The Dish: Vanilla Frozen Yogurt from Fro-Yo

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This afternoon was overcast and cold, the temperature stuck south of freezing. And that's the best weather we've seen this week. So of course today I decided to make the arduous trek from RFT world headquarters at 6358 Delmar Boulevard to Fro-Yo, the new "premium frozen yogurt" joint at 6329 Delmar.

Actually, if you've ever tried to use the pedestrian crosswalk in front of the Tivoli, you know that "arduous trek" isn't much of an exaggeration. Today, at least, I survived and treated myself to a big cup of low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt. How was it? Find out after the jump...

Fro-Yo appears to be the first St. Louis restaurant inspired by the Pinkberry craze that has swept Los Angeles and New York City. I say "appears to be" because I've never been to a Pinkberry, so I'm going on what I've read in the food press.

Fro-Yo's gimmick is fairly straightforward: self-serve frozen yogurt in a variety of flavors and with a variety of toppings (fresh fruit, candy, chocolate sauce) available, sold by weight. According to my receipt, I purchased a .55 of a pound of frozen yogurt at $6.40 per pound for a grand total of $3.85 (tax included). I didn't intend to eat half a pound of frozen yogurt. In fact, I took the smaller of the two cup sizes and tried not to fill it.

Ah, well.

Before you fill your cup with yogurt, you might notice the large wall signs featuring nutritional information and boasting of yogurt's health benefits. There's even a notice that Fro-Yo's fro-yo meets some organization's quality standards. I couldn't help but take this as a bit of a jab at Pinkberry, which found itself in trouble because its yogurt didn't meet California standards for bacterial cultures. (Pinkberry has since changed its recipe.) At any rate, nutrition is a big sell here, with the aforementioned signs and with almost all of the flavors listed as non- or low-fat. Frankly, for those of us looking for a tasty dessert, it's a bit of a buzzkill.

There are a few dozen toppings from which to choose, everything from blackberries to Gummi Bears. The fresh fruit did look appealing, but out of instinct, I suppose, I opted for the Heath Bar crumbles. (At least, I assumed that was what the crumbles were; I didn't see any labels.)

The verdict? It was tasty. The yogurt itself was thick and soft -- more like soft-serve ice cream than the frozen yogurt I remember from its 1980s-1990s heyday. The vanilla flavor wasn't too sweet or artifical-tasting. It would have been better with the fresh fruit, I suppose, but the Heath Bar bits did remind me that this was, after all, dessert.

- Ian Froeb

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