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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thing 116: Tangysweet

It's tangy. And it's sweet. But what should we call it?...

Judging by the line stretching from the counter to the front door both times I've visited this sparse basement establishment, everyone in the District of Columbia and most of Maryland and Virginia has already visited Tangysweet. Since that's the case, I won't bother with a write-up and have nothing much to write except that I very much enjoyed it, too. If there does happen to be a straggler left in DC who has not partaken yet, let me jump on the band wagon -- Tangysweet is just the perfect way to end a summer evening, after a grilled dinner or a long stroll at dusk.

The basement store front is all concrete and funky lighting and patiently waiting customers. There is a small bench and a couple tables set off to the side, but other than that the store is empty, allowing long lines to queue up through it. At the back are the magical machines that churn up the frozen dessert and a vast toppings bar.

Did I not mention that all this fuss is over frozen yogurt? Yes, it's a soft-serve store, but in the model of New York's Pinkberry it is cultured frozen yogurt. Think Greek yogurt, churned. Low(er) in sugar, lacking in fat and aiding the digestion, topped with some anti-oxidant rich berries and you can almost feel good about enjoying your dessert. (Well, I always feel good about enjoying my dessert, but I understand that some people have some guilt regarding sweets).

There are only three types of yogurt on the menu, plain, pomegranate and green tea. I enjoy the plain, which is a cold and creamy version of Greek yogurt, and the green tea which has a pronounced tang, almost tasting of citrus. The pomegranate runs a bit sweeter, with the slightly astringent bite that comes from the aftertaste of pomegranate seeds. There are also smoothies, which are blended versions of the yogurt and toppings.

But if you're like me, you like soft serve un-blended, with identifiable toppings. The toppings bar at Tangysweet is unique and awesome. There are lots of fresh fruits -- mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, pineapple -- all fresh and not that gloppy, thickened, overly-sweet 'fruit topping' you find at traditional fro-yo joints. There's also dry cereals -- Cap'n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles and some kick ass granola -- and sweets like chocolate chips, carob chips and toasted coconut. For a couple bucks, you get your choice of three toppings on your yogurt. I admit to being addicted to that granola, and the fresh fruit is puckery and ripe and delicious.

The lighting is neon and funky, changing from green to orange to pink to blue, and providing some atmosphere as you wait for your yogurt. It still doesn't have quite enough fat to compete with Dolcezza or Larry's, but it is strangely addictive and craveable. If you're the last person in DC to check this place out, believe the hype. It's worth the line, worth the wait, and a welcome addition to Dupont Circle.


caroline said...

I must be living under a pretty deep hole, because I wasn't even aware this place existed. But I must confess, I only eat ice cream or frozen yogurt about once every year or two.

dc365 said...

You're too full from all those amazing cupcakes!!

Sara said...

Pinkberry is actually from LA (West Hollywood specifically), not New York!

dc365 said...

Crap. But there's also a chain of plain frozen yogurt shops in NYC, no? Or did I make that up?