Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fro-yo at a San Francisco ‘Pioneer’ --CLOSED

UPDATE: This store closed in 2009.

I call Yogurt Bar in Cow Hollow a “pioneer” in the title of this post because it was the first real fro-yo place to open in San Francisco in 2007 when the state was enraptured by the Pinkberry fro-yo craze. And yet, I still hadn’t made a visit.

I’ve traveled to Pasadena for a Pinkberry cup and to Palo Alto for Red Mango, but for some reason I couldn’t get myself to Union Street for a Yogurt Bar fro-yo. So recently I purposely made a trip to the tony Union Street neighborhood and visited Yogurt Bar, named the best fro-yo in the city by San Francisco magazine.

If you don’t have the address, you might miss the place because it’s actually on Octavia Street, which is on the more quiet end of the Union Street shops. It’s a tiny spot with a few outdoor seating but a nice, cute interior.

They offer four flavors of fro-yo: original plain, green tea (why is green tea always more expensive than other flavors?), chocolate and the flavor of the month (which happened to be blueberry). Yogurt Bar is also a bit cutesy with its sizes, calling its small “The Rock” (5 oz., $2.50), medium a “Union Square” (8 oz., $3.50) and a large the “Golden Gate” (13 oz., $5.70).

I ordered an original plain “Union Square” and topped it off with my usual strawberries. But I added a twist this time by asking for chocolate chips since toppings cost $1.50 extra for every one to three choices.

It turned out to be an unfortunate mistake to add the chocolate chips. The girl at the counter overloaded my cup with the chips, which I wouldn’t have complained if they were yummy. But they were dry and super hard to bite in to, making it almost hurt my teeth.

Despite the chocolate chips, the fro-yo itself was pretty nice. It’s made with organic yogurt from Straus Creamery, and taking the first bite I could tell the quality of the ingredient. It was fresh with a slight tart flavor typical of most fro-yo shops. I liked that it wasn’t too icy like some other places, but it wasn’t very creamy like Pinkberry or Red Mango. It was good, and I can see why people come back again and again when other newcomers pop up.

Single Guy's Fro-yo Rankings:

1. Red Mango, Palo Alto
2. Pinkberry, Southern California
3. Tuttimelon, San Francisco
4. Yogurt Bar, San Francisco
5. YoCup, San Francisco
6. Fraiche, Palo Alto
7. Icebee, San Francisco
8. Yoppi, San Francisco
9. Jubili, San Francisco
10. SoGreen, San Francisco
11. Yogurt Harmony, Berkeley
12. Yogen Früz, San Francisco
13. Céfiore, San Francisco

Yogurt Bar, 2760 Octavia St. (at Union), San Francisco (second new location in the Mission District). PH: 415.441.2585, Open daily except Mondays.

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