The battle for frozen yogurt dominance is one that has savagely torn through Morningside since Pinkberry’s arrival in the summer of 2007. Today, we offer a comprehensive look at Columbia’s bitter — well, sweet — rivals in hopes of settling this thing once and for all. (Full disclosure: Your Bwog editor went on a rather unfortunate Tasti bender some years ago, but harbors no ill-will at the current time.)
Tasti D-Lite is located right in the heart of Lerner Hall, and is fittingly central to the Columbia froyo identity. It’s Flex-friendly, it’s right here, and it’s been around forever — in froyo years. There are four different flavors each day, the roster of which varies daily. Some appear more than others: Dulce de Leche, French Vanilla, and Tres Leches are perennial favorites. There’s an old saying around the Tasti Lounge that the first bite is always the best, and this is certainly true. Three or four spoonfuls in, all selections have the same flavor: cold. Toppings are nothing to write home about, just sprinkles, peanut butter cups, Oreos, and other mainstays. Still, Tasti provides the illusion of the taste and feel of ice cream without actually containing any of its ingredients in a way that Pinkberry does not.
Since its appearance on the scene two summers ago, Pinkberry has swept through Morningside like a hot fad, or like a terrible plague, depending on your point of view. Eschewing the Tasti Model of offering dozens and dozens of rotating flavors, Pinkberry has settled on three: plain (which tastes like tart-y mixture of vanilla and lemon sorbets), coffee, and green tea. But Pinkberry’s strengths are in its expansive and delightful topping selection: fresh fruit — including blackberry, kiwi, and pineapple — plus cereals like Cap’n Crunch and Coco Puffs, the novelty of which has yet to have worn off.
Yes, Pinnacle. A dark horse in this race, but a competitor to be reckoned with nonetheless. Toppings, like those at Tasti, are minimal and standard, and flavors are that way too — it’s peanut butter, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. But there’s caramel sauce, and real-ish chocolate syrup, and it’s much cheaper than Tasti or Pinkberry. Plus, it approximates the Platonic ideal of frozen yogurt more so that the other two, whose consistences are tastes can be nebulous and dynamic.
We’re going to give this to Tasti, followed by Pinkberry, with Pinnacle in third. Disagree? Make a convincing argument in the comments and maybe we’ll reconsider.