Sunday, January 25, 2009
Meet Me In St. Louis
The time has come for my first official review! Although I am based in Los Angeles and will subsequently be reviewing mostly SoCal froyo establishments, I always have my eyes peeled for froyo wherever I go.
For the first semester of my freshman year of college, I attended Washington University in St. Louis. I was very excited to give a new city a try, and St. Louis had a lot going for it, minus one major aspect-yup, you guessed it, FROYO!!! Born and raised in L.A., I am extremely spoiled in the froyo department. Pinkberry-check, old school 80's froyo joints, check (how it all started!). Basically any type of froyo-old and new-was at my fingertips. Now along with giving up my family, friends, and spacious bedroom, I was giving up my daily (yes, daily) froyo fix.
Of course I did some serious recon before migrating eastward, and was not too optimistic about the results. I discovered the Midwest's version of froyo was the historic treat called frozen custard, and in St. Louis, specifically from Ted Drewes. According to handy Wikipedia, frozen custard is a cold dessert similar to ice cream, made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar. It typically contains 10% butterfat and 1.4% egg yolk. I unfortunately never got the blessed opportunity to try fresh frozen custard, but I did sample some in a pre-packed container after Wash U's opening ceremony. I tried the vanilla, sans toppings (but according to their websites they have flavors ranging from Tart Cherry to Pistachio, and a concoction called a concrete, for which they blend in toppings and custard and freeze the mixture).
The vanilla was good (albeit quite caloric), but not stellar in my eyes. I hear some Midwesterners swear by it, but I guess it's just not my style (I'm more of a classic 80's froyo girl-think Penguins or Golden Spoon-esque). But then again, it was very creamy and dense, and I do highly encourage you guys to try it fresh from the stand if you every find yourselves in the STL.
Now further research led me to discover that Bear's Mart, the local minimart on the South 40 (the campus that houses the university's dormitories) houses a small, self-serve, two-flavor Taylor frozen yogurt machine. *As a side note to fellow bears, there is a machine in the Duc Cafe, but it only offers a small size cup, is not self-serve (so expect to get gypped), and minimal toppings. I swear it also doesn't taste as good-not as creamy, and kinda
sour blech.* Back to Bear's Mart. Granted they only serve chocolate and vanilla (plus the swirl option), any froyo is better than zilch! I was quite delighted upon further investigation on the Bon Appetit (Wash U's food service) website that the froyo was nonfat and came in at 100 calories per 4 oz. for the vanilla and 110 for the chocolate. The froyo itself is creamy and sweet, and actually surprisingly pretty when swirled together-froyo art! One of the only cons is that it did melt a tad quickly, especially in the sticky late months of the MO summer-ew. In terms of toppings, there are tall plastic cups next to the machine filled with rainbow sprinkles (my usual), mini M&M's, granola, and crushed oreos and various candy bars, such as Kit Kat and Heath Bar. Another con is the absence of fresh fruit-the only option was to buy your own berries for an extremely inflated price, boo.
Ok, so I was pretty dern glad that I wouldn't have to go three months cold turkey, but me being the perfectionist that I am, what satisfies some still makes me strive for more. This tendency of mine led me to meet with the Bon Appetit directors a few times, and I even got them to do test runs of the froyo mixes that I had ordered and gave to them (I got chocolate from Carb-a-whey and pumpkin and cheesecake from Wow Cow-my goal was to change up the flavors, as well as to give students the option of a more nutritious froyo-gotta watch that freshman 15!). My friends and I found this quite amusing, but unfortunately my ventures were cut short when I made the difficult yet positive decision to transfer to USC. Nevertheless, my froyo dreams followed me home to L.A. and are still very much alive-so stayed tuned!!!
COMING UP: Meet Me In St. Louis Contd. - Froyo on Delmar!!!
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (2 locations)
4224 S Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63111
St. Louis MO 63109
(314) 481-2124 or (314) 481-2652
Bon Appetit at Wash U