March 12, 2007

Show Us Some Pink

If you are looking for the latest trend from California, I found one that is relatively cheap, flavorful and possibly even good for you.
Pinkberry is a small but growing chain of frozen yogurt shops that are unlike any you have ever seen.

One thing that distinguishes Pinkberry is its Asian connection. Its founders are reportedly Korean-Americans Hyekyung Hwang and Young Lee. Pinkberry operates a store in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles, as well as about 11 stores in Southern California and one in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan. They plan to add more stores in the near future. Pinkberry's concept is supposedly reminiscent of the Red Mango frozen yogurt chain in Korea. The decor is Asian Modern, with glossy plastic orange, white and green surfaces, plastic furniture, and under-lit shelves full of cute colorful objects that look like they come from the Alessi catalog.

But Pinkberry’s true claim to fame, and possible health angle, is that its frozen yogurt is made from “real” yogurt, i.e., using cultured milk aged with a type of bacteria. As a result, Pinkberry's frozen yogurt has the sour taste found in real yogurt. However, one has some control over the taste and overall health of one's dish, as toppings range from fresh blueberries and blackberries to carob chips to mochi (Japanese sticky rise) to Fruity Pebbles cereal. Moreover, Pinkberry's product contains sugar, even without toppings. I have eaten Pinkberry's plain yogurt twice, first with carob chips and then with blueberries. Since I don't like the taste of regular yogurt, I was slightly off-put at first. The carob chips or some other topping were a necessity. By the second tasting, however, I enjoyed it much more.

Although I like the taste of Pinkberry and it is more natural than the gloop coming from the machines of other so-called "frozen yogurt" outlets, there are two impediments to my becoming a "crackberry" addict. First, the store near me often has a line way out the door. Second, the parking situation there is abysmal. Of the few spaces in front of the store, a high percentage are marked "compact" and then taken over by behemoth SUVs, rendering the adjoining spaces practically unusable.

This might be a good thing; otherwise, my weight might skyrocket from too much of Pinkberry's whipped, Fruity-Pebbled health food.


At 5:10 AM, Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

Sounds delicious but I'm lactose intolerant and you don't want to be a non-ventilated room with me when I've had milk products. Jus' sayin'

At 10:59 AM, Blogger media concepts said...

The other problem I read about, which must be the case in other fro-yo outlets, is that the toppings are crowded next to each other, so that, if someone is allergic to one of them, and orders a topping located next to the allergy causing topping, well, you know.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Barbara said...

Ninja -- You could try Lactaid pills. My husband is keeping the company in business, but they seem to work. At least no noxious smells...

MediaConcepts -- Wish they would open one of these in DC. CA seems to always be on the leading edge when it comes to food. I love the taste of REAL yogurt, as opposed to the highly sweetened stiff stuff.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Uh oh, I found a secret place to park nearby. And that line seems to go quickly ...


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