Frozen yogurt stores have swept across the United States in a burst of popularity. Much of this craze may be traced back to the original Pinkberry stores in Southern California, started by two forward-thinking individuals. Pinkberry became a huge hit in that area and many other similar eateries have since opened, first in California and the West Coast, and later across the whole United States. These frozen yogurt places have many different names, including Freshberry, Red Mango, Tutti Frutti, and a new one I was not familiar with until recently, Menchies Frozen Yogurt.
I was visiting friends in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and came across a Menchies near the Mall of Louisiana. It was packed with people and being a big frozen yogurt fan, I quickly joined them inside away from the horrifying Louisiana heat. Menchies, I found, was using a different take on the frozen yogurt model I had become acustomed to. Instead of ordering the flavor and toppings you wanted with the workers behind the serving bar, you simply grabbed a cup and served yourself! Then, you added the toppings you wanted and brought the finished concoction to the counter. The cashier would place the cup on a scale, weigh it, and charge you per ounce. This place was a little pricey per ounce, at 43 cents an ounce, a far cry from a 32 cents per ounce place I tried later in Los Angeles. Still, it certainly wasn’t going to break the piggy bank and I was eager for some cold frozen yogurt.
Flavors (from what I remember) included Green tea, Tart, Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Mango Tango, and several others. I enjoyed being able to sample the flavors beforehand, as Menchies provides small sample cups for its customers to try the different flavors. Still, the cleanliness of this practice might be questionable, especially with small children reusing their sample cup. However, I was able to narrow my choice down to the Strawberry and Mango Tango flavors, getting a little of both and then topping it off with some fruit slices. The total came out to be slightly less than what I would usually pay at non-self serve frozen yogurt places. However, I was most disappointed by the array of fruit and toppings offered. Menchies choices paled in comparison to the choices at Freshberry and Pinkberry.
Overall, I still had fun at Menchies. It has a nice atmosphere and a nice setup, combined with a cool self-serve mode of operation. It will be interesting to see if other frozen yogurt places go this route, as it requires far less attending staff than traditional setups.
Mall of Louisiana
6401 Bluebonnet Blvd. #500
Baton Rouge, LA 70836