Friday, August 28, 2009

Fro-yo Report From the Eat Real Festival Ice Cream Friday

Fro-yo girl here. I hadn’t planned on going to the Ice Cream Friday at the Eat Real Festival because the list of vendors didn’t include fro-yo…but then I heard they might have fro-yo, so of course I had to go. I even had a partner in crime, Ice Cream Girl (CeCe C.). She tried the ice cream while I searched for fro-yo.

Participating in Ice Cream Friday:
* Ici
* Fenton’s Creamery
* Bi Rite Creamery
* Gelateria Naia
* Scream Sorbet
* Gelato Massimo
* Straus: They only had ice cream (too bad) and no samples.
* Gelateria CiCi: They had their delightful, tangy, Straus yogurt gelato flavor which I’ve tried before at their Mill Valley location
* LaLoo's: I’ve been curious about their goat’s milk ice cream for a long time. They had goat’s milk ice cream, goat’s milk frozen yogurt (three flavors: Cherries Tuilerie, Cajeta De Leche, Forestberry) and goat’s milk ice cream sandwiches. Unfortunately, they didn’t offer samples but I did pick up a coupon and a cone with a scoop of Forestberry goat’s milk frozen yogurt.

The Forestberry (blackberries & raspberries) goat’s milk fro-yo had a nice consistency – creamy and sweet. It was sweeter than your tangy type of fro-yo with a distinctive goat’s milk taste. It was good but I didn’t really like the goat milk heavy aftertaste. It was creamy and sweet. LaLoo’s fro-yo contains live and active cultures.

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

* EAT REAL FESTIVAL at Jack London Square, Oakland:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blush SF Grand Opening Details: Saturday, Sept. 5th

Fro-yo girl here. The wait is almost over, Blush fans and Blush curious. Blush SF has confirmed that the grand opening celebration will start at noon on Saturday, Sept. 5. The first 100 people will receive a Metreon movie pass. They’ll be handing out raffle prizes all day, starting at 1 PM. Enter for a chance to win iPhones, Blu Ray players, PSP players, 49ers tickets, Warriors tickets and more!

Blush will debut a new eco-friendly look (here’s a sneak peek – a picture of the design concept). If you’re a resident of SOMA, you may receive a Blush postcard in the mail. Look for Blush on!

There will be a soft opening before the grand opening event…update - it's on Friday, 9/4 from 12 - 5 PM. And yes, that means free fro-yo!

Transportation tips - the Bay Bridge will be closed during Labor Day weekend. Blush is very close to the Caltrain station at 4th and King St. Also, the Safeway across the street offers free validated parking.

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

* BLUSH SAN FRANCISCO: 219 King Street, San Francisco, CA

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Culture Organic Frozen Yogurt Update: New Flavors, New Toppings

Fro-yo girl here. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to try the mango + orange + pineapple kefir at Culture…but they said it would be back. Also, apparently the kefir has been causing problems for their machines. They had a new flavor of fro-yo, raspberry+peach+banana. I'd like it if it didn't have banana.

I also noticed that their fro-yo has been significantly sweeter during my last visits. I was afraid to ask about it but finally did. I’m told that Straus (Culture uses Straus yogurt) changed their sweetener (stopped using agave nectar I believe). So I was right – the fro-yo is sweeter now. It’s still really good but I liked it better before. Straus – why did you do this to me?!

I tried the new housemade Coffee Crunch topping. Eh. It’s super sweet and crumbly. I have to say that I didn’t like it at all but the new graham cracker topping sure looked yummy.

Expect to see their pumpkin fro-yo back on November 1st.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.
* CULTURE ORGANIC FROZEN YOGURT: 340 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yogurtland Celebrates Its 50th Location

Fro-yo girl here. Earlier this week, Yogurtland announced the grand opening celebration for its 50th location, in Anaheim. With free fro-yo, free gift cards, free t-shirts and the Kogi BBQ truck, I can’t even imagine how crazy it’s going to be. Congrats to Yogurtland! Love the new logo and the poster design.

I’d like to take a moment to see where the chains stand right now (as of August 21, 2009) and I’ll update this again if I remember to, about a year from now. Also, the information on their website might not be completely accurate but I assume they update their locations listings on a regular basis.

* Golden Spoon: 103 US locations, I counted 101 but they didn’t list San Jose and Castro Valley and I know those are open. They’ve been around the longest and they’re still the largest.
* Red Mango: 57 US locations
* Pinkberry: 56 US locations
* Yogurtland: 50 locations according to the poster but I counted 55 US locations on their website. They probably opened five between the time they ordered the poster and now.
* Cefiore: 31 US locations
* Yogen Fruz: 29 US locations
* Yogurberry: 24 US locations
* Tutti Frutti: I started to count these but I can tell that they don’t distinguish between open and coming soon/not open stores on their website.
* Orange Tree: 10 US locations

Red Mango and Pinkberry are truly neck and neck. I wonder which one will make it to SF first. Yogurtland seems to have the real momentum? It seems like certain people can’t stop talking about self-serve.

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Congratulations Tuttimelon on Going International

Fro-yo girl here. A few days ago, Tuttimelon’s first international location, opened its doors (yay!) in Richmond, BC (Canada). Back in January 2009, my wish list for the year included the following: “Tuttimelon’s growth continues: Tuttimelon already has the most locations in the Bay Area (5 in 2008) and there are more on the way. I’m all for the world domination of Tuttimelon!” The Tuttimelon website now lists additional locations to come in Canada, Macau, Hong Kong, China and Southern California. They're not done with the Bay Area either. Watch out world!

My wishes are coming true and I couldn’t be prouder of Tuttimelon and Roy L.

Can you believe that I wrote the very first Yelp review of Tuttimelon ever? I went there on the day it first opened, February 2, 2008. Here’s an excerpt:

“Fro-yo girl here - with your fro-yo scoop. Spotted on Irving St. - the grand opening of Tuttimelon. They have the best toppings I've seen so far, including chestnuts, red beans (not the pureed paste but whole beans), mochi balls, cereal, fresh fruit, chocolate chips, etc. All toppings are clearly labeled. They have the best mochi balls - softer and chewier than the other places.

The original fro-yo is fantastic - strong, tangy taste, creamier and firmer than average consistency. Clean tasting, extra tart or some would say sour. It's fat free with live probiotic cultures too.”

If you happen to be in the Richmond, BC area, be sure to stop by for the tuttilicious celebration on August 22nd.

* TUTTIMELON RICHMOND: 2110 - 8391 Alexandra Road, Richmond, BC V6X 1C3, Canada

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Future Fro-yo Shop Picture: Tutti Frutti Oakland

Fro-yo girl here. I peeked through the plastic covering the windows and spotted five spaces for fro-yo machines (so 10 self-serve flavors a day). The interior has been painted in bright colors and the orange, green, and yellow chairs are in place (see my picture). It looks like it could open any day now.

Tutti Frutti is one block from Fenton’s Creamery in North Oakland. The help wanted sign is still up (must be 16 years old).

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

* TUTTI FRUTTI: 4214 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, CA

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Exchange Your Blood for Free Fro-yo

The Tuttimelon/Red Cross blood drive continues. The Tuttimelon blood drive moves to Alameda and San Mateo next month. Give blood and get free fro-yo in return. Sign up online for an appointment.


9/8/09 @ SAN MATEO

* TUTTIMELON: 2402 Central Ave., Alameda, CA
* TUTTIMELON: 165 E. 4th St., San Mateo, CA

Fro-Yo Shops with Free Wi-Fi

Fro-yo girl here. The other day I saw the most adorable free wi-fi signs at Tuttimelon West Portal. They inspired me to make a list of Bay Area fro-yo shops with free wi-fi. Very few have power outlets. With the exception of Tuttimelon, I’ve only reviewed the ones that I’ve been to with my laptop.

* TUTTIMELON (2240 Chestnut St. and 44 West Portal Ave., San Francisco, CA): Other Tuttimelon locations may have free wi-fi but these are the only two that I’m certain have it.

Advantages: Tuttilicious fro-yo, gelato & more, bathroom, general feeling of tuttiliciousness
Disadvantages: Parking can be a challenge, lack of power outlets

* GELAYO GUSTO (856 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA): I haven’t been here for months but based on my last visit, it’s the best fro-yo shop to for your laptop. It hasn’t been the same since the ownership changed though.

Advantages: Free, plentiful parking with no time limit, power outlets, food (sandwiches), drinks (coffee), accepts credit cards, music isn’t too loud or annoying
Disadvantages: None that I can think of except that it’s not what it used to be

* RED MANGO (852 Laurel St., San Carlos, CA): This is a nice place to hang out with your laptop and a cup of fro-yo though I seem to recall that I couldn’t find a power outlet.

Advantages: Comfy seating, great ambiance, free & easy parking, great iced tea drinks
Disadvantages: Lack of power outlets, too many pillows to contend with in San Carlos

* JUBILI (1515 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA): I was able to work on my laptop for a few hours here. I like the design but it’s not the best place to work.

Advantages: Like the clean, white décor, bathroom, open earlier than most fro-yo places so you can have breakfast there (hot cereal, cold cereal, regular yogurt parfaits), secure wi-fi, not too noisy
Disadvantages: Parking is a pain, one power outlet in an inconvenient location

* SWEET CONNECTIONS (430 San Mateo Ave., San Bruno, CA): They have power outlets but the noise level is distracting.

Advantages: Power outlets, coffee, free parking should be available
Disadvantages: Feels like being in a day care center, décor isn’t as nice as some of the other more sophisticated looking fro-yo shops

* SIP CAFÉ (1412 Camden Ave., Campbell, CA): I may have gone on a bad day but it felt very warm inside and I couldn’t find a power outlet

Advantages: Opens early, coffee, pastries, plenty of seating, free & easy parking
Disadvantages: Closes early, hard to find power outlet

* BLUSH DUBLIN (4640-A Tassajara Rd., Dublin, CA): What a cute shop. It always feels lively and welcoming.

Advantages: Great fro-yo, free parking, Peet’s nearby, bathroom, likely to be offered free water or juice
Disadvantages: Music is louder than average, just one power outlet

* CAFÉ VERONA (46999 Warm Springs Blvd., Fremont, CA): It has a coffee house feel which makes me feel comfortable hanging out there with my laptop.

Advantages: Relatively inexpensive fro-yo, comfy booth seating, sandwiches, easy (and free) parking
Disadvantages: Closes early, couldn’t find a power outlet

* HONEYBERRY (3488 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA): Many pros but I didn’t like my sandwich and the tables are too close together.

Advantages: Sandwiches + fro-yo, free parking
Disadvantages: Couldn’t find power outlet, noisy (maybe because tables are so close together)

* PINK SWIRL (43423 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA): It was easy & comfy to hang out here with my laptop.

Advantages: Free (and easy parking), relaxed environment, flatscreen TV, power outlets
Disadvantages: There’s a room for little kids

Other fro-yo shops with free wi-fi: So Frais, Nubi, Green Cup, Yogurt Bees, Delatti, Yogurt Harmony, Park Mini Mart, Union Street Coffee Roastery, Hello Desserts, McBerryZ Frozen Treats, Whimsical Frozen Yogurt, Café Verona, Yogurt Paradise, Café Yolicious, Quickly

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

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Comming" Soon: Yogofina Pleasanton

Fro-yo girl here. I find it sad that Yogofina misspelled Coming Soon on the banner. Spell check your sign before you place your order. The Pleasanton location looks like it could open any day now. Two guys were sitting inside when I drove by, so I didn’t stare…but I could tell that the walls were painted (bright green). It’s very close to Yolatea and Delatti.

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

* YOGOFINA PLEASANTON: 350 Main St., Pleasanton, CA

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fro-yo Pictures: Nubi SF, Fraiche Stanford, Yogen Früz’s New Flavor

Fro-yo girl here. Just wanted to share some fro-yo pictures I took recently with the fro-yo community. First up, a picture of Nubi SF. They’re still in the construction phase but the wall for the fro-yo machines is up. They’re going to have 7 machines (14 flavors). It's expected to open in mid-September.

Next, I spotted the cutest sign for Fraiche on the Stanford campus. I almost had a car accident when I saw the sign with the cup of fro-yo on the side of the road. A place of higher yearning – clever.

Finally, here’s a poster of the new acai-blueberry soft serve at Yogen Früz. The new flavor hit their stores last Friday and it’s a nice balance of blueberry and acai flavors, a bit icier than their usual “top it” fro-yo.

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

* NUBI SAN FRANCISCO: Lakeshore Plaza, 1511 Sloat Blvd, Suite A, San Francisco, CA
* FRAICHE STANFORD: Tressider Union, 459 Lagunita Dr, Stanford, CA
* YOGEN FRUZ: 3 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt Grand Opening Coverage

Fro-yo girl here. This was the third fro-yo store grand opening I attended on Aug. 8th (what can I say, I can’t resist free fro-yo). The San Jose Golden Spoon is their second store in the Bay Area (Castro Valley was the first and I’m not counting the ones in the North Bay). A bit larger than the CV location, the San Jose Golden Spoon also has more fro-yo machines. Choose from 16 flavors of fro-yo a day (and no, it isn’t self-serve). While they strive to offer “ice cream like flavor” and fro-yo for ice-cream lovers, they also carry some tart flavors (simply tart and mango tart appear to be the only tart flavors for now) and fresh fruit toppings.

The store was decked out in black, red and white balloons. The interior is somewhat like an old fashioned ice cream parlor (not really), fairly sparse and utilitarian. Portions are generous and your fro-yo comes with a gold spoon.

You can still get a free regular cup of fro-yo there today (Aug. 9) from 11 AM – 11 PM.

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

* GOLDEN SPOON FROZEN YOGURT: 5126 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA

FruittiYogi Grand Opening Coverage

Fro-yo girl here. FruittiYogi, in downtown Alameda, was the second grand opening I attended on August 8th. Apparently the soft opening occurred on August 7th. They had a friendly employee stationed outside the shop offering people small plain cups and free fro-yo.

The fro-yo was free from 12 – 2 PM and 50% off afterwards. During the grand opening celebration, a paying customer received a raffle ticket with a chance to win WiiFit, Nintendo Wii and and iPod Nano.

FruittiYogi is a self-serve fro-yo shop (38 cents an ounce) that has 10 flavors a day, including sweet fro-yo, tart fro-yo and dairy-free sorbets. They don’t seem to sell anything other than fro-yo. The tart fro-yo flavors are quite icy. It seems like your average self-serve place though they had a few flavors that aren’t as common, such as pink lemonade and pomegranate with energy boost.

The shop colors are tangerine and bright green. They had some FruittiYogi tee-shirts and caps on display (not sure why – perhaps you can win those too?).

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

* FRUITTIYOGI: 2321 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda, CA

Noe Tuttimelon Grand Opening Coverage

Fro-yo girl here. What a crazy day (August 8) with so many fro-yo grand opening celebrations (Tuttimelon Noe Valley/SF, Harmony Yogurt in Burlingame, FruittiYogi in Alameda and Golden Spoon in San Jose).

First stop: Tuttimelon’s grand reopening with free fro-yo from 12 – 2 PM. The first 50 people received a door prize (I didn’t see what it was) while the first 500 received a raffle ticket with a chance to win an iPod Touch and Nintendo DSI. Tuttimelon Bear insisted that we go there first and was thrilled to see Mr. Tuttimelon (Roy L. there). My Tuttimelon original tart with blueberries, watermelon cubes, cantaloupe, strawberries, lychee, granola, fresh and chewy strawberry mochi, and graham crackers was truly tuttilicious.

I asked about their new flavored, super fresh mochi balls. You can’t find them at every Tuttimelon location. So far I’ve only had strawberry. Look for blueberry, green apple and melon mochi too.

The Noe Valley location had pictures of cupcakes – and a case full of gourmet cupcakes from Sweetface Bakery. Loved the Hostess Who? Cupcake! Tuttimelon Bear was also a fan. A true dessert mecca, Noe Tuttimelon offers gelato, fro-yo (2 flavors a day), parfaits, smoothies, Leonidas chocolates and cupcakes. It’s a smaller location with no indoor seating.

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

* NOE TUTTIMELON: 3901 24th St, San Francisco, CA

Friday, August 7, 2009

So Frais Announces New Promotions

Fro-yo girl here. Starting in August 8th, So Frais fro-yo and fresh yogurt parfaits will be available at the new lower price of 39 cents an ounce. On weekdays, stop by for fro-yo happy hour from 2 – 6 PM. During happy hour , fro-yo is buy one get 1 free. Don’t forget to try their gelato, infused chocolates, croissants, macarons, stuffed pretzels and unique beverages too.

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

* SO FRAIS FROZEN YOGURT CAFÉ: 5363 Mowry, Fremont, CA

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Red Mango Probiotic Iced Tea: I’m a Fan

Fro-yo girl here. Yes, I’m reviewing the new Red Mango probiotic iced tea because it’s the tea that thinks it’s fro-yo. And no, the tea doesn’t contain fro-yo (too bad?). Introduced July 27 and available year-round, Red Mango probiotic iced teas are all natural and good for you (just like their fro-yo).

I don’t actually like iced tea (I prefer hot tea) but I do enjoy cold pearl tea. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the new probiotic iced tea. I tried “Mysteaque” ($2.75 for 16 ounces, $3.25 for 24 ounces). The tea was hand shaken with ice cubes and poured into a signature cup. It’s frothy on top.

Mysteaque is a blend of fresh black tea, natural cane sugar, vanilla, citric acid and probiotics. The first sip reminded me of something but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It later occurred to me that Mysteaque reminds me of pearl tea. It’s balanced, clean, smooth and refreshing: not too sweet, has a strong but not bitter tea flavor and a delicious bourbon vanilla flavor. They didn’t put too much ice in my cup either. The tea went perfectly with my tofu sandwich. I bet it would be good with tapioca balls too (but then it would no longer be healthy and low cal). Love Mysteaque!

Flavors: Lemonocity, Mysteaque, Fanteasia

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

* RED MANGO: 852 Laurel St., San Carlos, CA
* RED MANGO: 1159 Locust St., Walnut Creek, CA
* RED MANGO: 429 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA
* RED MANGO: 20560 Town Center Lane, Cupertino, CA
* RED MANGO: 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd. Space 1293, San Jose, CA

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Harmony Frozen Yogurt Burlingame Grand Opening Event, Aug. 8

Fro-yo girl here. I've got a serious case of fro-yo conflict on this weekend. Fruittiyogi opens in Alameda (free fro-yo from 12 - 2 PM), Golden Spoon opens in San Jose (free fro-yo all day on 8/8, 8/9) and Harmony in Burlingame is having a grand opening event.

About the Harmony event, the store has been open for a few weeks now. To celebrate, Harmony fro-yo and toppings will be 50% off all day (Burlingame location only). The first 150 customers will receive a Harmony glass mug or sports bottle. I have the Harmony mug (thanks Linda W.)...the sports bottle isn't as appealing. Doors open at 11 AM this Saturday.

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

* HARMONY FROZEN YOGURT: 1243 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, CA

Bay Area Fro-yo Smoothie Recommendations

Fro-yo girl here. In a recent Fro-yo Girl reader survey, fro-yo smoothies were the most popular choice (43%) and followed by fro-yo parfaits (29%). After my Jamba Juice phase, I think I’m done with smoothies for life. Fro-yo adds a new twist to smoothies though. Here are a few of my picks for fro-yo smoothies in the Bay Area.

* BLUSH ORGANIC FROZEN YOGURT: Called the Blush Blend, this smoothie includes your choice of juice, two types of fruit, and premium organic fro-yo. These items are blended with ice and out comes your delicious Blush smoothie. Their smoothies are so good because their fro-yo is so delicious.

* RED MANGO: Their smoothies, called Blenders, are one of the few that can include non-fruit options. You choose the fro-yo flavor and any three toppings. They add ice and blend. You can even get cereal and mochi balls in your blender. I like to stick with tart berries but the cereal options are fun (especially Fruity Pebbles).

* CEFIORE: They have a really good green tea fro-yo smoothie. It’s made with green tea fro-yo, green tea powder, milk, and ice. It was creamy with tiny icy bits, a little sweet and refreshing.

* TUTTI FRUTTI DANVILLE: You can build your own fro-yo smoothie here. I’ m not brave enough to do it but they offer the greatest freedom to create your own smoothie. Choose as many fro-yo flavors and toppings as you want, they weigh it (it’s 38 cents an ounce) and blend it.

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

* BLUSH ORGANIC FROZEN YOGURT: 4640-A Tassajara Road, Dublin, CA
* BLUSH MILPITAS: 489 E. Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA
* RED MANGO: 852 Laurel St., San Carlos, CA
* RED MANGO: 1159 Locust St., Walnut Creek, CA
* RED MANGO: 429 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA
* RED MANGO: 20560 Town Center Lane, Cupertino, CA
* RED MANGO: 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd. Space 1293, San Jose, CA
* CEFIORE: 59 New Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA
* CEFIORE: Westfield San Francisco Centre, 845 Market St, #277, San Francisco, CA
* TUTTI FRUTTI: 37 Railroad Ave, Danville, CA

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Golden Spoon San Jose Grand Opening Event, August 8 & 9, Free Fro-yo!

Fro-yo girl here. Time to mark your calendars again, fro-yoholics. Golden Spoon is just about ready to open its doors in San Jose. They’re going to celebrate the grand opening of their new store with free fro-yo (regular size) all weekend long (August 8 & 9) at the San Jose location. No coupon is necessary.

They’re adding fresh fruit toppings to their toppings line up. Though I haven’t seen the San Jose store, I’m told that it’s bigger than the Castro Valley location.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Golden Spoon, they call themselves one of the pioneers of the fro-yo industry and they have over 100 locations.

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

* GOLDEN SPOON FROZEN YOGURT: 5126 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose, CA