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Pinkberry

7 West 32nd Street (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.)
(212)695-9631
Hours of Operation: 7 days a week, 11 AM – 11PM daily
NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Though curiously under wraps, I managed to coax owner Daihwan Choi into divulging that the medium (8 oz.) is 200 calories.  All of the yogurt here is non-fat, but carbs have yet to be disclosed.
INSIDE SCOOP: Pinkberry hopes to open locations on the UES (82nd & 2nd Ave.), Nolita (Prince & Mulberry), and Meatpacking (20th St. & 8th Ave.).
INSIDE SECRET: There’s an off-the-menu mochi topping for in-the-know yogurt addicts or bi-coastal Pinkberry loyalists.
PRICES:
Original flavor – Small, $2.95, M $3.95, & L $6.45
Green Tea flavor – Small $3.90, M $ 4.95, & L $8.25
One topping is an additional $.95, $1.50 for three toppings

Still reeling from the disappointment of yesterday’s delayed opening, I trekked back to Pinkberry at 12 PM to take my proper place in what I anticipated to be a female frenzied line, eager to sample NYC’s newest yogurt goods.  With no gaggle of girls in sight, I feared for the worst – a closed Pinkberry.  Happily, I was wrong.  The anti-Tasti-D-Lite, this modern yogurt shop, a Philippe Starck design, is outfitted with white light fixtures that mimic swirls of yogurt, colored plastic chairs & stools, high white ceilings & walls and under-lit counters.   With four tables (four chairs at each) & and six counter seats, a yogurt binge might possibly be an unequivocally civilized and fashionable affair.

Unlike the chemical-enhanced, sugar-free, and virtually carb-less frozen treats of late, Pinkberry banks exclusively on two all-natural flavors (no kahlua n cream or oreo peanut butter here), just original (plain) & green tea (with Japanese green tea powder).  That’s just the foundation, but Pinkberry encourages customers to add fresh fruit toppings (kiwi, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry), or dried toppings (cereals, yogurt chips, nuts).   There’s even fresh-fruit smoothies and yogurt ices (ice, syrup,yogurt & fresh fruit) to boot.

Seeing as I’d invested so much time and emotional energy in anxious anticipation of the opening, I sampled both yogurt flavors – Original with Cap’n Crunch, graham cracker crumbs & chocolate chips, as well as the Green Tea with kiwi, blackberries, raspberries and the off-the-menu mochi balls.

With Tasti-D-Lite and Cremalita as my frame of references, both Pinkberry flavors were definitively icier and much less creamy than its predecessors.  In a league of its own, Pinkberry has a distinctively natural essence – a tangy, gently sour flavor reminiscient of natural frozen yogurt (the real stuff) – with just enough sweetness to still satisfy a sugar fix.  While some green tea frozen desserts tend to be overbearing or leave a bitter aftertaste, this one is mild, but notably sweeter than the original flavor.  As for the fruit that topped it, it was extremely fresh, especially the blackberries, a perfect late-breakfast alternative.  Add a little cocoa pebbles and you’ve got frozen cereal.  If I had to pick between them (both are delicious), I’d opt for the original with cap’n crunch, but I’ve always had a thing for the captain.  Lest I forget to mention the mochi topping, a gummy, Japanese version of cookie dough without chocolate chips, so addictive I  was compelled to order an extra cup of just mochi.

Until we eat again,
Restaurant Girl

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