As Portland slowly heats up (highs around 75 degrees through the weekend!), my thoughts inevitably drift to sweet, cool treats. I realize not everyone appreciates the tart and creamy lightness of frozen yogurt, but I do. Fortunately for me and my tribe, there are a number of great local places to indulge our appetites. And I solemnly swear I won’t refer to it as “froyo.”
Skinnidip is a Portland company with three locations (2230 W Burnside, 433 NW 10th, 633 SW Morrison). I was surprised to see toppings including Fruity Pebbles and Captain Crunch. There are several yogurt flavors to choose from aside from original, including regulars’ mango, raspberry and chocolate. There is also a special monthly flavor, which is fun but disappointing once you’ve found a favorite flavor. Come back, pistachio! My fellow intern, Joe Manuel, joined me for this visit. Admittedly not a frozen yogurt fan, Joe said, "The tart tickled my taste buds with utter supremacy while the blackberries —possibly the freshest blackberries I have ever experienced—rounded out an awesome juxtaposition of sweet and sour.” Thanks for that Joe! A small original with one topping will cost you $3.50.
Owners Jessica and Aaron Grimmer have recently moved Pudding on the Rice (1503 SW Park Ave) from the suburbs to the PSU Park Blocks. The breakout star here is the rice pudding, but I prefer mine with tart yogurt rather than crepes. Using Jessica’s grandmother’s Swedish rice pudding recipe, the flavors are both amusing and delicious. With names like Ebony and Ivory (chocolate ganache and white chocolate chips) and Peter Primate Special (walnuts, chocolate chunks and banana cream), how could you not sample them all? I purchased 10 ounces of Raspberry Rousseau (fresh berries with vanilla and almond flavoring) with frozen yogurt heaped on top ($4).
Bleuet is French for blueberry. Bleuet (1019 NW 23rd Ave) is also a boutique yogurt shop on Nob Hill. They promote an all-natural family recipe that is low sugar and low calorie. It’s a nice place to sneak into, away from the hustle and bustle of NW 23rd shoppers. The consistency is less creamy than other yogurts, but there are a wide variety of fresh toppings to choose from. I choose the honey yogurt with three toppings: kiwi, strawberry and white chocolate. Upon my next return, I am curious to try fig and granola, as those hearty toppings may have better served my quickly melting yogurt. The small size will run you $2.95, with toppings costing $1.10 each.
Honorable mentions include Active Culture (820 SE 8th Ave) and Tart (2128 SE Division).