A Taste of Pinkberry in Orlando

Pinkberry frozen yogurt has been a west coast favorite for years and has a high profile in the tabloids due to all its celebrity fans. But it’s slowly been branching out across the country and this week, opened its first Florida location here in the Orlando area.

Thursday (Aug 19), the store hosted a “Pinkberry Preview Party” where hundreds lined up for a free sample and a chance to spin the prize wheel. I drove by, but not being one to stand in long lines, I decided to come back the next day to try it out.

My friend and I arrived around 2:30pm to a mostly empty store. By the time we sat down, the line at the counter went out the door and wound around the corner to the Starbucks. Talk about great timing!

Pinkberry premium frozen yogurt is made with real nonfat yogurt and nonfat milk that is rBST hormone free. The person who waited on us was kind enough to let us sample all six flavors of Pinkberry: Original, a tangy sweet yogurt; Coconut, which tasted like frozen coconut milk; Pomegranate, made with 100% California-grown pure pomegranate juice; Mango, made with mango puree; Chocolate, which was rich tasting; and Passionfruit, a seasonal flavor. All were really good, and I liked that Pinkberry’s yogurt has a tartness to it. I hate when frozen yogurt is so sweet I feel like I’ve just eaten a ton of sugar.

Another thing I liked about Pinkberry is that in addition to candy and cookie-like toppings, you could choose to have more nutritious options like fresh fruit. There is an additional charge to have toppings, but it’s unlimited for one price, instead of a surcharge for each item.

Speaking of prices, Pinkberry’s yogurt comes in four sizes – mini, small, medium and large – and starts at $1.95 for a mini Original with no toppings and goes up to $7.95 for a large flavored with toppings.

I had a small Pomegranate Pinkberry with kiwi fruit, blackberries, honey almond  granola and a drizzle of honey ($4.95). The combination of the tart pomegranate with the thick honey offset each other just right. The fruit and granola gave the yogurt a nice texture and flavor, too. I’d give it a 10 out of 10.

My friend had the Chocolate Pinkberry with Mochi (a Japanese rice cake that tastes like a gourmet marshmallow), mixed nuts, yogurt chips and crushed waffle cone bits ($4.95). From the speed in which she ate it, I’d say she’d give hers a 10 out of 10, too.

Besides the great taste and flexibility with toppings, I also have to give thumbs up to the service.

There were two things I didn’t like, though. The music was so loud and bass-heavy, I felt like I should be in a club, not a food shop. Combine that with everybody trying to talk over the music and it was just one big wall of noise. If it wasn’t so hot outside, I would’ve moved to one of the patio tables to get away from the loudness.

Secondly, while there were only five tables inside, there were no trash cans. Outside there were several, but inside, none.

But those things aside, the frozen yogurt is definitely worth the trip.

Pinkberry is in The Marketplace at Dr. Phillips (7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd.), on the corner of Dr. Phillips Boulevard and Sand Lake Road. They can be reached by phone at 407-354-0890.

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