Unless you live under a rock or never, ever go out to eat or stay away from internet chatter (in which case you probably wouldn’t even be reading this), you have heard of the new frozen yogurt craze. It started with Pinkberry, the chain that offers a grand total of TWO flavors and charges you for the privelege of eating the new-fangled tart frozen yogurt. And then charges you more if you want the non-plain flavor (in Pinkberry’s case, this is green tea). In its wake, a slew of of chains followed and saturated the market, much like Starbucks when it was first discovered. Granted, there are not frozen yogurt shops on every corner, but there are certainly a lot out there.
I remember frozen yogurt being marketed as a healthy alternative to ice cream. Much like it is now trendy to use non-plastic grocery bags, you were hip if you pretended like the frozen yogurt was just as good as an ice cream sundae. I didn’t like it. If I wanted slightly tart frozen stuff… well, actually I didn’t. I wanted ice cream. Yogurt was for breakfast, in the sweet, flavored variety of Yoplait, Custard Style. Then came TCBY, The Country’s Best Yogurt, with flavors that were sweet and much like soft serve ice cream rather than frozen yogurt. I loved it, especially in a chocolate waffle cone. Oh, yes, the waffle cones were flavored, not just dipped in chocolate. Why hasn’t anyone brought that back?
After TCBY became “just a fad”, frozen yogurt went back to being something I avoided unless it was in a fruit smoothie. There was a shop in San Luis Obispo that we would go to, and they had nice non-sour frozen yogurt, but I suspect we went more because they would fill the bottom of the cone with crushed Butterfingers.
Now, we enjoy Golden Spoon, my favorite being the peanut butter cup flavor. Again, the frozen yogurt itself isn’t what attracts me. The best part about Golden Spoon is that you can order a Mini size – the perfect amount of dessert for under $2. On the other end of the spectrum, we discovered Yogurt World down on Convoy Street. I guess they’re a Pinkberry follower, but they have a dozen flavors and you get to serve yourself. Some are good, some are not. Oddly enough, I like the plain tart yogurt and sometimes the tart peach. The vanilla custard (not tart) is rich and creamy. When they have banana yogurt, that’s practically the best flavor ever.
All this to say: a new yogurt shop opened up in Poway. It’s called A Whole Lotta Yogurt (WLY) and it’s behind the Starbucks on Poway Road (12222 Poway Road, Suite 3). When I heard about it, I said they either need to be different, like Yogurt World, or better than Golden Spoon or they won’t make it. When we saw a coupon in the Clipper magazine, we figured that would be a good time to check it out. So, after spending a weekend stuck at home waiting for the fence guy to finish (he’s still not done – he was supposed to be done Saturday, he worked Sunday and there’s still more to go – bah!) I was itching to get out of the house. We hopped over to Mr. Hummos for the kefta plate and an appetizer combo (the baba ganoush is fantastic) and then walked to the new yogurt place.
It’s sold by the ounce and they currently have 6 flavors (I think it’s 6). The owner said that the store was designed and built by the same company that did Yogurt World. Two tart flavors (Yogurt World wins on the plain tart, but WLY had a nice tart mango), the necessary chocolate and vanilla, and then others. I tried the pistachio, but I wasn’t in the mood. It wasn’t bad, just not the kind of pistachio I was hoping for. Maybe I was expecting a gelato-style flavor? The peanut butter flavor was really good. Combined with the chocolate it could give Golden Spoon competition on the peanut butter cup. T and I actually got the same flavors, except I added some tart mango to my cup. Now, here’s why we’ll definitely go back: they have the soft mochi balls as a topping for your frozen yogurt. They have oodles of other toppings (no fruit jelly-things), but the mochi balls are what we love at Yogurt World.
I was pretty happy as we walked back to the car. I think I may still frequent Golden Spoon to get my Mini peanut butter cup, but I’m really happy we can get a frozen yogurt fix closer to home and not have to drive down to Convoy Street or Mira Mesa (where the new, still crowded Yogurt World opened). I hope word gets out and they get popular (but not too popular!) because I want to be able to go back.
So, to A Whole Lotta Yogurt: Thank you for opening, thank you for having the mochi balls, and please consider doing a good banana flavor.