Pinkberry all the time. Pinkberry sucks. Why would you ever want to go to Pinkberry? Why is it called Pinkberry? Pinkberry is such a stupid name. Pinkberry, you suck with girls. Yada, yada. But recently I realized something: I haven't actually been to Pinkberry since it first burst on the scene in 2005 at its original West Hollywood location. Back then I idiotically waited 45 minutes or so with the rest of the plebeians for this so-called "swirled masterpiece." I remember being impressed, but not blown away. Fast forward a year or two and there were top-notch frozen yogurt imitators dominating every LA block. With the likes of Yogurtland and Menchies, to name a few, it no longer seemed necessary to endure the Pinkberry lines, prices or product.
Now seven years later (shit, time has gone fast...), I no longer even consider Pinkberry when my weekly Sunday night "Amazing Race" fro-yo cravings set in. Thus, I didn't bat an eyelash when I first read that Google Wallet was giving away free Pinkberry. And trust me, here at U.E., when I hear free anything, I BAT ALL MY EYELASHES. SIMULTANEOUSLY. But as the freebie date drew nearer, I found myself contemplating if Pinkberry deserved a second tasting. I mean, fuck, it was free. And what else was I doing with my lazy Tuesday afternoon? After much deliberation, I decided to shed my pajamas at 3 pm, get dressed and walk over to my second least favorite place on Earth, The Third Street Promenade. (Least favorite place on Earth: the Universal Citywalk)
When I arrived at Pinkberry, I was pleasantly surprised to find only a medium-length line. Sometimes when you show up for these giveaways a massive crowd awaits (like Nate 'n Al's a while back). The next thing I noticed was the menu, which was both delightful and disappointing at the same time. First with the latter, in today's fro-yo world, I simply do not think you can only offer six flavors. Sure, Pinkberry started the craze and can do whatever they damn well please, but a big part of staying atop the heap is adjusting to your product's current landscape. Look at Starbucks, or even Sprinkles. When competition sprouted up all over the place, they expanded their respective menus to placate the customer. What is currently popular in frozen yogurt is choosing amongst double digit flavors, swirling your own servings and spooning your toppings yourself. Pinkberry offers none of the such.
On a better note, one of the six flavors offered (a so-called "seasonal" selection) was Salted Caramel. I love caramel... and love salted caramel even more. I am not a religious man, but I do truly believe on the 8th Day, the Big Man Upstairs created this holy and sweet combo.
Salted Caramel Latte. Unfortunately I grew more and more displeased with the fro-yo as the scoops went by. It was simply too thin of a yogurt. Part of what makes both Menchie's and Froyo Life's (horrible name, great yogurt) caramel frozen yogurts so good is their respective thicknesses. Even though it was barely 60 degrees outside, it honestly seemed like the Pinkberry yogurt would have melted in a matter of minutes if I didn't eat it. I did eat it though, so stop worrying.
Look, you can't really go wrong with salted caramel frozen yogurt with yogurt chips, especially when they are free. But with so many choices for frozen yogurt in LA now, wasting the calories at Pinkberry is just a misinformed life choice. You are much better off at Menchie's, Yogurtland, Froyo Life or my old standby, Malibu Yogurt. That said, thanks for the free fro-yo, Pinkberry! See you in another seven years...
The city's best frozen yogurt:
Froyo Life - Four Local Locations
Malibu Yogurt - 23755 Malibu Road #600, Malibu & 10912 Le Conte Ave., Westwood
Menchie's - Multiple Local Locations
Yogurtland - Multiple Local Locations