By grace.g.yang · May 21, 2008
Under: Cheap Eats,Chicago,Desserts,FRO-YOLYMPICS,My Life

The other day I went to Yoberri in Lincoln Park with Josh, Jonathan, and Jen. Earlier in the afternoon, I went to Berry Chill for some frozen yogurt so I wanted to try the other places in Chicago (frozen yogurt is just entering the Chicago market). Yoberri was opened a couple weeks ago by a 21-year-old girl that tried a similar frozen yogurt in Italy and decided to recreate it in the states (the owner of Berry Chill had a similar story). Business hasn’t really picked up yet (the weather is still kind of cold and the location is a little out of the way for people).

Josh and I ordered a medium with blueberries, mangoes, and raspberries:

IMG_1102 (Small)

All of the fruit is fresh, although half of the raspberries are blended in a mixer and then added back with the fruit (a good idea, but it was incredibly sour when I actually tasted it). The mangoes were overripe and the raspberry sauce was a little sour, but the blueberries were very good.

Size of the hole:

UNacceptable! Josh actually pointed out the hole size (he followed the fro-yolympics, obviously). Yeah, the hole WAS incredibly large, but they had a scale behind the cash register (a scale that they DID NOT use). Jonathan and Jen ordered a medium with papaya, mochi, and strawberries and weren’t impressed with the taste or the iciness of the frozen yogurt.

A little video of our review:

Yoberri Review from Grace Yang on Vimeo.

I was messing around with my camera (actually, it’s my friend David’s camera), and I took a little video review (it was actually really easy and fun to do!). I don’t have any video-editing software (I don’t have a mac – boo!), but no one said anything I had to edit, so I just uploaded it online – I hope you enjoy it! If you have any tips on how to edit videos, drop me an email – gracenotesnyc@gmail.com.

Would I go back to Yoberri? No – even though it’s a cute store and I would love to support local businesses, the frozen yogurt was just not very good.


By grace.g.yang · May 16, 2008
Under: Desserts,FRO-YOLYMPICS,West Village

In preparation for this June’s fro-yolympics, I’ve been checking out some of the new frozen yogurt spots that have recently popped up in Manhattan. I was really excited to hear about Yogurtland’s opening – a transplant from LA, they offer Pinkberry-style plain frozen yogurt, but they are completely self-serve and have a large variety of flavors and toppings (I counted 16 different flavors the day I went). I asked for a sample container (they only have large and super-large containers to put frozen yogurt in), and I sampled all 16 flavors :) Here are the frozen yogurt dispensers:

The flavors in rotation on the day we went were the following: Vanilla (pretty good), chocolate (pretty good), cookies and cream (awesome), New York cheesecake (okay), cappuccino (awesome), plain tart (very icy and sweet), peach (very artificial), peach tart (very artificial), mango (not bad), mango tart (not bad), green apple tart (extremely artificial), taro (chalky), strawberry (very artificial), strawberry tart (very artificial), blueberry tart (very artificial), and green tea (not bad).

Yogurtland also had a lot more toppings than any frozen yogurt store I’ve ever visited:

Some of the toppings include: pomegranate seeds, gummi bears, mangoes, blueberries, cookie dough, NY cheesecake chunks, and granola.

Dispensing the frozen yogurt was harder than I thought (so credit to the fro-yo experts that work at Pinkberry, Red Mango, Flurt, etc), but I also think the Yogurtland mixture was a lot icier than other frozen yogurt shops. We ended up getting half mango frozen yogurt and half plain (tart) frozen yogurt with blueberries and mangoes:

Most of the flavors tasted a little artificial (I spoke with an employee and he said that everything is sent over in large milk cartons that are poured into the machines – it’s similar to the way Red Mango and Pinkberry make their frozen yogurt). The price of the frozen yogurt is only $0.39 cents/ounce, which is really cheap (if you remember from the Fro-Yolympics, most of the frozen yogurt shops charged around $0.60 cents/ounce).

I think Yogurtland will do really well – not only are they competing with plain frozen yogurt shops (Pinkberry, Red Mango, and Yolato are all within walking distance), they’re also in the same playing court as Tasti-d-Lite and Frogurt (the brand of yogurt served at Bloomingdales, Zabars, Cafe Lalo, and Lord and Taylor). I didn’t see any health information nearby, but an employee told me that they just signed a contract with Danon to

Tip: Definitely ask for a sample container because their flavors don’t taste the same as the stuff you get at other yogurt shops in the city!

How to get to Yogurtland:

267 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014

Yorganic Opening NEXT WEEK!

By grace.g.yang · May 15, 2008
Under: Desserts,FRO-YOLYMPICS

Here are the NEW details for the Yorganic opening:

Also, if you wanted to know what kind of toppings they have, they sent me an email with the details:

Looks like they’re going to have lots of fresh fruit AND dried fruit! I’m going to be out of town for the grand opening on the 22nd, but maybe they’ll hook me up on the 27th! :) If you end up going, let me know how it tastes!

With so many frozen yogurt shops opening up, the next Fro-Yolympics is going to be crazy!

Thomas Keller Oreos

By grace.g.yang · May 13, 2008
Under: Recipes

For a housewarming party I threw a couple of weeks ago, I decided to have a dessert theme and recreate some childhood desserts for my guests. I thought we could have some good clean fun – catchphrase, Wii bowling, and some cookies and milk. In preparation for the party, I had to think about the desserts I ate as a kid – Oreos, Nutter Butters, Vienna Fingers, Rice Krispie treats, brownies…(now you know why I was such a fat kid). Since I had a great experience at Bouchon and knew they had great cookies (Nutter Butters AND Thomas Keller Oreos), I looked up the recipes online to make them for my party. My dear friend Julia kept insisting I should just save a ton of time and buy them from a super market, but I really wanted to try to recreate Thomas Keller’s cookies (in preparation for The French Laundry, of course). I found the recipe for Thomas Keller’s Oreos (TKO’s) on curiously ravenous’ website.

from The Essence of Chocolate
makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies

For the cookie:

1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
15 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 3/4″ cubes, at room temperature

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed:

Note: make sure your bowl is big enough so everything doesn’t splatter!

With the mixer running, add the butter, a piece at a time:

The mixture will be dry and sandy at first, but over 2 minutes, will form pebble-sie pieces that start to cling together. Stop the mixer and transfer the dough to your board (no pictures here because it was too messy and I was working by myself).

Preheat oven to 350F. Separate dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece of dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper to 1/8″ inch thick. Using a fluted cutter, cut into rounds. Scraps can be pieced together and rolled out again. Place 1/2″ apart on baking sheets lined with Silpat liners or parchment paper.

4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Remove and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

For the Filling:

1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped

Chop 8 ounces of white chocolate (Whole Foods sells white and milk chocolate bricks by the ounce):

In a small pan, bring the cream to a boil:

Remove from heat and add the chocolate:

Let stand for 1 minute, then whisk to melt the chocolate until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and let stand for 6 hours to thicken up.

I stuck the filling in the fridge (because I am very impatient and it was 4 in the morning), but the mixture turned out really well. Here are the cookies:

The cookies are amazingly crisp, simple, and delicious. If I make the cookies again, I’d probably use less salt in the cookie dough mixture. They were a big hit at the party (I also made a green tea oreo) and everyone thought they were a great treat!

The Doughnut Plant

By grace.g.yang · May 13, 2008
Under: Desserts,LES

Over the weekend, Chris and I finally made it down to the lower east side to try The Doughnut Plant. They have two types of doughnuts – cake doughnuts and yeast doughnuts. My doughnut knowledge is limited to Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme, but The Doughnut Plant is known for using fresh ingredients (they also make their own jam filling). Chris and I heard that The Doughnut Plant is definitely worth going to, so we decided to take the bus to the LES and check it out:

IMG_1066 (Small)

There was a long line and a lot of people were making large orders (probably for Mother’s day). Doughnuts are freaking $2 – $3, but a lot of people were buying more than one, so I’m guessing it wasn’t a big deal to anyone else but me. They make all kinds of interesting doughnuts, including fresh strawberry, banana pecan, tres leches, and coconut glaze:

We decided on three doughnuts – fresh strawberry, the blackout (a chocolate doughnut with a chocolate filling), and the tres leches. Our strawberry doughnut:

The glaze is made with fresh strawberries, which tasted really sweet, but the doughnut was very dry and oily:

I think it’s because the doughnuts were made earlier in the morning and they were sitting in the display for the majority of the day (we went in the late afternoon). The other doughnuts had the same oily taste – especially the tres leches:

The doughnut was not moist (it was a cake doughnut) and made me incredibly thirsty for milk:

Surprisingly, the tres leches had a condensed milk filling:

But the filling was very inconsistent and we got huge bursts of filling and then lots of dry doughnut. The last doughnut we tried was the blackout:

The blackout had a chocolate filling, but it was really inconsistent and since it was our third doughnut, we ended up picking it apart and only eating the parts where it had gooey chocolate filling. The Doughnut Plant’s doughnuts are definitely different from the ones you’d find at Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing…the ones at Krispy Kreme are really chewy and taste especially good when they’re fresh (and they always give you a free doughnut if you ask nicely). I suppose I’m used to the artificial ingredients from Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts and can’t appreciate The Doughnut Plant’s freshly made doughnuts!

Tip: Go early in the morning to get a fresh doughnut so it doesn’t taste so oily!

Doughnut Plant on Urbanspoon

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