Smart Yogurt, another self-serve frozen yogurt store, opened in Ithaca on Saturday. Can you guess who went? Me, DUH!!!!
As I explained on Friday, I have an (unhealthy) obsession with frozen yogurt. I might be quirky with my frozen yogurt habits and practices, but I am not overly picky. Lies…I take that back. I absolutely despise Only 8 and Wow Cow. If it tastes like chemicals or the crystal light powder I will not consume it.
Here is my review of Smart Yogurt:
I need to start by expressing my gratitude towards Smart Yogurt for their location. Thank god Smart Yogurt is not located within walking distance from my apartment, because the plethora of topping selections is out of this world (and out of my Weight Watchers points allowance). Smart Yogurt is located on Elmira Road next to Miracle Nails. However, given that I went on Saturday and Sunday, it doesn’t seem like the 10-minute drive is going to impact the frequency of my Smart Yogurt visits.
The store is very welcoming. The wall colors are intensely bright but the darker lighting tones down the overall impact of the bright green color. The yogurt machines are surrounded by a mosaic tile wall that I LOVE. I was hoping to avoid direct comparisons between Yogurt Crazy and Smart Yogurt, but who am I kidding. Smart Yogurt wins in the seating category. The tables are more substantial with more than 2 chairs and are further apart from one another.
The actual yogurt: Like I said above, as long as it doesn’t taste artificial I am going to like it. I was so excited to see that Smart Yogurt had coconut flavor. The coconut flavor was not as strong as I would have hoped, but the mere thought of having coconut flavor available gave Smart Yogurt a lot of points in my book. The plain and mango flavors were delicious. I was not a fan of the watermelon but that was because it bordered on the crystal-light-artificial-candy-tasting flavor I mentioned above. THE BIRTHDAY CAKE FLAVOR. OH.MY.GOD. There is nothing I could possibly say that will do this flavor justice. It was beyond unreal. So you know how cake batter tastes better than actual baked cake (that’s why you lick the batter from the bowl but don’t lick the cake pan). The cake batter yogurt tasted just like cake batter, not baked cake. I obviously interrogated the employees to find out how it could possibly taste so delicious. The secret is out: they use actual cake batter in the frozen yogurt mix! The employees also told me that they mix every flavor with actual ingredients, rather than using a frozen yogurt mix through a distributor. This was great to hear and probably why the yogurt tasted so good. Unfortunately, this also means no nutrition facts are available. Once again, I inquired (duh). Supposedly nutrition facts will be available in the future.
On the topic of employees…Smart Yogurt employees were very friendly and helpful. The staff immediately asked if we wanted samples and handed each of us several tasting cups. As we ate our frozen yogurt the employees came over and asked if we were enjoying the yogurt and toppings. Great service!!!
Let me tell you about the topping bar. It is set up in a similar fashion to my self-serve frozen yogurt places at home with each topping in a container with a serving spoon. Yogurt Crazy uses dispensers for most of their toppings, which is definitely more sanitary but also frustrating when the items get stuck in the dispensing mechanism. Smart Yogurt was very clean so the topping bar style did not bother me. There were probably over 60 topping choices, no joke. I went head over heals for the kit-kat, nutella, peaches, and animal crackers. Some other items worth noting: twix, cheesecake bites, brownie bites, chocolate covered cookie dough, chocolate covered pretzels, condensed milk, and every fruit imaginable including grapefruit. I know I said I was not picky about my frozen yogurt, but I am extremely picky about my rainbow sprinkles. Crunchy sprinkles are the absolute worst. Unfortunately, Smart Yogurt’s rainbow sprinkles crunched. Luckily, I never have to get sprinkles because there are 59 other toppings to choose from.
Upon checking out I was pleased to see that the Smart Yogurt is cheaper than Yogurt Crazy. However, I have to admit that the location of Yogurt Crazy (across from my apartment) makes the $1 extra completely doable. I was also so happy with Smart Yogurt’s spoons! Sounds weird (so does a lot of what I say) but the Smart Yogurt spoons just make the cup of froyo better. I also noticed that the cups have the scanning barcode. As a social media nerd I absolutely loved that feature. On Saturday I attempted to check in on Four Square but the location had not been created yet. That was solved by the time I went on Sunday. The cup also listed a website for Smart Yogurt that, unless my Safari browser takes me to a different world wide web than everyone else, does not exist. There is a Facebook page that is updated very often.
Some points worth improving: There is only one size cup available and there are no loyalty cards available. Every self-serve yogurt store should have a loyalty card. Most likely the cup size they have is the only cup I would ever get, but having different size options available would be nice. Given Smart Yogurts location, it isn’t going to be the college hangout spot that Yogurt Crazy quickly developed into overnight, but it definitely will have me as a frequent visitor. Overall, I would give Smart Yogurt 2 thumbs up! I absolutely loved the yogurt and topping selections.