Good to Go
Good to Go: Yogiberry, Ice Berry, Tangysweet, Caliyogurt, Sweetgreen and More
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
When two Korean American entrepreneurs swirled their tart-yet-sweet yogurt at the first Pinkberry location in West Hollywood, Calif., in 2005, they started what would become a nationwide shift in frozen yogurt consumption.
You may have noticed that frozen yogurt is now capitalizing on its unique tartness, no longer trying to pass for ice cream. The trend has brought several nationwide and regional chains to the Washington area, and it seems to be creating converts from the ranks of ice cream lovers here. Among the seven shops we visited -- each taking its own spin in the absence of Pinkberry locally -- we found tasty-yet-pricey and tart-yet-sweet treats served with a wide range of toppings (some inspiring double takes).
At each you can order nonfat yogurt (aside from Caliyogurt, which has 0.75 grams of fat per ounce) for 17 to 30 calories per ounce, compared with, say, Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream, which has 4 grams of fat and 60 calories per ounce.
Two newer shops that have locations in town and in the suburbs are Yogiberry (3515 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-362-9644; 12274-E Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301-230-9644; 18107 Town Center Dr., Olney, 301-570-7575; http:/
Both shops sell smoothies, for those who prefer to take their yogurt through a straw. Yogiberry also has a shaved-ice extravaganza topped with yogurt, mochi (glutinous rice, slightly sweetened and pounded into chewy patties) and three toppings. The prices, at $7.50 to $8.14, might prompt you to eat the whole thing.
The yogurt and granola on the menu are not Yogiberry's only throwback to the 1970s. The retro decor has mirrored walls, acrylic chairs and a psychedelic-colored striped wall to complete the mood. The prices are not retro. For the best value, stick with the cups of yogurt instead of the pricier smoothies and shaved ice. (At Yogiberry: 5 ounces, $2.95; 8 ounces, $3.95; 13 ounces, $6.45; toppings 95 cents each. At Ice Berry: 5 ounces, $3.50; 8 ounces, $4.65; 13 ounces, $7.25; toppings, 95 cents each. Honey, cinnamon and chocolate syrup are free add-ons.)
Tangysweet (2029 P St. NW, 202-347-7893; 675 E St. NW, 202-347-7895; http:/
Drinkable yogurt is an option at Tangysweet. Each smoothie blends fresh fruit with yogurt. (The 16-ounce option called Tangysweet contains blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and honey for $5.50.) With the D.C. Original Smoothie, you can blend any four toppings, such as mochi, waffle cone, mango and yogurt chips.
Austin Powers would feel right at home in Caliyogurt's Adams Morgan location (2472 18th St. NW, 202-234-0330; also at 12158 Darnestown Rd., Gaithersburg, 301-208-2020; http:/
Plain yogurt here tastes slightly less tart than other varieties on the market. Toppings such as berries, mochi and Cocoa Pebbles cereal are available, but it was refreshing to see shavings of butterscotch, whole pecans and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, too. (Plain yogurt is 5 ounces, $2.95; 8 ounces, $3.95; 12 ounces, $5.75. Flavored yogurt costs $3.50, $4.50 and $6.35, respectively. Toppings are 95 cents each, $1.45 for two and $1.75 for three.)
Where Caliyogurt is swinging '60s, the Yogen Früz chain's McPherson Square location (825 14th St. NW, 202-289-0078; also at 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, 703-388-0606, and 1826 Discovery St., Reston, 571-926-9567; http:/
At Sweetgreen in Georgetown (3333 M St. NW, 202-337-9338; also at 1512 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-387-9338, and 4831 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, 301-654-7336; http:/
Mr. Yogato (1515 17th St. NW, 202-629-3531, http:/
The chain offers soft (creamy, a hint of tang) and tangy (icy, for tangy-lovers only) styles (5 ounces, $3; 8 ounces, $4; 12 ounces, $5; toppings cost $1 for one, $1.75 for two and $2 for three), plus two flavors on rotation; when we visited, they were a tangy strawberry and a sweet chocolate yogurt. Unique toppings include cantaloupe, mandarin oranges, toasted Eggo mini-waffles and free add-ons such as cinnamon, basil and olive oil.
Staff writers Julia Beizer and Leigh Lambert contributed to this report.