Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Addicted to Crack

berry. As in Pinkberry.

Pinkberry received $27.5M from Starbucks founder's VC firm.

If you aren't familiar with Pinkberry, it's a frozen yogurt cult phenomenon - a refreshing tangy/sour and a little sweet frozen yogurt in original or green tea topped with fresh fruit, a variety of cereal, or even mochi served in a contemporary minimalist environment. They have 32 stores, mainly in LA and NY, with plans for expansion. Why SF is not on the list is beyond me.

A loyal customer of 21 Choices in Pasadena, (we made daily trips from USC, 30 miles roundtrip, after compulsively checking the website) and known gelato/ice cream/frozen yogurt fanatic, everyone kept telling me I had to check out the "new 21 choices." I walked in with lofty expectations, waiting to be blown away by this new fangled concept. The line was out the door, a good start. I anxiously waited for my little cup of heaven, continuously peeking around the line to see "are we there yet?" Finally, a cup of the famed Pinkberry sat in front of me. I took a scoop, inhaled with anticipation, and took a bite.

I hated it.

I've been waiting like a kid on Christmas Eve for THIS? This plain, chalky, lackluster so-called frozen yogurt that leaves an after taste in my mouth? Is it too late to run to 21 Choices to get some REAL frozen yogurt to get this horrendous taste out of my mouth? Did people have that low of an opinion of 21 Choices if they thought this was better? I didn't even finish my (very expensive, more than a Starbucks latte that I don't even allow myself anymore) cup, sighing to myself and thinking, "Thank goodness I have my 21 choices."

2 days later, I craved Pinkberry. Badly.

For some reason, this second go-around, I loved it. Maybe it was the lack of expectations - or the expectations of it being horrible. Maybe it was because it was hotter outside. Maybe it was because I was extra hungry. Whatever it was, I loved the Pinkberry.

2 years later, without a location in San Francisco, I look forward to LA trips as much for Pinkberry as for 21 Choices and all my other foodie hangouts.

I don't know what it is, but they are doing something right. Maybe they just add crack. And the imitators aren't even close. Even David Lebovitz, an ice cream guru, author of my favorite ice cream book The Perfect Scoop and among my favorite bloggers, is addicted to the Pinkberry. And that's despite the fact he has a frozen yogurt recipe of his own that Heidi at 101 Cookbooks (another favorite blog) says Pinkberry has nothing on.

Anybody up for a trip to LA?

1 comment:

Lan said...

I am truly... Jealous of your life.. Came across your blog on google and noticed right away that you MUST be an amazing chef. Those who love to eat, know how to cook just as well. I am a connoisseur of "food in general" myself. Thanks for all the recipes.
Lannie