Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Fro-Yo chronicles continue: Red Mango

Yesterday afternoon, when I was feeling really bummed at work, I took a short walk up 8th Avenue to Red Mango to get some cold, creamy, comforting Red Mango. Now, I've had Pinkberry, and as you all know I've had Yolato as well, but I've never actually had Red Mango, despite the new location relatively near my home and work. Well, it was so good I went back today, seeking a bit of chill from the oppressive heat.

The exterior, under an unfortunate bit of scaffolding

The inside is festively decorated in red and white, and there was loud, thumping music playing (apparently Red Mango = da club). The fro-yo and toppings are in the back, under two flatscreen TVs displaying the pricing options.

Clean and modern

Electronic menus

As is all frozen yogurt in Manhattan, Red Mango isn't cheap, but it's less expensive than some of the competitors. A small cup of original with no toppings, which is what I got, was $3.20. All the toppings are $1 each, and the green tea flavor also adds a dollar (which seems a little ridiculous to me, but I don't like green tea much, so I never really have to weigh flavor vs. price).

Fruity toppings

Less virtuous toppings

They have the usual suspects in terms of toppings: a full array of fruit and some less-healthy options (chocolate chips, cereal, etc.), but as I said, I skipped the toppings and went straight for the good stuff.

Beautiful, well-defined swirl marks

Unlike Yolato, a small here really is small. It's enough for a small snack, but if you're really hungry, then Red Mango won't do it (or I guess you'll just have to fork over the funds for a bigger size).

Texture shot: creamy, melty, yet solid

In my opinion, Red Mango has Pinkberry beaten texturally. There's definitely that icy element, which is Pinkberry's signature, but Red Mango is really creamy as well. As you can see from the pictures, it holds its swirl ridges well, so it's not going to melt into a soupy mess (see also: Tasti D). That's key in a good cup of frozen yogurt.

It folds like ribbons on the spoon

Red Mango also has a really good flavor. There's a sharp, tangy yogurty bite, but it's cool and refreshing. There are claims of "Live and Active Yogurt Cultures" all over the packaging and everything, but frankly, I don't know if I buy that. This stuff is really good, but I'm not sure how healthy it truly is for you.


Again, like all the other fro-yo joints (Pinkberry, Tasti D, BerryWild, etc. etc. etc.), if you're jonesing for some serious ice cream, Red Mango isn't going to get the job done. But if you want a refreshing mid-afternoon snack, head to the Red. If the choice presented itself, I'd definitely take it over Pinkberry.

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