I can't find my camera's battery charger, so allow me to lead you through a guided visualization.
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Monday, January 5, 2009
A small white paper cup holds a swirl of palest pink frozen yogurt, leading up to a small, perky peak. Shining red cut strawberries and enormous dark red raspberries fill the white cup to the brim. A small sprinkling of chocolate jimmies freckle the light pink, shining and dark reds. The whole thing begs to be eaten, immediately.
That was my reward for filling my Mr. Yogato card -- the tenth is free! And I have loved every bite of it.
In the tradition of pinkberry or tangysweet, Mr. Yogato serves less-sweet frozen yogurt, Greek-style, tangy frozen yogurt. They always carry two flavors: orginal tangy and original soft, the soft being slightly sweeter. Then they carry two flavors that rotate through -- they currently have blizcherry and duffacino. And why not just cherry and coffee flavored you might ask? Well, this hints at the unique Yogato world view.
Yogato's owner, Steve, who is always in the store either behind the register or studying for his doctorate in economics, has posted a list of rules that account in part for Yogato's appeal. Among them -- if you get a Mr. Yogato stamp on your forehead, you get a discount. If you elect to answer a trivia question at the register, you get a 10% discount if you get it right -- but an additional 10% tacked on if you get the answer wrong. If you suggest a topping that is adopted, you get a 5% discount for life. And if you come to Yogato every day for thirty days, you get to pick a flavor and name it after you -- hence Duffy's Duffacino and Liz's Blizcherry.
Adding to the fun and atmosphere of the experience is an old-school 8 bit Nintendo (yesterday we played Super Mario Brothers for about an hour), various board games including boggle and and memory, and customer participation such as the 100% discount for standing on the toes of one foot with your eyes closed for 15 seconds, and the Tim Tam Slam, which I still don't fully understand but encourage everyone to try nonetheless.
Yogato is about two blocks from my front door, which makes it a frequent dessert stop for me, but it's worth going out of the way to seek out, too. The yogurt is delicious, the toppings are fresh and in some cases (basil leaves? balsamic vinegar?) bizarre, and the entire experience is always fun. And for those of you with new year's resolutions to keep, Yogato is only 30 calories and ounce (150 calories for a small) with tons of fresh fruits and berries as toppings options. Now that I've earned my free yogurt, I'll be back to start my new card. Only ten to go before I get another free one.