Pinkberry vs. Crazy Bananas
I eat a bowl of ice cream pretty much every day, and Bo and Co are more than happy to join me when they're here. But frozen yogurt? Yeah, not so much. However, after Canstruction last week I realized that I was right near the new Pinkberry (on 32nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues), which arrived from Los Angeles about a month ago in a blizzard of fro-yo hype. Then on my way across town I saw that Crazy Bananas (32nd St. between Madison and 5th Aves.) had also just opened. Dueling desserts seemed the only prudent course of action.
I must say, I really wanted Crazy Bananas to win. I liked their name, I liked the silly hats on my VERY smiley servers, I liked the fact that—and this, I'm pretty confident, is unique as compared to all other frozen-treat establishments in New York City—the store prominently, proudly features a display case of happy wooden phalluses. But although I was repeatedly told that this was "real" yogurt (as an inducement? a warning?), it tasted pretty much like every other such thing I've dared try over the years... which is to say, it tasted like cold chemicals. And the toppings I had—strawberry, pineapple and chocolate—were totally freezer... not -burned, but -blanded. Sorry, Crazy Bananas.
And now the truly stunning news: Pinkberry is absolutely delicious. Really, I couldn't get over how tasty it was, how different from any other non-ice-cream frozen treat I've ever had. It was tangy and a little sour and refreshing and clean and absolutely addicting—one of those things you practically shovel into your mouth because you just can't wait to get the next bite in there. You have two choices: plain or green tea, and there are lots of the usual and some unusual toppings (Cap'n Crunch, anyone?). I went with plain, with pineapple and chocolate chips, and I couldn't have been happier. If I still worked in that neighborhood, I would definitely go a couple times a week. Plus, the store itself is nicely designed. No wooden phalluses, true, but plenty of Philippe Starck chairs and lots of dots and those Le Klint hanging lamps. Coming soon: Pinkberries on the Upper East Side, in Nolita, and in Chelsea.