Restaurant Review: Pinkberry

August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

There are so many frozen yogurt places nowadays that I think Pinkberry wanted to differentiate itself by offering some new options. They took up a breakfast theme, serving up (non frozen) greek yogurt options and espresso drinks. On Wednesday a friend and I headed to the location in Georgetown to check out a deal I found on Facebook (free espresso drink with any greek yogurt purchase).

The store was pretty empty at 7pm on a Wednesday night. I looked at all the delicious greek yogurt options. They come in snack-size or meal-size, and in sweet or savory varieties. I chose to go to savory route and get the Caprese greek yogurt, which was the plain greek yogurt topped with sweet balsamic, cherry tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. It comes in a convenient little plastic package – good for people on the go, bad for the environment.

One thing – the service was incredibly slow. I don’t know why – we were the only people in the store. First, the girl at the counter was very meticulous with the toppings, placing them one by one in the little greek yogurt container, arranging them into symmetry. This is fine – I understand if you want to make the presentation nice – but in total we probably waited 15-20 minutes between ordering and finally receiving our food and paying. It was a bit ridiculous. I felt like the employees were probably inexperienced with this new product roll-out and did not know which toppings were supposed to go with the order off the top of their heads.

That being said, we did both get free iced lattes, which was a very nice treat. The greek yogurt was pretty pricey though – almost $5 for a tiny little carton. This was my first time trying savory greek yogurt; I usually eat it plain or fruit-flavored. I enjoyed it – the sweet balsamic reduction was great with the creamy yogurt, and the cherry tomatoes were really flavorful. The little drizzle of oil made the healthy yogurt taste very rich and decadent. The fresh basil leaves were a nice touch as well. The portion size is so small though, and the container was very shallow so there was barely any yogurt.

The photo I took is pretty horrendous so please forgive me – I blame the lighting, as well as my dying point-and-shoot. But I think you can get a good idea of how small the portion is by looking at the relatively huge grape tomatoes. And you can see the meticulous arrangement of the four basil leaves in the corners of the container.

This is a great concept and really capitalizes on the greek yogurt craze, though in the end it would be much more cost effective to buy my own greek yogurt (expensive as that is already). I guess that including the latte, the trip was worth it. I haven’t tried their normal frozen yogurt, though one downside is that it is not self-serve like many other chains. I wonder if this launch into the breakfast market will be a good business decision for Pinkberry. We shall see!

Restaurant Review: FroZen Yo

May 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m in DC as an intern for the summer so expect to see lots of restaurant reviews for the area. Today was Memorial Day and the weather was sweltering. I went with a group of friends to catch the National Parade down Constitutional Avenue. The temperature was probably in the 90s and after about an hour of standing under the blazing sun, we were ready to hit up a summer favorite – frozen yogurt!

I’ve been to plenty of frozen yogurt places, and FroZen Yo has a familiar setup. It is self-serve, so you grab a cup and fill up on different flavors and toppings. I forgot the exact price per ounce but I think it’s around 40 cents. There were about twenty different flavors of frozen yogurt, ranging from the classic chocolate, tart, and vanilla, to cheesecake and pistachio. I didn’t see anything truly out of the ordinary. I got a combination of the original tart and the pistachio.

I always say you can tell the quality of a frozen yogurt place by its original tart flavor. After all, this is the base from which other flavors are made, right? FroZen Yo’s tart was a bit lackluster and possibly more sour than I expected. The pistachio didn’t taste like the nut but had a pleasant sweetness which I enjoyed. The texture of the frozen yogurt was creamy, not icy, which was also a plus.

The place was really crowded and there was not good seating, but what else can you expect for a place in the middle of DC during a holiday weekend? It was a refreshing break from the afternoon heat, though nothing out of the ordinary.

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