Nobody eats yogurt as much as I do. I start every single day with a 6 oz cup of Greek yogurt.
Nobody eats ice cream as much as I do. Even after moving 35 minutes away, I made a weekly trip to Snowman Ice Cream in Brunswick just to satiate that urge for a huge dish of ice cream jammed with toppings.
Well, right in my neighborhood, corporate America has decided to blob together both of these models for me, and opened TCBY. It opened last week at 1512 Western Avenue, immediately next door to a Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and a hop, skip, and jump away from Stuyvesant Plaza.
This could be dangerous.
I stopped in one evening during their Grand Opening festivities.
I never got to try TCBY in the 90s. I was just too young and didn’t have the pull to persuade my parents away from real ice cream.
The way they do it now is to let you do whatever you want to a cup of their yogurt (I don’t know how they did it before). You serve your own yogurt into a cup; they give you a 16 oz or a 22 oz cup. You have to be careful. Frozen yogurt (plus whatever toppings you add) is $0.49 per ounce, so, if you fill the cup all the way to level to the top (assuming everything you put inside has the same density – mass/volume), you’ve essentially filled 16 oz and will pay $8; you will also be obligated to eat 1 pound of stuff. That is kind of a lot for ice cream, whoops, I mean frozen yogurt.
They have a variety of flavors, and you will really need to do some trial and error to figure out what you like. My recommendation: stick to the flavors to the right. These are the “nonfat” flavors, and have taste great, especially the nonfat Classic Tart, which you will think tastes like sour cream but I can assure you tastes exactly how frozen yogurt should taste. It’s not even like the flavors on the left have much more fat than the nonfat (which, if you look at the nutritional information, still show calories from fat even though there are technically 0 grams of fat –I don’t know for sure, but I’m going to say it has 4 grams of fat, rounded to the nearest integer, 0.), but don’t forget, there’s a toppings bar, and you can go bonkers loading up your yogurt.
Here’s what I did:
I took about 2-3 oz of Coffee, 2-3 oz of nonfat Cookies + Cream, 2-3 oz of nonfat classic tart and loaded each region with brownie, snickers + mini Reeses Pieces, and fresh raspberries, respectively. I also put some no sugar hot fudge on top of everything. Notice: I didn’t over do it. I think this was about 14 oz total, and the deal that day was that the first 3 oz were free, so this was between 3 and 4 bucks (would have been between 5 and 6).
It isn’t cheap, but you can do whatever you want. You want to eat pounds of yogurt by itself, go for it. You want a dollop of yogurt or sorbet with pounds of walnuts, have at it.
I went back the next day for a second try and to inquire about nutrition information for my own edification. They eagerly gave me a sheet of nutritional information for most of the flavors they offer.
The way the spreadsheet is laid out is not great, but it does the job. On my trips, they had the mountain blackberry, which I sampled and is actually really good. This choice has the least sugar and fat calories. The manager assured me it is not sweetened with artificial sweeteners, so this is your best bet if you are trying to stay lean.
I say, if you are trying to stay lean, start with this, and go have some fun at the toppings bar. You have to live a little too, and a little bit of fruit, nuts, and a small amount of candy isn’t going to kill you.