When the self-serve frozen yogurt store on South Street, Phileo Yogurt, opened a while back, it seems like everyone did a little happy dance at the arrival of frozen yogurt. I was scratching my head wondering if everyone slept through the 80's TCBY and ICBY take over of the nation and all the other frozen yogurt shops that spawned and lived through the 90's into today (Jerry, Elaine and George were getting fat off the stuff in the 90's, remember). Unlike suburbs and smaller towns, I guess Philadelphia just doesn't have enough frozen yogurt shops to go around, and the city had a craving for something hip like the Pinkberry franchise in LA and NY (TCBY hasn't been cool for over 20 years).
While I obviously didn't run out the door for frozen yogurt, a long walk this past weekend had me thinking of the treat as we were heading back to South Philly, so we stopped in. Frozen yogurt is a good thing, after all.
The joint is clean, modern, with a roomy front area with chairs lined against the street-facing window and a few tables along the interior wall. The self-serve frozen yogurt machines are recessed in the wall down a narrow hall-like space in the back. Maneuvering back there when it's crowded can be a little frustrating.
On my visit we could choose from vanilla, chocolate, cheesecake, snickerdoodle, peach, blueberry, mango, pineapple, banana, taro, green tea, plain tart, Oreos and cream, and a couple other flavors I'm blanking on. Not a bad selection.
Then you move to the counter with self-serve toppings. Lots to choose from: fresh fruit, sprinkles, chocolate chips, syrups, gummi bears, crushed candy bars, sugary cereals, nuts, and, really, just about anything.I went with a twist of cheesecake and snickerdoodle topped with Cocoa Pebbles and small gummy mochi that looked like mini marshmallows. My cup essentially tasted like toned down cinnamon cheesecake with crunchies and chewies. Loved the mochi, though. It's like gummi candy, but not as chewy.
My partner went with a little peach, a little blueberry, and a little mango. The tart blueberry tasted like grape bubble gum, but the other fruit flavors were a little more convincing.
I do like the self-service at Phileo. You can get a little of this or a lot of that without giving explicit instructions to a person behind a counter, and, consequently, outing yourself as a freak, or being just plain obnoxious.
Be careful when you fill those large cups (large is about the only size they offer), because, at .49 cents per ounce, the scale will take a bite out of your wallet, and I'm sure Phileo is aware of this when they stock only large cups. I filled my cup up with what looked like a minuscule amount of frozen yogurt and just a couple of spoonfuls of the lighter toppings, and still came out with a $3 and something dessert. The person behind me must have paid $10 for what they fit in their cup. They were fah-reeks!! And that's ok at Phileo.
And they still have styrofoam cups...right beside the paper cups. They're either giving you options, or the styrofoam backstock has not run out yet.
416 South St., Philadelphia, PA 19147