Twisted Yogurt – Edmonton, AB
#650-3803 Calgary Trail
New concepts, especially in the do-it-yourself kind seem to be sprouting out all over the place these days. Perhaps its a way to cut labor costs, but having customers/diners do all the heavy lifting and giving them countless choices to suit their every need and desire, seems to be partly (in my opinion) due to the ever burgeoning something-unique-for-everyone ethos that has arisen from the Starbucks business model (“super venti mochachino with quarter-whole, quarter-skim, and make the rest half & half, decaf with a few shavings of nutmeg”" anyone?). No single item will do, you get as much leeway as you want. Kind of a steroid-driven upgrade on the old “have it your way” style of one of the major fast food burger chains.
I wouldn’t even try to come up with all the permutations of configurations you can get with your Twisted Yogurt dessert. Rather than try to come up with something both accurate and witty, I’ll let the marketing gurus of the operation themselves tell you how they would give their elevator pitch:
“Twisted Yogurt is all about exploring your creative side, because you get to create your own frozen masterpiece. You start by choosing one of our eight flavours of fresh, natural non fat frozen yogurt and then add on as many of our over 50 toppings as you can load into your bowl.”
Well if you get confused, once you enter the doors you should get asked that question of so many of these places that are doing something different. As in “have you been here before?”. I got the same query when I walked into Famoso in Edmonton as well. Must be an Oil Country thing. Thankfully, I was there with some folks who’d been here previously so we quickly brushed them off and I got the low down from my compatriots. Well the sign in the corner also helped too..
7 distinct flavors (not including the Plain Jane Vanilla) were on hand from the pull down spouts. They reminded me of getting Slurpees at 7-11. With a twist though, you could meld the two flavors at each machine into a single swirl. Swamp Juice (the nickname we had for putting every flavor of pop into our Big Gulps as kids) at its most convenient and finest!
A station at the back also had the serving vessels – I think they were something like 12~16 ounce cups. More then plenty for a single serving, especially when you consider at this point you are just loading up the yogurt. As I like a bit of tartness in all things sweet (lemon squares, cheese cake, etc.) I was all about reconnecting with my childhood and I instantly called first dibs on the Dreamsicle flavor. I was sure it was like those Creamsicle ice cream bars I loved as a child. Then I saw the Lime right next to it. Easy peasy, this was going to make a perfect combo-swirl!
The next station after you bowl is filled with the creamy cold stuff is the toppings. Laid out compactly and divided up into several distinct areas: fresh fruits (like raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, etc.), dry cereals (like Lucky Charms!), the sweet chocolate and savory nuts (chocolate, Reeses Pieces, walnuts, pecans, etc.) and then finally the candies/gummies (gummy worms, jelly beans, Coke bottles, etc.). Although we all had our own different yogurts, it seems that we ended up mainly delving into the fresh station for the toppings – as you can see from the above quad of bowls.
And then finally, plopping your bowl on the weight scale at the register and you get to pay for your dessert and then dig in! So much more tantalizing than the same kind of pick-yourself-and-weigh-and-pay salad bars that you can find in food courts nowaways, but this one has loads of guilt attached to it. I think each bowl ended up being in the $5 range (can’t recall exactly as I didn’t pay) so for that price, not a bad little package of the sweet stuff. I with these guys prop up a place on the West Coast as I’d give them another try. Not being a huge dessert guy though, I wouldn’t be the best, consistently paying customer though.