"I thought we did the frozen yogurt thing 15 years ago," my friend said to me recently. We had fond memories of calling the Malibu Yogurt hotline on a daily basis while in college to find out the flavors of the day, always hoping for peanut butter.
Frozen yogurt, it seems, is back in Southern California. With the entrance of the wildly popular Pinkberry into the culinary scene in the past couple of years, the area has seen over 20 Pinkberry stores and many Pinkberry imitations sprout up.
Pinkberry is not the frozen yogurt of my college days. Though there has been a dispute about whether it is "real yogurt", the yogurt is a more sour, less sweet version of the sickly sweet frozen yogurts that I used to eat. I personally like it -- really like it -- but I wouldn't stand in super long lines for it as happens in some Los Angeles locations. The Pinkberry yogurt comes in two flavors, plain and green tea, and can be adorned with fruit or other toppings.
In a series that Eater San Francisco (have you added Eater SF to your RSS feeds yet? You must.) is calling "The Fro-Yo Wars," the editors are tracking the new yogurt stores that are coming to San Francisco, presumably because of their success in Los Angeles and New York.
The first yogurt store to open in this style in San Francisco is Yogurt Bar on Octavia at Union in Cow Hollow. Reviews on Chowhound and Yelp are mixed for Yogurt Bar. While some say that the Yogurt Bar "serves up some pretty decent frozen yogurt" one Chowhound writes, "My Girlfriend is from LA and we just went this past weekend. She's a Yogurt Whore and loves Pinkberry and says that Yogurt Bar is crap. It leaves a sour cream after taste and she won't go back."
The next yogurt store to open just opened this past Saturday. It's called Jubili and it is on Fillmore at O'Farrell right around the corner from The Fillmore Auditorium.
Jubili calls itself a "Frozen Yogurt & Cereal Bar." The menu includes frozen yogurt with toppings and several types of cereal that can be served with milk or soy milk. The yogurts come in three flavors: original, peach, and strawberry sorbet. I tasted the original flavor yesterday, and will be back for more.
Sizes come in small or "mi", medium or "my" and large or "mo". I ordered a medium. "You mean my," the guy said laughingly. "Do you really think people are going to order them like that?" I asked cynically. "I'm going to try to have them do that," he said optimistically.
Due to the cereal portion of Jubili's menu, they are open early in the morning, starting at 6 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends. Also a note for you dieters: though Pinkberry's yogurt is non-fat, Jubili's is low-fat.
The next store to open will be Honeydoo in North Beach. Eater San Francisco is on top of the opening, and reported this morning that they are caught up in some paperwork that is precluding them from opening quite yet.
1515 Fillmore Street (at O'Farrell)