Monday, September 1, 2008
The Frozen Yogurt Craze
At last! The frozen yogurt craze has finally hit Hawaii! Two years ago during spring break, my friends and I ventured from Washington to California on a one week road trip. In L.A., we were introduced to the Pinkberry craze, where people would line up for what seemed like miles just to have some frozen yogurt. When we finally got our hands on some, my senses were uplifted in the hot L.A. sun by the tart and refreshing Pinkberry treat! One of my favorite foods (literally) is plain yogurt with granola and fresh fruit, so eating a slightly sweeter frozen version of this is a delightful experience for me. Everything from the brightly lit interior with fresh and clean decor to the burst of crispy sweet fruit in your mouth filled me with excitement and joy. I loved it so much and was sad that this craze had not yet even hit Washington.
Why are people going so crazy over frozen yogurt? I'll tell you why I love it. The first reason that Iove it is because I eat plain yogurt for breakfast on a regular basis and love the tartness combined with sweet fresh fruit, so to eat in in a dessert is a whole other experience! I also love frozen yogurt because its low in calories (usually less than 100 calories in a small serving) and sometimes made with natural ingredients. A health nut like me can really appreciate this yummy and fresh dessert! And if you're not a health nut, go for the chocolate chip and candy toppings!
Two years later, I am delighted to announce that we can now enjoy this frozen treat at several places in Hawaii! The one place that everyone is talking about is Yogurtland. Located in the old "Volcano Joe's" location on University Ave, people of all ages (although mostly college-aged kids) line up at all hours of the day for indulgence in a self-serve yogurt bar.
For just 39 cents an ounce, you can fill your cup with choices from 13 self serve yogurt flavors and an array of toppings.
Flavors rotate on a regular basis and may include green tea, strawberry, coffee, taro, mint, peanut butter, blueberry, heath bar, cookies and cream, and of course plain. Toppings include fruit, a variety of cereal, mochi balls, cheeesecake crumbles, granola, and much more. Its interesting to watch as people fill their cups with combinations of yogurts and pile on the toppings. The second time that I visited this place, they ran out of the plain flavor, which was very disappointing. I guess they couldn't keep up with the demand.
Yogurtland is quite a craze and the self-serve factor does have its perks, but my personal favorite for frozen yogurt is Milano Freezer over in Pearlridge. Its all in the taste and quality for me! If you want to choose from variety and eat as much as you can handle, go to Yogurtland. If you want high-quality fresh fruit and all-natural yogurt that has unbeatable taste, go to Milano. I can't count the number of times I visited this place, and each time I get to the end of my yogurt cup, I feel sad that there isn't more for me to eat. Its always so tempting to order another cup, but I know that one serving is just enough to satisfy me, anymore and I would be stuffed, rather than refreshed. This is the plus about not having self-serve...portions are controlled and you savor what you have. I just can help but feel so happy when I eat here! Aside from the plain yogurt, you can choose from 3 other "flavors of the day" which rotate on a regular basis. I always order plain, but I also like yuzu and blueberry flavors. You can also order freshly made gelato and take out portions of both frozen yogurt and gelato. They also make gelato cakes for special celebrations! And samples of gelato or frozen yogurt are also free (and highly encouraged)!
I've also tried Fro-Yo Bar on King street and wasn't very impressed. It was more of a dessert than a refreshing treat, and although the long list of flavors rotate on a regular basis, the plain flavor isn't always available. The location was very small and parking was a challenge.
Buzz word is that there is also another place called "Red Mango" opening up in Waikiki sometime soon.
Okay, enough about me raving about yogurt. Go out and try some for yourself!
1810 University Avenue
Located near 7-11 in Westridge
98-150 Kaonohi Street
Aiea, HI 96701