April 4, 2012

Cuckoo for Fro-Yo: Yogurt Crazy Lives Up to Hype

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How do you even begin to review a place like Yogurt Crazy? There’s no chef to orchestrate your dish; you are the creator of your own frozen yogurt monstrosity. There’s no service involved; you seat yourself and help yourself to the cutlery and napkins. Is that even food they are serving? Not exactly; its some pseudo-replacement to ice cream called fro-yo, showered with the detritus of a kitchen explosion. At Yogurt Crazy, you walk into a condensed supermarket where the ingredients are in dispensers, and you dump your goods into a 16- or 20-ounce bowl instead of into your grocery bag.

I hate this place. I really do. Especially when that red velvet cupcake yogurt oozes a richness akin to cream cheese, leaving an aftertaste so reminiscent of chocolate that I couldn’t help but slurp another spoonful. More so when that premium peanut butter fro-yo tasted almost as natural as nuts in a pod, with its toasted nuttiness and luscious, silky texture. Not to mention the cappuccino flavor that reminds one of Parisian al fresco cafes in one’s sugar-high brain, obliging a side of espresso on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The décor – don’t even go there. The electric purple and lime green colors are such an eyesore that Cornellians are lured in by the dozens like bees to honey, as they create their own healthy multicolored dessert. The cheeky, rainbow-colored logo brings out the child in you, where a large, empty bowl is your canvas, and you create your own masterpiece with frozen yogurt as the paintbrush and toppings as the paint. How can you bring yourself to love (or hate) a concept that can hardly go wrong? Who’s to say that strawberry yogurt mixes terribly with chocolate chips? Or that Cap’n Crunch or Fruity Pebbles belong in a bowl of milk during breakfast and not in a swirl of yogurt as a hangover fix?

Alright, who am I kidding? I love this place. Dammit, I love it. Even if the cookies and cream yogurt tasted nothing like cookies and the low-fat cake batter fro-yo could have been a block of sweetened butter in its past life. Even if all the probiotic, calcium-rich, cancer-resistant, Alzheimer’s-preventing yogurts drizzled copiously with hot fudge and caramel sauce are a step back from healthfulness with the liberal heaps of sugar thrown in for flavor. Even if all the non-fat, no-sugar, no-dairy, no-gluten disclaimers made me feel like the subject of some kind of food science experiment, as if I was so desperate to get in shape that I had to pay the price of a full meal to get a few pathetic calories, and empty ones at that.

But in all honesty, putting all sarcasm aside, Yogurt Crazy is a breath of fresh air that Collegetown has needed for a long time. Over the years, hanging out in town at a Red Mango or Pinkberry huddled around tables with friends and mingling amid a predominately young clientele has somehow become chic. It’s always colorful and creative, always customized to our unique tastes and, most importantly, very social — the very reason why the fro-yo experience at Jason’s Grocery and Deli can never match up to that of Yogurt Crazy. The health benefit is just an excuse to indulge in a good old sugar coma and to soak in a semblance of convivial togetherness. Yogurt Crazy is more than just the local fro-yo place; it brings us together in our mutual love for that delectable creaminess and satisfaction in mixing up our own delicious creations.

Would you love or hate Yogurt Crazy? Try it yourself —with a few friends, that is.

Original Author: Brandon Ho