Saturday, November 14, 2009

Back to the Fro-Yo Report: Tutti Frutti

So now that my cholesterol is back on the “high” side again, I have to pay more attention to what I eat. Frozen yogurt is supposedly better for you (I think it’s more a marketing position, if you ask me) so I recently went to check out a new fro-yo spot that conveniently opened in my neighborhood earlier this summer.

I went one weekend with my friend Joe, who wondered why Tutti Frutti would open just a few yards down from Fenton’s Creamery on Piedmont Avenue. I told him that people needed options, like cholesterol-challenged people like me. He just didn’t see the logic.

Not only is Tutti Frutti just a few steps from Fenton’s, it’s also a block from my favorite gelato shop, Lush. Again, alternatives.

Tutti Frutti is supposedly a worldwide chain that’s suddenly opening up a lot of locations in California. I can’t tell if this Oakland location is a company store or a franchise but it really feels like it’s run by a family.

When you walk in, you’re hit by the bright, cheery pastel colors and the bright colored photos of fresh fruits. Tutti Frutti (I have to say, very fun name for a fro-yo spot) is one of those self-serve spots where you choose your flavor and dispense it yourself from the machines.

You start by picking the size of your cup. There were also waffle-like cones, but they were used as lining for the certain cups. Not sure if they charged extra for that or they just add it in as part of the overall weight. I just went for a plain cup.

There were some interesting flavors, and Joe pretty much took a little bit from the first few stations, creating his own tasting cup. Some of the flavors included taro (unusual), cookies and cream, French vanilla, orange sorbet, regular yogurt, green tea, mango, pomegranate and strawberry.

For the toppings, there were your typical assortment of fruits and candied sprinkles. But I have to say, the fruits looked nasty. They looked old and tired, not very fresh like the photos on the wall. I was disappointed and a bit scared to put anything on top of my fro-yo. In the end, I just sprinkled a few strawberries because they looked the least offensive.

Tutti Frutti charges 37 cents an ounce, and our cups came out to be roughly $3.50 each.

I got a mix of regular yogurt, mango and pomegranate. Joe got taro, green tea and some other flavors. He really liked the taro, but didn’t like the green tea, which was a bit bitter. I thought the regular yogurt was nice but the mango was a bit tart. I really enjoyed the pomegranate because it was sweet but not super sweet and it was smooth.

Overall, the fro-yo was creamy and light, not too thick like some places and no signs of icy chips that I’m not a fan of. Tutti Frutti is a fun spot to hangout in, but until they clean up their fresh fruits section, I’m probably going to get my fro-yo plain with no toppings.

Single Guy's Fro-yo Rankings:

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

Tutti Frutti, 4214 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. PH: 510.594.9028.

More posts to lick:
Homemade Helado in My Hood
What’s Up at Fenton’s
Pretty in Pinkberry


Hungry Dog said...

Wish there was a Tutti Frutti near me! I love fro yo...Pinkberry is the main reason we want to move to L.A.! They should revamp their old soggy fruit selection though.

beth said...

I think their location choice is pretty clever - half the people going to Fenton's probably bail when they see the stupidly long lines (I live down the street and have only been a handful of times, and have bailed and gone to Lush at least that many times), but they are already in the mood for ice cream!

Mrs. L said...

You would be so proud Chef Ben, I had my first Red Mango last night! Thought of you the whole time. Wasn't sure what to expect not being a frozen yogurt eater but...LOVED it. Wow, so different from the regular frozen yogurt I've had before. Wished I'd just had that for dinner. Now completely hooked (Red Mango in San Carlos).

Single Guy Ben said...

Mrs. L, I'm so proud of you! Red Mango is my favorite (as you can see in my rankings) so I wish they'll open one closer to me and not just on the Peninsula. :(