Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yogurt Candy Review: Yogen Fruz Smoothies Candy

Fro-yo girl here. I found out about Yogen Fruz Smoothies fruit + yogurt candy from the Yogen Fruz blog on March 26th and of course I’ve been searching for the candy ever since. My first stop was the Whole Foods on 4th & Harrison (SF) but they didn’t have any (and hadn't heard of it). I finally tracked down all three flavors at Cost Plus (Westlake Center, Daly City).

The headline confused me, “Put a smoothie in your pocket.” I thought they were talking about gift cards.

Here’s their description of the candy: “Enjoy the refreshing flavors of Yogen Fruz with new Fruit + Yogurt Smoothies. Made with delicious natural fruit flavor blends and probiotic yogurt, each piece is only three calories with zero fat and contain probiotic yogurt, pure cane sugar and Vitamin C. Which means you can now enjoy a guilt free Fruz anytime and anywhere. We hope you luv em!”

My next reaction was yogurt candy?! But yogurt’s supposed to be healthy and candy isn’t. Yogurt bites sounds healthier. Still, I had to try it.

The tins are cute, with a snap top. The inner lid says u deserve it. The candies are also cute small tablets with the Yogen Fruz smile. They look and taste like SweeTarts (hard tablets). The flavor is actually better than Sweet Tarts – it’s more natural tasting and tarter. However, I can’t taste the yogurt.

I like the blueberry breeze flavor the best.

My dream fro-yo candy would be chewy and milky like White Rabbit, only with a yogurt flavor. The melt in your mouth rice wrapper would work well too, unless they can put the yogurt filling inside MOCHI.

Details: all natural, 36 pieces, 0.89 oz., $1.99

Ingredients: Pure cane sugar, yogurt, tartaric acid, malic acid, natural flavors, ascorbic acid, natural color

Flavors: Blueberry breeze with acai, Tropical storm (pineapple, mango, tangerine), Strawberry banana

4 out of 5 stars

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* COST PLUS: 423 Westlake Center, Daly City, CA 94015

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yogurt Bar Switches to Straus Creamery Organic Yogurt (Free Fro-yo Coupon)

Fro-yo girl here. Several months ago I received word that Yogurt Bar uses Straus organic yogurt in their frozen yogurt mix – and I didn’t believe it. I’ve been to both Yogurt Bar locations and didn’t think I was tasting Straus. However, they seem to have switched over to Straus some time in August 2008 (my last visit was in July). Apparently their fro-yo is more sour now (which appeals to me because plain yogurt is sour). It looks like I need to revisit because I do like Straus.

The reopening of their Mission St. location was scheduled for April but it has been delayed till June.

If you go to their website and join the Yogurt Bar Club, you’ll get a coupon for a free 5 oz. fro-yo at their Union St. location! I already have my coupon. www.yogurtbarsf.com

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* YOGURT BAR (Marina): 2760 Octavia St., San Francisco, CA
* YOGURT BAR (SOMA): 680 Mission St., San Francisco, CA

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blush Organic Frozen Yogurt Profile

Fro-yo girl here. I had the pleasure of chatting (over fro-yo of course) with the owner of Blush, Jonathan Rim, recently. We discussed the past, present and future of Blush. June promises to be a milestone month for Blush for two reasons:

* The launch of the Milpitas location, their first franchise store. They will unveil a new look with the use of recycled materials. [The next location will be in downtown Walnut Creek.]
* One year anniversary of their original Dublin location

Blush was the first shop to bring tart fro-yo to Dublin and the surrounding area. Jonathan, who says he doesn’t like desserts or sweets, fell for the tart fro-yo at Beachberries in Huntington Beach and was inspired to open his own fro-yo shop. He teaches by day and is a master fro-yo maker on the side. Now I understand why the shop first opened in June.

Blush is even more popular now than it was when it first opened (even though the competition has increased). The shop draws in people of all ages with its welcoming atmosphere and ever changing array of fro-yo flavors. Jonathan has developed all of his own fro-yo flavors including the signature Blush (pomegranate dragonfruit), blueberry acai, pineapple (really zingy and delicious), green tea tart, green tea, pineapple, chocolate, and pumpkin. He looked visibly horrified by the idea of flavoring fro-yo w/ syrup. No wonder Blush fro-yo is so yummy and natural tasting.

I was impressed by the number of families that dropped in for fro-yo. Little kids (under 5) were digging tart fro-yo! Apparently at night the crowd is much different and they crank up the music.

I’ll update you on Blush’s plans for June at a later date.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* BLUSH ORGANIC FROZEN YOGURT: 4640-A Tassajara Road, Dublin, CA

A New Look for yoCup

Fro-yo girl here. I couldn’t resist swinging by yoCup Rincon Center to see the new logo and look. The store doesn’t look too different but they have some new posters and an all white new logo (see my picture). It’s all white and still curvy but not as curvy as before.

I also noticed a sign saying it was the last month for their mango fro-yo. Oh no! That’s my favorite flavor. They’ve also added cones and bacon syrup (!) since the last time I visited.

Today was so warm that I was definitely craving yoCup fro-yo, but the line was really long!

Happy anniversary, yoCup!

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, yoCup! Special offer on Friday, 3/27

Fro-yo girl here. I'm excited to announce that yoCup is celebrating its one year anniversary at the Rincon Center this Friday with a SPECIAL offer at both locations:

“Share the Love” is a buy one, get one free promotion good from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PT on Friday, Mar. 27 at both downtown San Francisco locations.

Also, yoCup shops will be unveil a new store front and logo in celebration of the one-year anniversary. Congratulations, yoCup! I'm tempted to swing by with my imaginary fro-yo friend for two cups. I love you, yoCup!

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.


yoCup: 101 Spear Street (Rincon Center), San Francisco
yoCup: 685 Market Street, San Francisco

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Early Picture of Tuttimelon Union City

Fro-yo girl here. Those of you who are regular readers of my blog or Yelp reviews know that I am Tuttimelon obsessed. I’m thrilled that Tuttimelon is opening its first ever self-serve format store in Union Landing. Here’s a picture I took of the location. The Tuttimelon sign isn’t up yet but the doors were open so I could see that they’re busy with construction. It looks like they will have five fro-yo machines (or 10 flavors total).

It will also be Tuttimelon’s largest location. It’s very close to Lucky’s. The grand opening should be in April.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* TUTTIMELON: 32280 Dyer St., Union City, CA

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Change in Tutti Card Policy

Tuttilicious news for Tuttimelon fans! They’ve changed their policy of having store specific frequent buyer cards (Tutti Cards). Now Tutti Cards are accepted at any Tuttimelon location in the Bay Area. Yay! Thanks, Roy L!

I took a picture of my filled out Tutti Card (for the Irving St. location).

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Fro-Yo Girl in the News

Fro-yo girl here. I recently was interviewed for a news story on fro-yo. The story will be featured on MCTV, the TV news program for Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward. I’m told that Moreau students are frequent visitors to YoSwirl in Fremont. During the interview, I provided short reviews of local fro-yo shops along with tips and recommendations. Fro-ggie is my top pick in the area (Hayward, Newark, Fremont, Union City). It isn’t self-serve but I actually prefer having someone else swirl the fro-yo.


You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* FRO-GGIE: 1554 Washington Blvd., Fremont, CA

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Picture of Future Tuttimelon in San Mateo

Fro-yo girl here. Tuttimelon’s expansion continues…the sign is up in downtown San Mateo (see the picture). They’re taking over the California Beauty Supply space. All I know about the location is that it isn’t self-serve. It looks large enough to also carry gelato. I couldn’t look inside (it’s covered up).

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* TUTTIMELON: 165 E. 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick’s Day: Eat Green Yogurt

Fro-yo girl here. Don’t forget to show your Irish spirit on St. Patrick’s Day by donning green and eating green colored (Green tea? Green apple?) fro-yo too.

Red Mango makes it easy to celebrate with green tea fro-yo and Lucky Charms. The Lucky Charms are available for a limited time and St. Paddy’s is the perfect day for LC consumption. Or you can be like me and sprinkle green tea powder on your fro-yo at the Tuttimelon Irving location.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Haagen Dazs Frozen Yogurt Review

Fro-yo girl here. I’ve been eating Haagen Dazs sweet fro-yo for awhile now as it’s my favorite supermarket fro-yo so far (not counting their new tart natural flavor) although it is really sweet. It isn’t tart but it’s not just an ice cream substitute either. The texture is quite rich and creamy.

It comes in six flavors(and now 7, natural tart):
* Vanilla
* Dulce de leche
* Vanilla honey & granola
* Wildberry
* Vanilla raspberry swirl
* Coffee

The regular price for a pint is $4.49 at Safeway. I purchased mine on sale for $3.50.

My favorite flavor is the Vanilla Honey & Granola. It is quite sweet but I love the flavor of the honey and the slightly crunchy granola bits. The honey and granola make it more like fro-yo than ice cream. They support honey bee research.

The Dulce de Leche has a rich, smooth caramel flavor and a creamy texture. I find the caramel swirl a little too sweet though but I suppose dulce de leche should be quite sweet. And the fro-yo contains condensed milk.

Their fro-yo has live and active cultures. It’s high in calcium, low in fat but also high in sugar.

4 stars (out of 5).

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Another Wish Comes True: Trader Joe’s Tart Fro-Yo

Fro-yo girl here. Thanks for the tip, Diane P. Back in January, I listed a few fro-yo wishes for 2009. I wished for Target and TJ’s to carry tart fro-yo. Well, TJ’s has done it (no wonder I love TJ’s).

A quart of nonfat plain pleasantly tart frozen yogurt is only $3.49. Cheap! It has live and active cultures.

TJ’s fro-yo is a bit better than the natural tart by Haagen Dazs because it’s actually quite tart (HD’s fro-yo lacks tartness). The tartness comes from citric acid. It’s creamy and dense, without the refreshing quality that good tart fro-yo has. I wish it had more of a milky, yogurt flavor.

3.5 stars (out of 5).

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

It Finally Happened! Tart Fro-yo Hits the Supermarket

Fro-yo girl here. One of my wishes for 2009 has come true. Thanks to Haagen Dazs, you can buy tart fro-yo at your local supermarket. It’s called tart natural and it has live and active cultures.

Is it any good? It’s okay. I can understand that it’s denser than your usual tart fro-yo but the flavor isn’t refreshing. It’s creamy and heavy with a milky aftertaste. Imagine plain ice cream (i.e., milk, sugar, egg, cream) with a tiny bit of lemon juice (not enough to make it taste like lemon ice cream) and you’ll get a sense of what it tastes like. There is some yogurt flavor but it is subtle.

Find Haagen Dazs tart natural fro-yo near you: http://www.haagendazs.com/products/product.aspx?id=365

3 stars (out of 5).

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Julie’s Gelato (and Fro-yo) in Walnut Creek Closes

I never made it to Julie’s Gelato in time to try their fro-yo. They started offering self-serve last August. I saw the fro-yo machines but they weren’t serving fro-yo at that time (plus I had just visited Yogurt Station). The fro-yo must have been their last attempt to attract additional business. RIP.

* JULIE’S GELATO: 1815 Ygnacio Valley Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ben & Jerry’s FroYo Line: Half Baked FroYo Review

Fro-yo girl here. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of the frozen yogurt category, Ben & Jerry’s offers four flavors of lowfat, probiotic fro-yo available in your supermarket freezer:

* Strawberry Banana
* Half Baked
* Chocolate Fudge Brownie
* Cherry Garcia

I purchased a pint of Half Baked (regular price $4.19 at Lucky’s). Half Baked combines chocolate and vanilla fro-yo with fudge brownies & chocolate chip cookie dough. It’s made with skim milk and has live and active yogurt cultures.

I didn’t like it. It tastes like a lowfat ice cream version of Half Baked ice cream. I bought it because I wanted fro-yo, not ice cream. The cookie dough globs are disgusting – gritty, soft and sickeningly sweet. The brownies aren’t quite as offensive. It’s a product for ice cream lovers and the curious, and perhaps somewhat health conscious.

Apparently the Ben & Jerry Scoop shops carry additional fro-yo flavors (Black Raspberry and Vanilla) not sold in supermarkets.

2 stars (out of 5) for their Half Baked FroYo.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nubi San Francisco Location No Longer on Nubi Website

Fro-yo girl here. I didn’t make it to the March 4 Lakeshore Plaza meeting. I wonder what happened? Did they debate the fate of Nubi Yogurt? I noticed that the Nubi website no longer lists San Francisco as a future location. That isn’t a good sign.

I found the following: http://sf.everyblock.com/zoning-agenda/by-date/2009/3/5/1662911/

It is a zoning request from Nubi for the old T-Mobile space at Lakeshore Plaza. The preliminary recommendation is to approve with conditions. I visited the site and there is a notice in the window about the public hearing.

Keep your fingers crossed for Nubi.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Culture Organic Frozen Yogurt Toppings Update

Fro-yo girl here. Though the vanilla frozen yogurt (that I am eagerly anticipating) is not yet available at Culture, the array of toppings continues to change. During a recent visit I saw that Mary had whipped up a batch of gingerbread crisp. They also had some kid friendly additions: organic rainbow sprinkles, organic HOMEMADE marshmallow crème, and cake cones.

I brought my reusable Smurf blue fro-yo bowl and filled it with tangerine and plain tart organic fro-yo, topped with blood oranges. Absolutely delicious! But I still hope that Mary will start making mochi…

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* CULTURE ORGANIC FROZEN YOGURT: 340 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Frozo’s New Sunnyvale Location

On my way to a fro-yo shop, I happened to stumble upon the third Frozo’s location. Construction hasn’t begun yet but here’s a picture of what the storefront looks like at the moment. It’s very close to Fremont High School. Will Frozo’s replace Dairy Belle as the popular hangout spot? Time will tell.

* FROZO’S FROZEN YOGURT: 153 E Fremont Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087-2501

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Red Mango Launches Club Mango

Fro-yo girl here. I love loyalty programs, especially when they’re for fro-yo. Red Mango launched Club Mango today. Earn Mango points for purchases but also for other things like referrals and your birthday. Earn 50 points just for signing up registering your card online. Once they have your phone number, it eliminates the problem of forgetting to bring your card since they can look up your number and credit you that way.

Perks include free fro-yo and invitations to special events for Mango fans. The same card can also serve as a refillable prepaid card.

Members only privileges for fro-yo? Yes, sign me up.

Update: I have my Club Mango card today along with my Red Mango t-shirts and a new snack, Sensible Foods organic crunch dried soy nuts (thank you Richard). I met with Richard C.(one of the RM partners) in Palo Alto to chat about fro-yo. I can share the following:

* I went to the back office area and saw his office and a wall w/ Polaroid pics of RM fans
* Richard uses vanilla yogurt body wash (oooh) and likes strawberries, granola and honey on his fro-yo
* They are working on a top secret new flavor
* They're going to offer Lucky Charms as a topping soon
* According to Richard, RM yogurt is creamier in the US than in Korea


You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cefiore Westfield SF March Weeknight Specials

According to an anonymous tipster and confirmed by a call to Cefiore, the Cefiore Westfield location will have weeknight specials from 7 – 8:30 PM all month long (March 2009). Think of it as fro-yo happy hour. Do some shopping or have dinner at the mall and get some fro-yo for dessert.

* Monday and Tuesday: 50% off the fro-yo waffle
* Wednesday and Thursday: buy any yogurt, get a mini Golden Cherry for free (toppings not included)
* Friday: 50% off golden cherry fro-yo

* CEFIORE: 845 Market St, Ste 277, San Francisco, CA 94104