Just a couple weeks after a press release bragged that Yolato was planning to overtake Pinkberry and Red Mango by installing express locations all around town, the Greenwich Village store is apparently kaput.
Official word has come that Red Mango’s first NYC location at 182 Bleecker — long a source of fascination — will open at 4 p.m. on December 6 with “FREE FROZEN YOGURT, GIFT CARDS, GIFT BAGS, MUSIC PRIZES” (emphasis theirs). Obviously they’re trying to trump Yolato which promised free fro-yo at their recent opening only to dole out sample sizes. So will Red Mango be fudging it, too? The publicist assures us “free frozen yogurt” means an honest-to-God half-cup (small-size) serving. We have this on tape (kidding). Gifts, meanwhile, will go to the first 50 people in line and will also be given to people throughout the day, especially people who can answer trivia questions like, “How many calories are in Red Mango?” That we’re not kidding about — so study up!
Earlier:Cold War: Yolato Now, Red Mango in December, and MySpace Forever
When we mentioned that a new Yolato store is opening today, we wondered when exactly the Red Mango would open across from Pinkberry on Bleecker Street. Now a rep tells us it probably won’t be till mid-December, with stores to follow in Chelsea (63 W. 14th St.), the theater district (723 Eighth Ave.) and Flushing (136-53 Roosevelt Ave).
[Ed: Disclaimer — what follows is where we start to lose it a little bit.]
On guard: On Wednesday a 50 percent larger Yolato (the first one under a partnership with Lenny’s Sandwiches) opens at 145 Park Avenue between 41st and 42nd with free fro-yo gelato for all. You might want to make note of that. And the invasion will continue! By the end of the year, freestanding stores will also come to the Empire State Building (which will serve as the flagship, opening in mid-December) and 180 Lafayette in Soho, plus there are plans for a large store in the Lenny’s at 9th Street and Sixth Avenue and nine other “express” stores in other Lenny’s locations. That's THIRTEEN Yolatos for you; hope it's enough.
Meanwhile, on the Bleecker Street front, Red Mango still has not opened, giving the new Pinkberry a solid two-month head start. Ritual suicide may be in order.
Related:The New Cold War: Frozen Yogurt Invades New York
Now that Red Mango the first big Korean fro-yo chain, and thus the progenitor of the new wave started by Pinkberry, which hails from LA is coming to New York, it's time to take stock of the ever-growing number of frosty options. Since Pinkberry first opened its doors here last year, the dessert has descended across the city like a cold curtain. It was only in June that Rob and Robin shortlisted the new frozen-yogurt options, and since then /eks/ and, soon, Red Mango have been added. How to separate the Pinkberrys from the Yolato from the gelatos? We had to make up a chart to parse it all (full disclosure: We cheated a little by including Grom, which isn't strictly fro-yo but it is an excellent new gelato spot). After the jump, our guide to the new yogurt culture. What’s your favorite? Email us and we'll print the results.
East Village: All falafel at Chickpea is now baked, not fried. Is this the first move toward franchise status? [Eater]
Financial District: Celebrate Bastille Day this Saturday at the Les Halles Waiter’s Race on John Street at 2 p.m. [Les Halles]
Flatiron: Madison Square Park Conservancy hosts its other annual food extravaganza next Tuesday with bites from the nabe’s chefs including Seamus Mullen, Patricia Yeo, Daniel Humm, and Floyd Cardoz, plus Brooklyn Brewery suds, wine and Champagne. [Madison Square Park]
Flushing: The celebrated Chinese “food court” at J&L Mall, has been closed, and Con Ed, not the Department of Health, is the culprit. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Park Slope: Newly opened American restaurant Sidecar is BYO for now. [NYS]
Prospect Heights: Seasoning does not a good cheesesteak make; High Stakes on Flatbush would do better to call its signature item a sandwich. [Daily Heights]
Upper East Side: Stefani Jackenthal hosts a tasting of Pinot varieties at the 92nd Street Y tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. [92nd Street Y]
Upper West Side: Lincoln Center’s Summer Benefit starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight, but by 9 p.m. you can start sampling from restaurants including Anthos, Chanterelle, and Yolato at Damrosch Park. [NYS]
There are four restaurant-related stories in this week’s issue, and they ask you to take a side. Are you a New Yorker who glories in the freshness of newly arrived strawberries and seasonal cooking in general? Or are you an atavistic who prefers to sit in air-conditioned steakhouses, consuming red meat in 90-degree weather? This week, at least, Adam Platt is clearly the latter, dining in the Freon fortress that is Landmarc and finding only the heaviest, most beef- and bacon-laden foods worthy of (faint) praise. Those of us who have fathers like him are enjoined, in one of this week’s Short Lists, to visit various steakhouses with our dads. On the side, there is more cool, natural frozen yogurt than ever to be had, enumerated in another Short List, and this week’s In Season features a recipe for delicate pasta with strawberries from Sfoglia.
In the heat of the current gelato-and-frozen-yogurt wars, you might not think there was room for another major frozen-dessert concept. But while Grom, Pinkberry, Yolato, and the rest compete in Manhattan, Öko, a greener-than-green business serving two flavors of Greek-style frozen yogurt in a store in which nearly everything is biodegradable, has tailored itself for Park Slope. The walls and counter are made of compressed sunflower seeds; the spoons and straws, from potato starch. Even the plates, though seemingly made of transparent plastic, are actually composed of processed corn. The toppings are also all-natural, mostly fruit — blackberries, mango, kiwi pieces, and the like — along with dry toppings like shaved coconut, sliced almonds, dark-chocolate chips, and dried Turkish apricots. “This is just our first store,” general manager Mateo Braghieri tells us. “We want to open more.” Because, you know, there aren’t enough high-powered frozen-yogurt chains around.
Related: An Interactive Tour of the Country’s Greenest Food Business
In the magazine this week, Rob and Robin unveil three humble new restaurants, each good for the kind of pit-stop nourishment needed to get through the day. The East Village’s Taj-Almoulouk is turning out top-notch falafel, Chelsea’s Café Grumpy is pouring good Counter Culture Coffee, and the West Village’s Yoláto is serving up the “gelato of frozen yogurts.” Read more in this week’s bulletin from the Underground Gourmet.