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Katie Davis

@PopCultureCuisine

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Berry Good

Monday, December 20, 2010 @ 10:12 PM

101As I sit here all bundled up while the ice cold wind is whipping outside, I am fondly thinking back to our anniversary trip to Orlando and how wonderfully warm and sunny it was. I love how warm weather is great for so many things…sundresses, a tan, beers on the patio, and summery sweet treats; and what do I mean by summery sweet treats? Popsicles, ice cream, frozen yogurt… you name it.  And yes, I know these can all be enjoyed year round (believe me I DO) but they are a bit more enjoyable when it is not "bundle up" weather.  Still, I love ice cream and frozen yogurt, and if I’m being totally honest, I elevate them above most desserts.  I love its versatility, and Adam can attest at how I love just about any kind from McDonalds vanilla cones to the fancy-shmancy-trendy spots…which is the category our next feature definitely falls into.

Pinkberry took the frozen yogurt market by storm in 2005 and hasn’t looked back.  With more than 75 locations nationwide, it has introduced the public to what true yogurt SHOULD taste like, and in their words it’s “swirly goodness.”  What makes them stand out even more is that in the world of gluttony we live in, they have managed to introduce a hugely popular and tasty dish which is actually good for you.  Yes…a sweet treat that is good for you! This may be one of the few times we feature one 🙂 Their yogurt is all natural, with live cultures, 100 calories per 1/2 cup, and ALWAYS fat free!  And even better than that, you can add any amount of toppings you want and because most are super healthy and fresh too, the overall health of the dish does not increase much….Super! 

So, I pride myself on staying up on what is trendy and will be the first to admit that I read a lot of trashy magazines and what not…so I had definitely heard about this spot.  Because they started in L.A., it was only a matter of time until a smattering of celebrities jumped on the bandwagon; and it was not long before word spread, hence their growth to more than 75 locations.  Lucky for us, one of those locations is in Orlando and my keen senses spotted it while we were out driving one day.  I knew before our week was over that I would have to take the opportunity to try it while I could.  So when we had a free afternoon, we headed on over for a cool treat.

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When we walked in we were immediately greeted by a very friendly girl by the name Christine, who was super helpful, as I’m sure she could tell by our overwhelmed expressions that this was our first time.  Now they are known for their original yogurt, which is always available, but Pinkberry has come up with a wide variety of other flavors as well, all of which Christine was very willing to let us try before ordering. I finally settled upon chocolate with strawberries and dark chocolate bites, while Adam went with both their strawberry and original with crispy cereal and a yummy caramel sauce.

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Now in the past few years, many other yogurt joints that are very similar to the Pinkberry concept have also opened up, knowing a good concept when they see it no doubt, but we have tried a few ourselves and I can quote Adam when he says, “Pinkberry is where it is at.” I agree…I’m not sure this yogurt compares to anything I have ever had before…but in a good way!  Super creamy, yet light and still thick, which is always good.  I mean, how can you feel guilty about eating this?  It’s THAT good that you hardly can believe that it’s good for you.  Unfortunately this type of item would likely not do well in the marketplace we live in, but man…I wish it could because I would seriously go every day!

SIGNATURE DISH: One thing: Frozen Yogurt…Frozen Yogurt…Frozen Yogurt!  Lucky for us, they do that one thing very well and it is worth the visit for sure!

TASTE: I think it is safe to say that we enjoyed it immensely.  Typically we are reviewing whole meals, but this alone is SO good, it is worth a visit if you ever get the chance.  The yogurt is creamy and smooth without tasting funny or fake like a lot of frozen yogurt can.  It also has such a wide range of possibilities with a variety of fun flavors and what seems like endless toppings.

AMBIANCE: These yogurt spots are super trendy and very modern.  With the bold colors and simple shapes, it complements the whole "sweet treat" break.  For some it may feel stark, but I thought it fit well to the modern concept they are selling.

PRICE: It is a little more expensive than say a cone from McDonalds, but very reasonable and comparable to any other ice cream shop. I would say it is about the same as a sundae; and I think the price is well worth it in this case for the flavor and for the fresh ingredients you are being served.

SERVICE: Christine was an AWESOME part of our experience!  She was so sweet and bubbly and really helped us to appreciate the whole process.  She clearly loves the product and that really shown through. Thanks! 

I am always amazed at how things like cupcakes, frozen yogurt, burgers, etc. can go through trends, and these hot spots take off on a life of their own.  There have been some that I think are flops, but many of them (usually the starter of the trend) really take the time and effort to make a product they are proud of and one they know the public will enjoy.  As for Pinkberry, they are one of the latter and are definitely succeeding and doing a damn good job of it! For that reason, I award them 5 ‘Little Piggies’…Sweet!

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