Sunday, December 18, 2011

Soooo Much Yogurt!

I was in SERIOUS need of something new and different this weekend, so I decided to check out the Orange Leaf frozen yogurt place down at the Branson Landing. I've heard so much hype about these DIY frozen yogurt places (Pinkberry, Mochi, Menchie's, etc etc.) where you serve yourself and pay by the ounce, I figured it would be a cheap, tasty way to amuse myself.

Figuring out what to put in my cup was kind of fun.  In addition to chocolate and vanilla, there were fun flavors like gingerbread, peanut butter, coffee, peppermint, blueberry, cheesecake and strawberry.  I was kinda bummed about the flavor selection, though.  The store's site lists almost 70 different flavors, and while I didn't realistically expect this location to have them ALL, I expected more than the 10 I had to choose from.  I looked up some reviews online and it looks like most of them have 16 flavors, which sounds more reasonable.  I really wanted hazelnut, caramel or cookies and cream, none of which they had at this location.

One problem I came across was that most of the flavors were white, so once you get them in the cup, you can't really tell them apart.  I started out with Cheesecake, Gingerbread and Birthday Cake, but I ended up adding a blob of the coffee flavor, just to have something NOT white to help me keep track of which was which.

The price was kinda insane.  There was a sign on the wall that said it was 43 cents an ounce, but if you're like me you have zero concept of what an ounce feels like.  (For comparison, a pint of Ben & Jerry's is 16 ounces) Plus, it's hard to get a really small quantity out of the machine!  I ended up with an amount of soft serve that would equal about a scoop and a half of ice cream from a regular ice cream shop.  It was a pretty huge amount for me, but I don't eat much so it would probably be a really small serving for most people.  I went pretty light with the topings, adding a spoonful of sprinkles, a light drizzle of caramel, one blueberry (totally didn't go with the flavors I had, but a blueberry sounded really good at the time!), one mini Reeses cup and a couple little mango-flavored things.  When they weighed my cup, I couldn't believe it came to just over $4.50!  Waaaay too much for what I got!  I was expecting somewhere around $3.  I've read that some other chains are 50-60 cents per ounce, though, so I guess it's all relative!

Here's what my final concoction looked like:

(Katie saw the pic on Twitter and said it looked gross, I think it looks awesome!)

If/when I go back, I'll definitely get less.  I ate about 2/3 of this and was WAY beyond stuffed.  Since they only offer giant bowls, it's hard to gauge the portion size, but I think I'll be able to eyeball it better next time.

I think Orange Leaf is the only DIY fro-yo place near here, but when I get back to Orlando I'd like to try out some of the others, since there are about a billion there.  Menchie's has a chai tea flavor that sounds awesome, plus Nestle Crunch pieces on the toppings bar!  Pinkberry seems to have mostly seasonal flavors (and a pretty limited selection), but I figure they must be famous for a reason, so it's worth trying.  There's also one in Orlando called Chilly Spoons, which has Georgia Peach, Red Velvet, Snickerdoodle and Green Tea among their rotation, so I'm SO THERE.  Their toppings bar sounds awesome, too, with stuff like cheesecake pieces, Nerds and cookie dough.

Have you ever been to one of these?  Awesome or overrated?  What kind of delicious/disgusting combo did you come up with?  Did you accidentally spend a week's income on yogurt?  Any suggestions?

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon


Katie said...

I wish they had one of these near me!

Kathy S said...

I've always wanted to go to one of those places, but I haven't found one around here yet.