Sunday, March 27, 2011

Razzy Fresh Frozen Yogurt (Squirrel Hill & Oakland)

FamJam in Pittsburgh 2011
Stop #6 (Saturday Post-Dinner Dessert): Razzy Fresh Frozen Yogurt in Squirrel Hill 

This is the seventh in a series of posts on my family's first visit to Pittsburgh.  To start from the beginning with Friday's lunch, click here.

Despite a very filling dinner at Silk Elephant, a few of us managed to find room for dessert.  The promise of delicious frozen yogurt just across the street was too much to resist, I guess!  I had first discovered Razzy Fresh last July before I even moved to Pittsburgh.  R. and I were in town to take care of some housing issues and were meeting friends for dinner in Squirrel Hill.  We had arrived early so we took a stroll around the block and happened upon Razzy Fresh.  Now, to put this discovery in context a bit, I was living in Washington, DC at the time and a significant number of new self-serve froyo places (a trend that started in California, I understand) had recently started popping up everywhere in town, and I had become quite a fan.  So I was very excited when I spotted Razzy Fresh, and despite the fact that we were about to have dinner soon, I just had to try some Pittsburgh froyo.

The physical space that Razzy Fresh occupies is pretty small, and at the time they only had three machines serving six different flavors of froyo (since expanded to six machines with 12 flavors).  Two things that I found super exciting about Razzy Fresh: taro flavored froyo and mochi topping.  Taro is a root that is a bit like a potato but has a purple tint on the inside and a touch of sweetness that, to me, tastes similar to coconuts.  I grew up on taro and taro flavored ice cream has always occupied a special place in my heart.  In fact, after a failed search mission for taro ice cream in DC, I learned to make it myself (which will be the subject of a blog post to come, I'm sure).  I bring this up so you can understand how excited and pleasantly surprised I was to find taro-flavored froyo, in Pittsburgh of all places!  I guess I made the right decision to move here!  I was also pleasantly surprised by the mochi topping.  Mochi is a sweet Japanese rice cake, and ice cream wrapped inside mochi dough is a very popular dessert in the Japanese cuisine.

Anyway, back to Razzy Fresh.  Not only did Razzy Fresh impress me with their exotic offerings, but also the taste of their frozen yogurt, which strikes a good balance between sweetness and tartness.  Their toppings are always fresh, as well.  I typically like my froyo with strawberries, mangoes, and mochi.  The fruits are always perfectly ripe, and I suspect they use champagne mangoes (which tends to be sweeter and tastier IMHO) as opposed to whatever variety you'd typically find at Giant Eagle.  The mochi is also fresh as one can tell by how "chewy" it is - mochi that has been sitting out for a while tends to harden, and at Razzy Fresh, they clearly make the effort to ensure that the mochi never gets too stale.

Here are some of the toppings at Razzy Fresh:

Close-up of the mochi toppings.  In the past they've only had white mochi but now it appears they have a rainbow-colored variety and a green tea flavored mochi.

On this particular occasion, I had a mix of the taro- and honeydew-flavored froyo with strawberries, mango, and mochi. Because I was so full from dinner, however, I only got a half-cup of froyo, and so the photos turned out kind of lame.  So here, I present you with a much better representation of Razzy Fresh, taken on another visit:

Taro and green tea frozen yogurt
Topped with strawberries, mangoes, and mochi.

My brother and his girlfriend got the same thing I did, and my sister got strawberry banana to which she gave a thumbs up.  I think that with the variety that Razzy Fresh offers, anyone can find something they like.  The picture above was actually taken at one of Razzy Fresh's newer locations on Craig Street between 5th and Forbes, which is far more spacious than the Squirrel Hill location, so it is a better option for hanging out with friends, unless you have a problem with the college crowd as it is nested right in Pitt/CMU central.  A third location on Forbes at Meyran in the former Kiva Han space had been in the works for several months and is rumored to have opened within the past few days.  Expect a college crowd there too.

I have been to a few other froyo shops in town and they just haven't impressed me quite as much as Razzy Fresh did.  Some I find to taste bad, even, but we won't name any names...  Anyone who knows me knows I'm a self-proclaimed ice cream snob, thanks to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, OH. I am beginning to fear that I am slowly becoming a froyo snob as well, thanks to Razzy Fresh!

Next up: Homemade Spinach and Mushroom Frittata for Sunday's Brunch

Restaurant info:

Razzy Fresh Frozen Yogurt
Squirrel Hill location: 1717 Murray Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Oakland location #1: 300 S Craig St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 
Oakland location #2: 3533 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Razzy Fresh Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon