Sunday, January 27, 2008

Also while in Vegas: Red Mango

UPDATE: I just found out that the Las Vegas location has closed. If you're up in Vegas, there's one over in Henderson on Eastern just south of the 215.

I almost can't believe I'm writing up a frozen yogurt place.  I've been eating frozen yogurt for decades now, and for the most part it really doesn't deviate from a pretty basic standard no matter where you are.  Some places (like Mesa Frozen Yogurt over on Gilbert and Southern in Mesa AZ) become noteworthy by an extensive list of flavors, but in the end... it's just frozen yogurt.

Until I went to Red Mango in Las Vegas, off the strip across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel.

Red Mango is the first of a new wave of frozen yogurt places.  The most well-known of these is Pinkberry, a chain that is all the rage in southern California.  The Pink may be the most well-known, but they got their idea from Red Mango.  This yogurt is different from other frozen yogurts you've had.  It's not as sweet, and there's a good hit of tanginess that makes it taste more like, well, yogurt.  Red Mango only has two flavors: a plain Original, and the same laced with matcha green tea (a $1 upcharge regardless of size).  They offer a variety of fruit and not-too-sugary sweet things (including breakfast cereals like Cap'n Crunch) to top the yogurt.  And that's it.  Perfectly simple.  And oh, so delicious.  My friend and I both found it to be a perfect pit-stop from excessive running amuck on the Strip; a couple of bites and we both went from worn out to ready for more action.  Better still, as far as frozen desserts go this stuff is darn near virtuous, with just 90 wee calories in a half-cup small.  For comparison's sake, 90 calories of Ben & Jerry's is a hair over three tablespoons.  And Red Mango's yogurt is somehow every bit as satisfying.

I'll be damned if this isn't the best frozen yogurt I've had anywhere.  It's quite possibly the best frozen dessert I've ever eaten.  I love my Lombardo's Gelato down here in Phoenix, but all the gelato I've had doesn't come close to the deliciousness that is Red Mango yogurt.  We're talking not so much "Wow, this is good, how much is another cup?", we're talking "Wow, this is good, how much are the franchise rights?"  I can hardly wait for one to open down here in Phoenix.  Until then, I hope a craving doesn't strike, otherwise I'll find myself in Vegas practically before I can blink.