Candy Girls: Chill-In Frozen Yogurt

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It's no secret around here that Liz has been obsessed with frozen treats lately. Specifically, with finding Denver's contribution to the growing Korean-style frozen yogurt movement, popularized in LA with the Pinkberry chain and then scores of copycat stores across the country. The first Pinkberries popped up in 2005, back when she was living in New York and happy enough with her Tasti-D. But upon moving to Denver, it become clear the soft-serve choices were going to be a bit more limited. In New York, you can't go two blocks without stumbling into a bodega offering a Tasti-D wannabe. In Denver, not so much (on the bodega or soft-serve front).

In fact, when the temperatures started to rise this summer, and she inquired whether Denver had such a Tasti-D or Pinkberry clone yet, the question was met with laughter. "Frozen yogurt!" they laughed. "That junk from the 80s?" Eyes rolled and her insistence that this was a national craze! that fro-yo was back! was met with scepticism.

Still, Liz knew that a food trend this big would reach us eventually. "Mark my words," she remembers saying. "Enjoy your TCBY at DIA," they said. And then: vindication! First she noticed that Colorado is slated for a Yogurberry, but that didn't look like it was happening until the fall. Then! she spotted Chill-In on a recent trip to Cherry Creek and knew her search had finally come to an end. A tangy, fruit-topped end.

And since everyone's sweet tooth needs a break from candy sometimes, the Candy Girls went on a mission.

First Reactions: The decor of the shop is bright and sparse, with stacks of nutrition bars lining the counter and shelves. Behind the nutrition bars were big glass jars filled with your everyday toppings--sprinkles, mini M&Ms, granola--along with some unusual ones like Cap'n Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, and yogurt chips. Other toppings on order included an array of chopped fresh fruit.

Aubrey: Ooh, I love the idea of cereal on frozen yogurt. You could almost pretend it was healthy enough to be a substitute for breakfast. Liz: Why not! You'd get your vitamins and calcium. That fresh fruit looks awfully tempting though. Pineapple, blackberries, so many choices!

Taste: There were two flavors on offer: a plain, tangy yogurt and raspberry. Chill-In is actually getting another machine delivered this weekend, so their plan is to always have a plain and chocolate available, along with two other rotating flavors. The plain is lightly sweet, with a distinct yogurt tang to it, while the raspberry has a creamier, less tart flavor.

Liz: I'm going with the swirl and getting peaches. Aubrey: I'm getting the swirl with Fruity Pebbles. Liz: [unintelligible due to mouth stuffed with goodness] Aubrey: The sweet toppings go really well with the tartness. Liz: I'm in love.

Conclusions: After getting the first stamps on our frequent customer card (10 stamps will get you a free medium yogurt) and dropping our business cards in the weekly drawing for a free swirl, we strolled around in the sun doing a little window shopping. This could lead to a dangerous addiction.

Would we finish it? Oh yeah. Maybe the question should be: would we lick the bottom of the Styrofoam cup? But then we might be too embarrassed to answer.

Would we buy it again? Didn't we just say we got our frequent customer card stamped? Is it too soon to go again right now?

- Liz and Aubrey

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