Serious Fro-Yo Shop Opens in Westlake
Pinkberry brings highbrow style in a cup
By Gracie Salem, 2:20PM, Wed. Apr. 10, 2013
What began as an idea by a couple of dudes on a trip to Hawaii years back and spurred the national frozen yogurt craze, has become a new take on the neighborhood fro-yo shop. Welcome Pinkberry to Central Texas.
With some serious ingredients, intention, and corporate backing, this is not your normal teenager's frozen yogurt. Situated in the Westbank Shopping Center, Pinkberry had a line of in-the-know frozen yogurt lovers the day before its official opening for free tastes and a glimpse of the ultramodern store last week. The shop itself features a river-rock floor; recyclable, plant-based cups and spoons; and comfy, yet sleek chairs and tables. But, clearly, the product is the draw. With slightly nontraditional flavors such as key lime, chocolate-hazelnut, pomegranate, and even tomato-basil, the push here is health and taste.
The most exciting discovery of our visit was Pinkberry's new line of fresh Greek yogurt being rolled out at this first Austin outlet. Pinkberrygreek contains 15 grams of protein and only natural sugars in an eclectic list of sweet and savory flavors. Local owner Elisa Pederson told me she loves the fresh tomato-basil Greek yogurt for lunch, and makes a meal of it with grape tomatoes, olive oil, a balsamic glaze, and sea salt. Both the frozen and fresh yogurts can also be ordered in a smoothie or in a parfait. The assorted toppings really take the cake here, with strictly seasonal, fresh-cut fruit, impossibly small chocolate pirouettes, organic gummy bears, and sweet sesame crackers. The frozen yogurt is light, icy in texture, and powerful in flavor.
My daughter was caught off guard at first by the mature nature of the flavor choices, but settled on chocolate-hazelnut with organic gummy bears. Her choice received lots of satisfied eye rolls and an official thumbs up, while I was totally satisfied by key lime with granola. Mine was tart, strong, and delicious.
Stores are already doing well in Houston and Dallas, and Pederson reports that she plans on opening as many as a dozen more Pinkberry shops along the Austin-San Antonio corridor. But for now, the Westlake neighborhood is the first in line for a different kind of frozen yogurt treat, one with a decidedly L.A. feel.
3300 Bee Caves Rd., 932-6800
Open daily at 11am
In the original version of this story, we mistakenly identified Pinkberrygreek as a frozen product, when in reality it is served fresh. We regret the error.