Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Yogurt Explosion in CLE - My Visit to Menchie's

Have you noticed that frozen yogurt shops seem to be popping up everywhere in Cleveland?  I feel like any time I deviate from my 3.2 mile drive through the 'burbs to work, I see a new yogurt place opening up.  Not that there's anything wrong with fro-yo, but...I just wonder how long the trend will last?  Remember what happened to TCBY's in the 90's?  They were absolutely everywhere (along with similar yogurt shop clones) and then all but disappeared until they made a resurgence in airports and rest stops.  But then again, Little Caesars died off, too, and has invaded my neighborhood once again. (but it's just not the same!  I want some square pizza!)

When I met someone for lunch last week, I noticed a newly opened Menchie's on SOM Center Road in Mayfield.  I think it's in what used to be a UPS store, among other things.  It's in possibly one of the "worst" strip malls in Mayfield, as far as survival rate goes, so...I wish them luck.

I stopped by on a gloomy evening after hitting up the gym and Menchie's wasn't all that packed.  There were a few people sitting outside eating yogurt and a few people at tables inside, but I was able to get in and out in a hurry.  Like many other yogurt shops, there are multiple flavors to choose from.  When I was in there, they had everything from Dulce de Leche to Cheesecake to Original Tart.   Being a super fan of tart yogurt, I went with that flavor (big mistake - should have gotten Dulce de Leche) topped with my standard favorites - strawberries, blueberries, and white chocolate chips. (the white chocolate chips were the wild card...it's hard to find them anywhere, but I can get chocolate chips everywhere)  Like other yogurt places in the area (ahem, Yogurt Vi), you pay by weight.  I can't remember how much I paid, exactly, but it didn't seem cheap. 

I sat in my car to eat my yogurt since driving and eating isn't something I'm necessarily good at, and the first thing I noticed when I went to take my first bite was the color of the yogurt.  In the super happy "everything has a smiley face" atmosphere of Menchie's, I hadn't noticed that the yogurt was yellowish.  And not a French vanilla yellow.  More like an "ew.  why isn't this white?" yellow.  But I took a bite anyway.  

Dislike!  I don't know what exactly it tasted like, but it was not good!

I've eaten tart yogurt here there and everywhere, and the tart yogurt at Menchie's just doesn't compare to my favorites - Pinkberry, Red Mango, and (surprisingly) Roly Poly. (they serve up some great fro-yo - I get some every time I go there for a veggie wrap) I'm not in any hurry to rush back, but if I do, I'll try a non-tart flavor.

What's your favorite fro-yo shop? Or are you skipping the trend and sticking with good old ice cream?


  1. I've tried all 3 brands of yogurt shops in Cleveland - Menchie's (Chagrin and SOM), Yogurt Vi and Lemonberry in Strongsville and I like Yogurt Vi the best. The yogurt seems creamier and I like the more asian inspired toppings like mochi balls.

  2. I actually went to Yogurt Vi last night! After Roly Poly, it's my favorite place to go for fro-yo here in Cleveland. Plus, I can bicycle to it!

  3. I've only been to the Menchie's at Eton and really liked it. Maybe because I'm simple and only get strawberry banana or chocolate and put fruit on top. I wonder how long the fro yo obsession will last!

  4. Try Lemonberry in Strongsville the froyo and toppings are the best! They have mochi and other unique topping, too. The tart is the creamiest in the Cleveland area, yumyum.

  5. yogurt vi and menchies get their yogurt from the same distributor fyi :-)

  6. Yogurt Vi hands down. Doesn't matter which distributor their yogurt comes from as long as the store is clean! Yogurt Vi tops everyone else in this categorty. Toppings are always fresh and in place, and the yogurt is great.