Saturday, July 31, 2010

More Pictures from the Tuttimelon Modesto Grand Opening

Here's a picture of the limited edition t-shirts and the line (taken about a minute before they let people in).

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

Tuttimelon Modesto Grand Opening Coverage

Fro-yo girl here. Tuttimelon Bear and I made it to Modesto for Tuttimelon's grand opening event today. The new location inside Vintage Faire Mall replaces Melt Gelato. Tuttimelon Modesto offers 8 flavors of self-serve fro-yo a day and 24 flavors of gelato. The Sumo Bowl is back!

Today's event started at noon and people lined up early. The line continued to grow. Guests received a small cup that they could fill with fro-yo and toppings (for free from 12 PM - 2 PM). They also had a chance to spin the prize wheel (prizes included a limited edition I (picture of an orange spoon) froyo t-shirt, gift card, or a scoop of gelato) and get a raffle ticket. There was a countdown at noon and an excited cry from the crowd as Tuttimelon opened. They had a videographer on hand to document the special event.

I received the first cup of fro-yo, swirled by Mr. Tuttimelon (I still hate swirling my own): original tart, pomegranate tart fro-yo, with mochi, blueberries and mango. Tuttilicious!

The raffle took place at 2:30 PM and it went quickly. I saw a girl win the Nintendo DS and a woman win the Kindle (missed the iPod Nano giveaway).

I took pictures so you can see the line before it opened, the prize wheel, my special gift, and the prize drawing. Unfortunately I won't be at their Hong Kong opening next week. Congratulations Tuttimelon!!!

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

* TUTTIMELON MODESTO: Vintage Faire Mall, 3401 Dale Rd. #508, Modesto, CA

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fro-yo Made a Different Way at Ice Pan

Fro-yo girl here. Ice Pan caught my eye because of its innovative process of making the ice cream (or fro-yo) in front of you. They claim to be the "world's first ice cream store where you actually see your ice cream being made from scratch." The ingredients are all natural. IcePan has Fructooligosaccharide which helps accelerate bowel movements, so it's good for constipation.

Step 1: Pick a size: small, medium or large ($3.95, $4.95, $5.95)
Step 2: Choose one flavor, they have a dozen, including chocolate, green tea, banana, strawberry, watermelon, peanut butter, pistachio, and yogurt
Step 3: Choose a base: soy milk, regular milk, nonfat milk, low fat milk
Step 4: Choose toppings (cereal, mochi, fruit, peanuts, chocolate chips) and decide whether to have them on top or mixed in.

Each serving is made from scratch at an Ice Pan station. They spread the liquid mixture thinly on a silver pan – it hardens and looks like an omelette or crepe at first, then scrambled eggs, and finally ice cream. The person making your dessert scrapes, chops and throws the mixture and finally scoops it up (and adds dessert sauce and/or toppings if desired). It’s interesting to watch though it reminds me of Benihana.

* Frozen yogurt with nonfat milk, mochi mixed in ($3.95 for small, 75 cents for mochi topping): The fro-yo was very sticky, like gelato, and the flavor was decent - like your plain/original tart fro-yo but with a different texture and mild flavor.

Yogurt gelato, yogurt ice cream and Ice Pan yogurt just isn't as good as a good soft-serve style fro-yo. A good soft-serve fro-yo is creamy with some iciness, and is smooth and silky without being sticky.

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

* ICE PAN: 7100 Santa Monica Blvd. #135, West Hollywood, CA

Monday, July 26, 2010

Twilight Hour Special at Nubi SF

Fro-yo girl here. Night owls and people with nighttime fro-yo cravings, the Nubi Twilight Hour special is upon us. From July 23 - August 6 (yes, NOW), get 50% off your fro-yo from 9 PM - 11 PM at the Potrero Center location.

I'm planning on going there this week in my pajamas, in honor of my grandfather and pajama people every where, especially those suffering under the unfair World Expo pajama crackdown in Shanghai. I'm going to try the new cucumber sorbet flavor.

The Twilight Hour Special continues in mid August. From August 7 - August 21, buy one fro-yo, get 50% off a 2nd fro-yo of equal or lesser value.

No coupon is necessary to enjoy the Twilight Hour Special.

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

* NUBI POTRERO CENTER: 16th St. Suite 215, San Francisco, CA

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Orange Tree Rebranded as Orange Leaf

Fro-yo girl here. Orange Tree Frozen Yogurt has been rebranded as Orange Leaf. Once virtually indistinguishable from Tutti Frutti and Yogofina, Orange Tree, oops, I mean Orange Leaf, now aspires to be Yogurtland. Here's the evidence that Orange Leaf is a Yogurtland knock-off.

*PRICE: Orange Leaf, $0.30 an ounce/ Yogurtland, $0.30 an ounce
*NUMBER OF FRO-YO FLAVORS ON AVERAGE: Orange Leaf, 16/ Yogurtland, 16
*FREE WATER: Orange Leaf, Yes/ Yogurtland, Yes
*LEAF IN THE LOGO: Orange Leaf, Yes/ Yogurtland, Yes

The strongest evidence of being a knock-off is the new biodegradable Orange Leaf spoon AND they had pink, green & white sprinkles (those are Yogurtland colors). It takes effort to rebrand and I'm not sure why they didn't spend some effort on improving their frozen yogurt quality. If Orange Leaf doesn't work, maybe they can try Orange Stem next.

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Future Yogurt Shop Picture: Nubi San Jose

Fro-yo girl here. I wasn't looking for it but I found myself close to the future Nubi location in San Jose. It's close to the 101 Story Road freeway exit in this shopping center with mostly Mexican businesses. The parking lot is horrible and congested. Interesting location choice. I would have chosen the shopping center with Target.

I was able to peek inside and they still have a fair amount of work left - like the ceiling and floors need to be prettied up. I saw the wall for the fro-yo machines and the blue and white tiles, but no fro-yo machines.

Remember the grand opening is August 14th.

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

* NUBI SAN JOSE: 1698 Story Rd. #20, San Jose, CA

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sympathy for Pajama People

Fro-yo girl here. I'm suffering during this humid, yucky heatwave. Fro-yo helps. I'm also reminded of the plight of the pajama people in Shanghai. The World Expo is taking place in Shanghai right now (May 1st - October 31st) and the Chinese government has cracked down on public pajama wearing.

Shanghai residents have long worn pajamas out in public. During my visit there, I saw a shop employee wearing pajamas, and people riding scooters in pajamas. Pajama wearers wear their pajamas all day. The Chinese government thinks that pajama people are an embarrassment to national pride and has ordered people to stop wearing them in public. According to NPR: "volunteer pajama police are sending residents home to get dressed."

Poor pajama people...especially now when it's sweltering in Shanghai...imagine how nice it would be to get a cup of fro-yo in your pajamas.

Though all the attention is focused on pajama people in Shanghai, I have seen pajama people in other parts of China. My grandfather was a pajama person and he didn't live in Shanghai. But maybe public pajama wearing isn't as popular outside of Shanghai.

You can search for frozen yogurt shops in Shanghai here:

Berryfresh and California Balance look promising.

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

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One Flavor Fro-yo Shops

Fro-yo girl here. I was really surprised to find out that Yoberri in Chicago only has one flavor of fro-yo (plain/natural/original). While other fro-yo shops try to offer as many fro-yo flavors and toppings as possible, it's unusual to find a place with just one fro-yo flavor. Imagine finding an ice cream shop with one flavor or a fro-yo shop with one type of topping.

So far I've encountered three one-flavor fro-yo shops (listed below: Flurt, Zuckersuss, Yoberri). The one flavor is original/natural for all three. This is the most popular tart flavor and I've always like to compare the quality of the original tart flavor across shops. If the original tart isn't good, the other tart flavors usually aren't good either. If I could only offer one fro-yo flavor, I would offer original...but I don't think one flavor offers enough variety for most people.

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

* YOBERRI: 2814 N. Halsted St., Chicago, CA
* ZUCKERSUSS: 1081 B St., Hayward, CA
* FLURT: 284 3rd Avenue, New York, NY

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pinkberry Happy Hour

Fro-yo girl here. I finally made it to Pinkberry's Happy Hour (5 - 7 PM daily) during which you can get their limited edition summer fro-yo flavor, watermelon, for 50% off. I know it took awhile but I was in Chicago which doesn't have Pinkberry and the closest one (to San Francisco) is 45 minutes away. The watermelon fro-yo tastes like their original tart with some fairly mild watermelon flavor. It was creamy and smooth in texture, tangy and sweet in flavor. I am not fond of watermelon in general, so it makes it difficult for me to judge the flavor.

I like their toppings - they're different from the ones you usually see at 99% of fro-yo shops. The chopped cucumbers were a bit bitter but crispy and refreshing. Those pitted bing cherries are fabulous. They also have watermelon puree, cute mini round waffle cookies and animal shaped vanilla cookies. They have the best almonds, the marcona kind.

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

Thursday, July 8, 2010

No Fro-yo at Wrigley Field

Fro-yo girl here. On the way to our seats at Wrigley Field, I spotted a picture that looked like a cup of Edy's fro-yo. Edy's/Dreyer's does make fro-yo mixes, so it seemed like I may have found fro-yo. There was even a kiosk called CC's that specialized in frozen treats and frozen drinks. After spending a few hours at Wrigley Field, I can say with confidence that fro-yo isn't served. The picture I saw was a cup of soft serve ice cream. It seems that Wrigleyville doesn't have a fro-yo shop of its own. The nearest fro-yo shop seems to be Yogen Fruz at 843 W. Belmont Ave. (Lakeview).

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

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chicago Fro-yo Report, Part 2

Fro-yo girl here. I'm back from Chicago with an update on the Chicago fro-yo scene.

1) Starfruit opened another location, their fourth, this one is inside the Merchandise Mart. It took me awhile to find it; it's not in the food court area by Dunkin Donuts. The Merchandise Mart is huge. I walked by the Block 37 location and noticed that the Beard Papa across from Starfruit serves Haagen Dazs coffee/smoothie drinks.

2) Forever Yogurt just opened in Wicker Park, bringing self-serve fro-yo close to downtown. It didn't seem much different than your average self-serve fro-yo shop in California, only more expensive (almost 50 cents an ounce). There's plenty of variety in fro-yo (14 flavors) and toppings. The fro-yo was runny. They plan on adding bagels soon. Bagels and fro-yo, I haven't seen that combination before.

3) No visible signs of the future Red Mango at O'Hare (space B5)

4) There's tart fro-yo in Chinatown at Joy Yee Plus and it's good. I think it's the only place to get fro-yo in Chinatown but tapioca drinks are everywhere.

I forgot to visit the new Freshberry location (211 E. Ontario St.) and the new Berry Moon.

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

* STARFRUIT CAFE: 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL
* FOREVER YOGURT: 1924 W North Ave, Chicago, IL
* JOY YEE PLUS: 2159 S China Place, Chicago, IL