SCOping out the best froyo

April 29, 2011, 12:55 p.m. | By Allison Daitch | 13 years, 2 months ago

SCO uncovers the hidden secrets of the froyo phenomenon

Spring is finally here to stay, but this reporter knows how to make it feel like summer even though we have about a month of school left. The secret is frozen yogurt - better known as froyo - a refreshingly delicious treat that never fails to satisfy your summer cravings and sweet tooth. This low-cal delight that can beat ice cream any time – that is, if you choose the right froyo. SCO has done the detective work for you and narrowed down a list of some of the highs and lows of the froyo contenders in the area.

Best Overall - Wasabi Bistro

Wasabi Bistro offers the best froyo and topping combination - taro froyo with mochi on top. Photo courtesy of Allison Daitch.

Although Fruity Yogurt and Yogiberry surpass expectations, nothing can compare to the overall experience and delectability of the froyo at Wasabi Bistro in College Park. Though the outside is nothing to look twice at, the interior feels welcoming and has an authentically Japanese aura, and the service is terrific - there are always friendly staff members who are eager to greet you. Although the limited flavor options of Mr. Yogato was one of its downfalls, it is the very simplicity of Wasabi that makes it a winner. The bistro only offers two flavors, original and taro, but they are exceptional. Taro froyo is the undiscovered superstar - a flavor to drool over - and Wasabi has the best. This sweet root gives such a refreshing and mouth-watering taste that you will go out of your way to get some, even when you're not hungry. Despite taro froyo being scrumptious on its own, it only gets better when you add mochi - a chewy Japanese rice cake which looks like a gummy and tastes heavenly. Mochi adds both texture and a unique sweetness which makes it this reporter's absolute favorite topping. There's no better combination than taro froyo and mochi and there's no better place to get it than at Wasabi.

Best Concept - Mr. Yogato
After some in-depth research to find the best froyo venues around, Mr. Yogato seemed like it would be a big winner, and though it was unique, the store's overall performance fell flat. Mr. Yogato claims to be "the funnest yogurt experience you'll ever have." Customers can click through the shop's outrageous website and review the crazy list of rules that offer discounts if you comply, for instance. If you get your head stamped it's 10 percent off, if you reenact the entire 47 second Thriller dance it's 20 percent off and the list goes on and on. Then there are the bizarre but enticing flavors, from the blitzcherry and the joe maher-ito to the coco-loco shandy. But don't be fooled! These wacky traditions and seemingly fun environment portrayed on the web site are tempting, but unfortunately, Mr. Yogato does not live up to the hype. It's a cramped cafe hidden halfway underground with only two people in the entire store – hardly the bustling paradise imagined. To make it even worse, what the website indicates as the flavors of the week are the only flavors available. There are only four options at a time: original soft, tangy, and then the two weekly flavors. If you don't like the weekly picks, then you're out of luck. At the time of this reporter's visit the available flavors were below average; however, the toppings were plentiful. Maybe it was all the anticipation and then the sudden disappointment which dampened the experience, but think long and hard before you decide to drive or Metro to downtown D.C. for what you think will be the most fun of your life, because it might not be. Still, the shop does deserve some credit for originality, and could live up to its excitement when visited on a busier day.

Best Variety - Fruity Yogurt

Fruity Yogurt is a self-serve froyo venue with 12 unique and delicious flavors. Photo courtesy of Allison Daitch.

Hidden deep within Tysons Corner shopping center is the refreshingly simple Fruity Yogurt. Since the spot is a self-serve froyo bar, customers can mix, match and create to their hearts' content, and a calm atmosphere gives a pleasant break to the non-stop shopping hustle and bustle of Tysons Corner. This secret gem offers a wide variety of 12 unique flavors from the basics (original, vanilla, chocolate) to the more exotic (green tea, pomegranate, mango). Unlike other stores, Fruity Yogurt manages to provide this wide array of flavors without overpowering the subtle tartness of the yogurt. Not only that, but the yogurt is guilt free! The yogurt feels light, and is all natural and non-fat - three traits that silence your conscience and satisfy your sweet tooth. The store also provides a self-service topping bar for healthy options of fruits and nuts as well as candies and crumbles, all finished off with as much syrup and fudge as desired. Fruity Yogurt allows you to have a delectable one-of-a-kind creation amid the chaos of Tysons Corner - hold the guilt!

Best Toppings - Yogiberry
On a more positive note, Yogiberry is one place that does deliver. Its pebbled floors, colorful plastic chairs and Braille-like wall designs all give the shop a modern feel. Like Fruity Yogurt, Yogiberry is also self-serve with a wide array of flavors, but unlike Fruity Yogurt, Yogiberry seems much closer to ice cream than yogurt. The delectable flavors range from the classics and original to oreo and cake batter, which you can sample before you mix and match the yogurt in your own cup. The topping bar is endless, with every candy imaginable and all the fruits you could ask for which you can pile up to your heart's delight. And don't overlook the syrups and honey! Overall, not only is their yogurt delicious, but Yogiberry has an unparalleled topping bar which makes the store stand out. And although it's not quite as light and refreshing as froyo is expected to be, it is just as delicious and fun to make!

It's no wonder why froyo places are popping up all over the map (including a shop coming to Downton Silver Spring). This tasty treat is worth every penny and is definitely something to crave. Try out all the flavor varieties and toppings you want and have fun experimenting with this unique treat which will get you ready for those hot summer days!

Allison Daitch. "Are you a mod or a rocker?" "No, I'm a mocker." I'm Allison, a.k.a. Allie. I love The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld and Harry Potter. I could live off of Cosi TBMs and Signature Salads, with the occasional Quattro Formaggio pizza thrown … More »

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