California Yogurt Kraze

By on 13 December, 2010 in Food, Kate and Stephen with 0 Comments

On a cold Sunday afternoon we decided to get frozen yogurt. We’re not really sure why – normally sub-freezing temperatures do not drive our minds to thoughts of icy treats. But this day was different somehow. What was supposed to be a quick stop at the Zelda Road Publix got detoured when we found ourselves staring at a bright sign pointing to some cardboard cups announcing “The Insanity Starts Here!” We’d ventured into California Yogurt Kraze, the only Montgomery outpost of Dothan’s oddly-named native yogurt empire.

You start off by getting a cup. They only have one size, but it’s a big one. Then you choose your yogurts from the sixteen flavors available. These were arranged in eight stations, so at every station you could get either flavor or a swirl of the two. We were divided on the question of whether the swirl itself constituted a separate flavor. There were some holiday type flavors (red velvet, eggnog), some stock flavors (vanilla, chocolate, espresso) and some specialty flavors (white chocolate mousse, pomegranate energy, orchard peach). We went for a classic set – white chocolate, chocolate, espresso and vanilla – dispensing careful squirts of each into our cup, so as to segregate the flavors as best as possible.

Next, you proceed to the toppings. This is where you can easily imagine a young child going completely loopy with wide-eyed desire. In fact, the manager told us that children will often get cups that contain only toppings. There is a vast array of cold toppings, with fresh fruit and whipped cream, at the start. Then the real sugar gorging begins, with everything from the treasured cereals of your youth to stale Pop-Tart crumbles to what seemed like the entire gummi(e) menagerie (in sour and regular). There are sauces ranging from Ghirardelli chocolate and caramel to weird “designer” Lyons dessert sauces. Kiwi sauce on your yogurt anyone?

We went simple – crushed Oreos (good) and crushed Pop-Tarts (less good). You pay by the weight after you load up – 49 cents/ounce. Ours was about $2.50. The cashier told us the most she’d ever rung up was about $12.00. This impressed us a lot. Someone must have worked really hard to get twenty-four ounces into one of these cups. In any case, the the yogurt was very good – not cloyingly sweet, not overly tart and gently flavored.

We’ll level with you. We didn’t expect to write an especially favorable review. After all, aside from California chains like Pinkberry (check out the hilarious song that plays when you load their site), frozen yogurt is so 1990s. And while the decor in the store reads a little more like someone’s bizarre idea of what California is like (VW buses with peace signs, psychotic grinning candy bits), the futuristic chairs and tables are pretty cool.

All in all, California Yogurt Kraze (next to the Zelda Publix) was a good surprise. We plan to be back in warmer weather.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with a cat, a dog, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery

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