Food, I.M.H.O.

Willy Wonka’s Yogurt Factory

My bowl of frozen yogurt, with fruits and candies and nuts.
My bowl of frozen yogurt, with fruits and candies and nuts.
Juice-filled balls, skating in syrup.
Juice-filled balls, skating in syrup.

It was a dry and sunny Saturday, a perfect day for flâneuring. We began our ramble along Broadway, making a stopover at Yooglers, a self-serve, frozen yogurt place.

Yogurt is a snack I don’t care for. Yet, when frozen and smothered in delectable toppings, its insipidity rolls away. And that’s how I like it.

With orange poufs, yellow cubes, apple-green benches, bubblegum-pink round tables, cartoon-style winged cows, flying across the walls, it’s the sort of place Willy Wonka could’ve designed had he decided to open a yogurt bar.

Scarcely would you guess that the chain has roots in Spain, the land of 10:00 p.m. sunsets and lazy siestas.

Hold down a bar on a gleaming dispenser. Wait for a corrugated ribbon of the chilled treat to coquettishly twirl out into a paper cup. Garnish it with an assortment of fruits, nuts, candies, chocolates, cereals, cookies, and syrups. Pick up a plastic spoon of a color that catches your fancy. Go and sit down.

One fixing that pleased me enormously was a fruit juice-filled caviar that pops in your mouth, exploding with flavor.

We stopped next at ARGO—a tea café chain, which aspires to be to tea as Starbucks is to coffee. There, we tried a non-Asian version of bubble tea and took pleasure in the discovery of a new twist to it.

I don’t know how the beverage got its name. But I suspect it was prompted by the soft, chewy tapioca bubbles that make it a whimsical drink. Those that we were sipping, though, didn’t have the globules. Instead, huddled at the bottom of the glass were tiny jujubes of coconut water called nata de cocoa .

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