turned out to be mostly milk with a wee bit of strawberry ice cream blended
in, so it was sort of like strawberry milk, only colder & ever so slightly
thicker. I realized this must be the infamous RI-style "milkshake". But
never found out: is NYC usually cabinet territory or not? The place where I
ordered the disappointing milkshake didn't have cabinets on the menu.

Indigo Som
indigo at

Salt water is no danger
With your feet on solid ground
Cry yourself a river
But it don't take much to drown    ---Freakwater

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