Thursday, March 13, 2008

Review: Chill, Tempe AZ

If you've been reading the blog for a while now, you might remember my recent trip to Las Vegas, where I got the chance to try frozen yogurt from Red Mango, the company responsible for starting the renaissance in frozen yogurt.  Gone are the variety of sweet flavors, replaced by just two flavors:  Regular yogurt, and yogurt with green tea added to it.  The regular yogurt isn't nearly as sweet as the frozen yogurt that you're used to, and it has a bit more twang to it, a bit like the popular Greek style yogurts that grace the dairy case at Trader Joe's.  Think of this new frozen yogurt as... yogurt flavored frozen yogurt.  There are a couple of places up in north Scottsdale that have offered this treat for a little while, chief among them Ice Tango just off the 101 at Frank Lloyd Wright.  I've been meaning to get up there and try it, but that part of town just isn't on my regular rotation.  Somehow driving half an hour just for frozen yogurt seems kind of silly, but planning a trip to Vegas with getting my hands on more Red Mango in mind is easily justifiable.  While I am planning on heading up to Vegas again soon, I was very happy to hear that a new fro-yo place just opened in Tempe, and they even offer gelato.

The new place is Chill, located in the same strip mall that houses Pita Jungle on Apache in between Rural and McClintock in Tempe, a veritable stone's throw from campus.  The interior certainly takes its cues from the industry big shots, with warm colors and modern looking furnishings.  The frozen yogurt machine has the regular yogurt, plus something I haven't seen anywhere else:  Non-dairy frozen soymilk.  Vegans, rejoice!  The yogurt can be topped with a variety of fresh fruits sliced up in-house and small candies such as chocolate chips.  Something you might want to try for a topping is mochi, a Japanese treat made of glutinous rice pounded into cakes.  It has a chewy texture and a lightly sweet flavor that pairs nicely with the smooth tanginess of the yogurt.  The gelato at first bite is better than average.  I'm happy that I didn't see any way out of season flavors that indicate the use of canned bases instead of real fruit (Gelato Spot, I'm looking at you), but I'll have to try more of the gelato before I can say for sure whether it's truly top-notch stuff.  However, the sheer deliciousness of the frozen yogurt may keep that from ever happening.  Stay tuned to find out ;-)