Lion of the Blogosphere

16 Handles review

A self-serve frozen yogurt place where you pay by the ounce. There are several of these in Manhattan and there’s even one in Williamsburg so it must be at least semi-hip.

I chose the pistachio flavored frozen yogurt. It was bland, icy, non-smooth and non-creamy. I could barely detect any nutty pistachio flavor. The pistachio ice cream they serve at cheap Chinese restaurants is vastly superior.

However, they also have a toppings bar. I added strawberries, blueberries, and chocolate chips. The fruit was fresh and high quality. The toppings disguised the fact that base itself is pretty bad.

My modest-sized cup cost $5. For Manhattan, not an extreme price.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Posted in New York City

28 Responses

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  1. I became aware of Frozen yogurt places like that in California around 2006. Since I’m not that with it, my guess is they were around before that. Pinkberry was one of the first ones I went to, but I’m not sure that was the first chain. My vague impression is that this style originated in East Asia somewhere and moved to the U.S. later. Pinkberry isn’t self serve, but most of the latter ones are. There was an explosion of these places in my town about 6-7 years ago (there used to be something like 10 of them). Many of them have been replaced by Boba Tea shops recently (another Asian import). They must have been slow to move to the East Coast.

    The original formula was a slightly tart frozen yogurt (which had a lot less sugar in it then traditional frozen yogurt) combined with sweet fruit. The various flavors of yogurt are more recent innovation. Personally, I still think the original style is the best. I go to these places occasionally and get a small amount of yogurt and a heap of fruit. Not a bad snack if you ask me.


    May 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    • Indeed, my town in Flyoverville became saturated with these places in the period from 2008-2010, as I recall. Most of them have since closed, though one regional chain is still open. Here it’s a decent dessert, plenty creamy, but loaded with sugar. I’ve been in there a few times, and every time, they have different flavors.

      Either these have been in NYC a long time and Lion failed to notice, or else NYC has been super-late to adopt this trend.

      Frozen yogurt seems to have initially gained traction on the idea that it’s healthier than ice cream, even if it doesn’t taste as good. Turns out that it usually has more sugar but less fat than ice cream, and the latest idea in nutrition is that sugar is the enemy and fat is OK. Bad for frozen yogurt. Might as well just have ice cream.

      I suppose the low-sugar tart frozen yogurt is a response to this, but by the time the idea made it to flyover country, everything became loaded with sugar. Or maybe all the places in my town that closed were the ones trying the tart stuff.


      May 22, 2017 at 1:28 am

  2. I’ve never even had frozen yogurt. When I want a dessert. I have ricotta with applesauce. The last time I bought pistachio ice cream, at a venerable place in SF, I noticed it’s no longer green like it was when I was a kid, so screw it. No nut chunks either, jeez.


    May 21, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    • Sounds delicious. i am going to try this combination.


      May 22, 2017 at 8:05 am

  3. For some reason they only seem to produce trout-flavored yogurt.

    Jokah Macpherson

    May 21, 2017 at 4:38 pm

  4. They have one on Ave J and Coney Island. Went once to check it out and didn’t like it one bit. Lousy AC, ice cream and atmosphere. Avoid.


    May 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm

  5. this is considered cutting edge? i live in rural australia and there have been these in my town for ages.

    james n.s.w

    May 21, 2017 at 6:49 pm

  6. When it comes to Manhattan street sweets for the summer, I only like the ice cream that comes out of the Mister Softee and Kool Man vans. Lion thinks it’s prolish and in many cases, NAM. Many Hispanics are now manning these vehicles, which were once mostly operated by proles.


    May 21, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    • i like the Mr. Softee ice cream, too. But my God, that name! It sounds like a nickname a cruel woman has for her ex-lover when talking about him to her girlfriends. “He was a nice guy, but I had to break up with him. He had such trouble in the bedroom – a real “Mr. Softee,” if you know what I mean!”


      May 22, 2017 at 8:23 am

      • I like the soft ice cream that comes out of Kool Man more than that of Mister Softee. They have a better recipe. It’s creamier.


        May 22, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      • This is the genesis of a joke involving Dairy Queen.


        May 23, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    • Lion’s Manhattan had a Big Gay Ice Cream truck instead (now Big Gay Ice Cream shops).

      Dave Pinsen

      May 23, 2017 at 12:18 am

      • Why do you need to bring them up?


        May 23, 2017 at 8:16 am

  7. I thought you were on a sugar quits. Why all of sudden, frozen yogurt?


    May 21, 2017 at 7:20 pm

  8. Frozen yogurt is a rip off. Almost always as much sugar as ice cream (so no healthier) but they use low-fat milk rather than cream so vastly cheaper to produce. Basically cheap, flavorless ice cream that costs just as much and is every bit as unhealthy. So just get ice cream and enjoy it.


    May 21, 2017 at 7:20 pm

  9. If you get fat from all that frozen yogurt and its toppings, does that mean you now have “love Handles?”

    …….sorry, just in a playful mood today!


    May 21, 2017 at 7:22 pm

  10. Get Custard instead. Sheridan’s custard in the Midwest (Kansas City area) is fantastic. If you are worried about calories, you are a girl.


    May 21, 2017 at 7:53 pm

  11. Life hack: ice cream > frozen yogurt. Every single time. If you’re on a diet, skip both, but if you want to enjoy a refreshing summer dessert, skip the yogurt. It’s never as good. If you want something lighter than ice cream, instead of fro-yo, go for Shaved snow (sometimes called something different, like shaved cream or shaved ice, not to be confused with actual shaved ice).

    The place where I got my poke bowl, Q Tea Tapas in Fort Lee, makes a great shaved snow sundae, where you pick your components. I get one with black sesame shaved snow, green tea iced cream, whipped cream, and some other stuff I don’t remember. You can get them with fruit flavors and toppings too.

    Dave Pinsen

    May 21, 2017 at 7:56 pm

  12. Lion: why do SWPLs prefer gelato to ice cream*.

    *I also prefer gelato.

    Otis the Sweaty

    May 21, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    • Because it’s European, that’s the only answer I can think of. I like ice cream slightly better but they are almost identical, both way better than frozen yogurt.

    • As I understand it, the word “gelato” has a strict culinary meaning in Italy, but in the U.S., there are no strict standards. It basically means “ice cream made to appeal to SWPLs”.


      May 22, 2017 at 11:09 am

      • Just put the word “artisanal”, and it’s SWPL certified.

        The gelato sold in Eataly, is branded as “artigianale” in Italian.


        May 22, 2017 at 10:54 pm

  13. Frozen yogurt is for chubby women pretending to try losing weight. Just do the real deal and eat proper ice cream.


    May 21, 2017 at 8:19 pm

  14. I wish all ice cream shops sold by the ounce (my first experience of such was in philly). There’s nothing worse than paying $5 for a scoop and then seeing someone get a larger scoop than you. Yes, totally infantile, but it is ice cream we’re talking about here!


    May 22, 2017 at 7:10 am

  15. Gelato has less cream than ice cream and no egg yolks. I don’t see why someone who hasn’t been hoodwinked by the often ridiculously high price should prefer gelato over ice cream.

    Mark Caplan

    May 22, 2017 at 8:52 am

  16. Frozen yogurt has been around long enough that Seinfeld did a show about it back in the nineties…


    May 24, 2017 at 1:27 pm

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