Wednesday, January 21, 2009
My favorite latest addition to University Avenue's line-up of great restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques, is perfect any time of day or night. I consider it meal replacement, necessary dessert, fuel, and pure tastebud joy. If you haven't made a pit stop at Palo Alto's Red Mango, you should. The line stretches out the door nightly for a reason--the frozen yogurt and fresh fruit toppings dished out at Red Mango are a thousand times more delicious than rival Pinkberry's similar froyo (that's frozen yogurt for all you non-yogurt addicts), and to top things off, Red Mango's totally guiltless.
Palo Alto doesn't have a Pinkberry of course, but most people are aware of last year's debacle. There was a big fuss when the news came out that Pinkberry (nicknamed Crackberry by fanatics in LA) wasn't half as healthy as advertisements claimed--apparently, the frozen yogurt is weirdly addictive because it kind of IS a drug--they pour gallons of sugar into the stuff, and a ton of unnatural chemicals to make it all so much worse. Not to knock Pinkberry too hard--it still tastes pretty darn good, no matter what's in it. And fresh fruit is always fresh fruit. But you can rest assured that Red Mango isn't hiding any dirty secrets in their yogurt tanks--
Here's the official statement, taken straight from the website:
Red Mango frozen yogurt is authentic yogurt, frozen to perfection. Made only with 100% all-natural ingredients, Red Mango is irresistibly delicious and undeniably nutritious. Pure, creamy, and refreshingly tangy, Red Mango frozen yogurt has all of yogurt's natural goodness, such as calcium, protein, and live and active cultures that are good for your body. Red Mango frozen yogurt is also fat-free, gluten-free, and certified Kosher.
I have a gluten allergy, so it's a real blessing that a Red Mango popped up in the area--it's hard to miss gluten heavy desserts when the substitute is so delicious. The Palo Alto Red Mango is a small space, with bright lights and a clean, trendy vibe (and is allegedly owned, at least in part by Yul Kwon, the Bay Area winner of Survivor Cook Islands). There are a lot of neon colored chairs facing the windows (and they are almost always taken) and a few tables along the walls. Red Mango frozen yogurt comes in two flavors: original and green tea. I hear they are testing out a new pomegranate flavor as well, although I haven't tasted that one yet. You can choose from tons of toppings--fresh fruit like peaches, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, mango (of course!), banana, blackberries, and so on, as well as loads of cereals and more traditional ice cream toppings like chocolate chips. An original flavored small size with no toppings is 4oz, 90 calories, and only $2.95.
You really can't get much better than that.