The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Pinkberry Revisited: It Still Kind of Sucks

Last Friday, I went to Pinkberry. I gave their character-less, low calorie, not really fat-free, turd-like swirl of frozen goo another chance. Conclusion? It still kind of sucks. (The suckiness has nothing to do with the turd-like swirl. Many frozen rope-like desserts employ the turd-like swirl technique, a presentation that I am a fan of. You just can't deny that it looks like a turd pile. And now I have reached my quota of how many times I should say "turd" in one paragraph.)

pistachio and pear
Mm, tasty.

But for dessert #1, I ate a cup of pistachio gelato and pear sorbet (topped with an extra plop of frutti di bosco, or mixed berries) from L'Arte del Gelato. That was the original plan after eating dinner with Karen, Julie, and Tyler—to just eat gelato. Good ol' gelato. Creamy. Flavorful. Nutty. Fatty. Fruity. Rich. Clean. Tasty. Goodness. It's predictably awesome. (The only non-awesome thing was that they weren't carrying grape sorbet or yogurt gelato like they did the week before. Their yogurt gelato totally kicks froyo's ass. To the moon. Of an undiscovered galaxy. That's really far away. But I only just realized that people don't eat froyo because it taste like yogurt, but because it tastes like froyo. Which is different. Or something.)

A trip was made to Pinkberry at Tyler's request. While he wasn't hungry when we were at L'Arte del Gelato, the froyo craving kicked in as soon as we left. He had a two-for-one coupon that no one else wanted to take advantage of. I may not be a big fan of froyo, but I'll eat it if it's free. For I am a glutton, and I have no shame.

I haz froyo
I ate most of this.

I latched onto Tyler's Pinkberry addiction with a small cup of plain froyo with mochi and blueberries. Does food taste better when it's free? Yes. But I have yet to understand the cult-like following it has garnered. The flavor wasn't very tart or...flavorful, and the texture, while smooth, tasted insubstantial. I wouldn't say it tasted bad—it just felt so inadequately ephemeral. I'd rather eat a bowl of the toppings than the froyo. A bowl of mochi balls and blueberries sounds rather nice when I think about it.

I know people don't turn to Pinkberry for complex flavors and textures. It's not like everything I eat has to be full of depth. But FROYO (mostly Pinkberry) IS EVERYWHERE AND I CANNOT IGNORE IT AND, ARRHGHG, FROYO IN MY EYES, IN MY BRAIN, IN MY SPLEEEN, HUAHSDUhudfhuggurgle...

I guess I can understand if you've acquired the taste for Pinkberry's froyo. You can float your boat however you want. Hopefully that leaves more gelato for me.


Snoochums95 / January 27, 2009 12:56 AM

I had to laugh because FROYO was the name of a popular frozen yogurt place when frozen yogurt was hugely popular (at least in CA). Now, I live in Seattle where it is too cold to have chains of FROYO or gelato places around (and honestly, I don't think I have ever had gelato before, a shame, I know). There is no Pinkberry around either, and I hear either "love it" or "hate it" from people (hate it side - I was told that it tasted like vomit.hmmmmmm.)

I will have to try pistachio gelato soon, but I need to find a reputable place before I go down that path. TCBY forgetaboutit.

roboppy / January 27, 2009 1:17 AM

Snoochums95: OMG GO GET GELATO NOOWWSSSSsss! This place looks tasty? Let me know if you try it!

C: Probably frutti di bosco (mixed berries). I'll add that to my entry. I like that L'Arte usually adds an extra spoonful of something random to your gelato cup. :)

SuperChomp / January 27, 2009 12:13 PM

Have you tried the playground method of "if you ignore it, maybe it'll go away"? :)

p.s. I loled at the turd paragraph.

grace / January 27, 2009 12:47 PM

i agree with cathy - red mango is definitely better. i think it's more tart, or less tart... i forget! but i definitely remember liking it more than pinkberry. have you tried the green tea flavor? that might taste better

grace / January 27, 2009 1:49 PM

I think there totally needs to be mochi to go with gelato. It'd be tasty. :)
i agree.. in italy i had this "rice" flavor gelato i have yet to find in the states.. both my friend and i loved it!! it was really good.

i guess mochi would be similar in flavor maybe . with a few extra sprinkle of azuki beans.. :-b

roboppy / January 27, 2009 2:11 PM

Grace: I think I've tried Ciao Bella's pistachio gelato and didn't like it that much.. :( But their hazelnut was nice. For a widely distributed gelato brand, their stuff is good.

I haven't had rice gelato! Sounds good though.

Kate: NO THAT WOULD MAKE IT EVEN BETTER! Like that toilet restaurant in Taiwan.

Olivia: [breathes]...[wheezes]

Jason: I never thought of that before! But I like my gelato naked.. :)

Cathy: I have yet to try Red Mango. If a friend lets me bum off their cup, I'll give it a shot.

SuperChomp: But I tried to ignore and it just got BIGGER until it became this HUGE PULSATING TUMOR THAT JUST WOULDN'T GO AWAAAYY

Turd is a funny word.

Brock: Thanks! And this entry isn't even very good! Ahahahaa uhughg I really have to not write around the midnight hour.

Grace: I think I'd want more tart! Haven't had the green tea, but I'm not a fan of green tea so that might not taste better to me.. :(

anna / January 27, 2009 2:26 PM

Hmm, I tried both Pinkberry and Red Mango when I was in NY last and found Red Mango to taste more yogurty, which wasn't bad but also wasn't as refreshing since it was milkier-tasting...not awesome on the hottest, most humid day of the summer. I definitely agree that Pinkberry has an unsubstantial quality to it, though. I didn't notice mochi topping when I was there...I've never had mochi and that's probably not a good place to start anyway.

Marvo / January 27, 2009 4:31 PM

We don't have a Pinkberry here in Hawaii, but we do have something called Yogurtland which I'm not too sure is or isn't a franchise. It's ALWAYS crowded, despite the fact the place doesn't have much parking. I had it twice and I don't feel there's anything special about it, except for the kids who use their fingers to taste test the different flavors.

Fucking kids!

Laura / January 27, 2009 5:11 PM

I know what you mean about Pinkberry. I seem to crave it every six months or so. I get it and decide that it sucks and after six months goes by forget how much it sucks so get it again. L'Arte is ridiculous. The cinnamon gelato is totally inspired. Way more interesting than you would expect it to be. And I agree with you on the grape...ridiculous, right?

Bonnie / January 27, 2009 7:56 PM

Is Pinkberry the real yoghurt place portrayed on Seinfeld where the kid called Jerry a fat f*&@k? I saw a Pinkberry in the East Village when I was leaving Crumbs with a big, fat cupcake. Doesn't appeal, especially after that turd description.

Kate / January 27, 2009 8:58 PM

I agree. I go to our Pinkberry-imitation for the chocolate chips and mochi; the yogurt just holds it together.

roboppy / January 27, 2009 11:46 PM

anna: I didn't notice the mochi either but since my friend got I just copied him. ;) Yeah ,I wouldn't recommend having your first mochi-eating experience at Pinkberry.

Marvo: There's a Yogurtland in NYC that I've passed it a few times, but have yet to try. If I were in Hawaii I think I'd just eat shave ice, ehh?



...Cinnamon is nice too.

Bonnie: I have nooo idea what that episode of Seinfeld was.

Sometimes the frosting on cupcakes looks like a turd too. And then it makes me laugh. I kind of wish that happened more often.

Kate: "I'd like a bowl of chocolate chips and mochi...with some frozen yogurt." TASTY.

Mila / January 28, 2009 12:28 AM

We've been having an explosion of froyo franchises over here too, although Pinkberry hasn't set on foot on these shores, we now have Red Mango, along with an assortment of local versions of froyo all with fruity/california sounding names. I prefer buying a small pot of yogurt, freezing it overnight, then chipping away at it during the hot summer nights with some frozen grapes.

Ana / January 29, 2009 10:36 AM

ok, i will ignore the green-tea insult. (i think you just have never had the good stuff- or maybe you mean green tea as a flavor, not the pure nectar of the gods that is a properly brewed cup of sencha.)

oh yes, froyo. i just don't get it. it may be a leftover negative association from freshman year at college, however, where i quickly discovered in the cafeteria that squealing sorority girls loved to cluster around 1) frat boys and 2) any froyo dispenser in sight. i was most definitely not on that list.

but that's ok. they all had really terrible taste, and probably still do.

redrhino / January 29, 2009 8:13 PM

By the By Rob

Here are two articles from the New York Times which talk about Pinkberrys misrepresentation of it self as health food or all natural.

quote- “Isn’t it amazing how many additives it takes to make something taste natural?” Dr. Reineccius said.end-quote

Weeeeeeeee. Got to Lurve corporate America.


roboppy / January 30, 2009 1:00 AM

Mila: I've never actually just frozen a pot-o-yogurt. ...Mebbe I should.

FN: I FREAKIN LOVE POZZETTO! Didn't mention it in this post's in Paris, but man that was one of my favorite places in Paris. I went there on my first day on my spring break..uh..two years ago. I missed it. OH MY GOD I MISS PARIS, BLUUGUGH!!

Ana: I mean green tea as a flavor. Overall I'm not a big fan of..TEA. I don't love tea. I don't dislike it either. It's how I don't like alcohol. Wait. No. I dunno. BUH.

Squealing sorority girls are enough to turn you off anything.

I like the sound of those donuts.

redrhino: Heheheh...I like that comic. And I find it pretty hard to believe anything that touts itself as healthy and all natural unless it's just a piece of fruit or a vegetable, in which case it doesn't need to advertise itself as such because..IT'S PRODUCE! Nom nom.

Bonnie: Thanks for the link!

FN / January 30, 2009 3:28 PM

TGWAE - I won't rub it in, but I do stay about 5 min from Pozzetto and I did in fact go there this evening for an Affogatto. Man, it was FREAKING GOOD!!

I also won't go on and on about the good stuff over here like Pralus, Maison du Chocolat, Patrick Roger, Pain de Sucre, Berko, etc and so forth.... (and those are just in my local hood)

Nubia / February 5, 2009 10:47 PM

Pinkberry scares me. There's always a long line outside of the one where I live on 2nd Ave. I tried it once and it was just OKAY...I didn't want to get sucked in...

Alex / February 6, 2009 2:58 PM

I check out your blog all the time but I've yet to comment. I'm wondering, if I'm looking for gelato in NYC and I can only go to one place, do I go to L'Arte del Gelato or Grom? I don't get into the city much unfortunately (I live in SW CT), but I've been DYING for some gelato with some semblance of authenticity to the stuff in Italy and it seems like the real deal. I like tartier flavors generally if that changes anything.

roboppy / February 7, 2009 11:40 AM

Alex: I like L'Arte more, but I haven't tried Grom in a while. not remember the last time I went. Oops. I should probably compare the two by ordering the same flavors from each place. But if you want "Only in NYC" stuff, L'Arte is a local business unlike Grom, and you should check out Otto's gelato too (and..their food is tasty) cos IT'S AMAZIINNGGG.

Jane / May 31, 2009 9:01 AM

Just back from Pozzetto in Paris. I am moving from Singapore to NY next year. Is there one also there? Please send me the address of their NY shop or I need to buy now a ticket with stop over in Paris.

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