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Nominations for the Tour de FroYo

April 1, 2014

Maybe it doesn’t feel like spring, but that probably makes it the perfect time to start thinking about the spring tour. Every year around this time a bunch of FLB readers set off to try and find the best frozen treats the Capital Region has to offer.

At first it was seasonal soft serve, where On the Farm in Latham stole the show. The following year we tackled homemade hard ice cream, and The Ice Cream Man in Greenwich was triumphant. Last year we finally got around to the Tour de Gelato where Villa Italia edged out some seriously good competition.

Now we can finally get to the serious business of comparing all the new fangled FroYo joints.

We’re not interested in the soft frozen yogurt options at seasonal ice cream stands. This isn’t about the homemade frozen yogurt that can be at places like the Snowman either. No. These are the newly tarted up places, many of which are more redolent of discotheques than snack bars, where you can fill an impossibly large cup with tangy yogurt and a dazzling assortment of toppings.

But before we can go any further, it’s time to open up the floor to nominations (and I’m also going to solicit input on a date for reasons I’ll explain in a moment).

Unfortunately, I will once again be unable at attend my own tour. Missing these events has been the major downside of this New Jersey sabbatical. However, once again an amazing volunteer has stepped up to take the reins in my absence. If you’ve gone on an All Over Albany tour, perhaps you’ve already met her.

Please say hi to Maeve McEneny. She’s actually works for a real bona fide tour company, Dutch Apple Cruises, so I have every confidence that you will be in good hands.

If this were just me, I would choose the date that works best with my schedule, turnout be damned. But Maeve is comfortable leading a larger group, and unlike the Tour de Disco Fries, this one can accommodate anyone who is interested.

So first things first. The two dates we are looking at are Saturday April 26 and Sunday April 27. Feel free to weigh in, but be prepared for disappointment. And as always, we have a strict no whining policy.

Now, where should we go? As always the tour is limited to five stops. Here are my top contenders, but this is open for debate. In the past nominations from readers have made the tour and done very well in the standings. What can I say? You guys know what’s good.

If we were doing the old timers, a tour could be made from the first to the market.

1) Obviously Dante’s in Troy makes the list.
2) TCBY on Western is now a classic (versus their East Greenbush, Nisky & Latham outposts).
3) Lemondrop on Wolf Road preceded their Delmar location.
4) For 16 Handles, Clifton Park came before their their Rensselaer or Glenmont locations.
5) Plum Dandy should be a stop too, but I’m not crazy about driving up to Saratoga Springs just for this shop

Of course that leaves out Yo D Sert at Crossgates. And they do occasionally have interesting flavors like taro, but I can’t say I’m a big fan of the place. Nor do I consider Yeh!, also in the mall, a serious contender for the throne. In fact, I think it should be called Meh!.

But there have been plenty of newcomers lately. I don’t have direct experience at any of those shops, and it’s possible they are more worthwhile than some of the longer established operations.

a) Menchie’s is now open in Colonie Center, Clifton Park and Rotterdam.
b) Schenectady has Sweet Frog.
c) Penguin is apparently in Latham.
d) Capital Yogurt is rumored to exist on New Scotland Ave.

Wow. This is no joke. There’s a lot of FroYo in the region. And it’s possible I’ve missed something that has opened since my absence. Maybe it makes sense to pit the newcomers against Dante’s or one of the other members of the old guard. Or perhaps the Tour de FroYo needs to be broken into two sub-tours based on geographic boundaries, much like the cider donut tours.

Whatever the case, now is the chance for your voice to be heard. By the end of the day Friday, I’ll take all of your input and crank out the official details for the tour. Hope you are excited. This has the potential to be another eye opening experience.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica R permalink
    April 1, 2014 11:39 am

    Either date works well for me.
    Dante’s, TCBY (Latham location) and 16 Handles (Rennselaer) are the only ones I’ve been to. Out of those, Dante’s and 16 Handles were better than TCBY.

    What about the idea of doing two tours on the same day, and splitting the group in half? We could all meet at Dante’s (as the one to compare all others against) and then split up. One group could cover Troy and Albany (Dante’s, Lemondrop, TCBY, Penguin, Capital Yogurt)and the other could cover Schenectady, Clifton Park and Saratoga (Dante’s,16 Handles, Plum Dandy, Menchie’s, Sweet Frog). Or Sweet Frog or Plum Dandy could be dropped, as being too far out of the way from Clifton Park, and substituted for a TCBY location. It won’t be a perfect comparison, but should give a good overall view of frozen yogurt in the region – and not drag this on for 2 years.

  2. Debra permalink
    April 1, 2014 11:47 am

    Penquin was shut down for an extended period (although I don’t remember the dates) recently when I drove by there. Just an FYI.

  3. April 1, 2014 6:41 pm

    The 27th would work for me

  4. ericscheirerstott permalink
    April 1, 2014 6:43 pm

    BTW- Capital Yogurt does indeed exist on New Scotland- I drive by it each day but have never brought myself to trying it.

  5. jessica permalink
    April 1, 2014 9:15 pm

    PLEASE the 27th! I don’t want to miss this and I have a flight on the 26th!

  6. April 2, 2014 8:59 pm

    God DAMN it! Why is EVERY SINGLE COOL THING happening on the SAME WEEKEND?!? So frustrating… there’s like a million cool things already going on that weekend, but I’ll be out of town! :(

  7. April 2, 2014 9:00 pm

    Also, as far as nominations, Menchies is quite good, and also, it’s somewhat different from 16 Handles and Plum Dandy (also good contenders).

  8. April 2, 2014 9:01 pm

    (And also, Plum Dandy should be a given — it was actually the first froyo place in the area.)

  9. Chantelle permalink
    April 2, 2014 9:08 pm

    The 27th would be wonderful and I agree about Plum Dandy even though it may make the driving situation less desirable

  10. Jenn permalink
    April 3, 2014 11:20 am

    I will be out of town both days, but I recommend trying out Sweet Frog in Niskayuna!

  11. April 3, 2014 12:27 pm

    Sounds like a fun tour. Sadly, I’m in no position to weigh in on nominations. I’ve had frozen yogurt exactly once since the previous frozen yogurt craze of the mid-90’s. I’m pretty sure it was Dante’s unless there’s another frozen yogurt joint in downtown Troy. It’s hard to remember, it was after the wing tour and a fair number of beers (but before going back to the Ruck for more wings). It was probably(?) good! :-)

  12. Chantelle permalink
    April 3, 2014 10:41 pm

    Breaking FroYo news…Plum Dandy is opening a Malta location.

  13. April 7, 2014 9:35 pm

    I can’t wait to meet every one! I am happy to meet every one and will do any day we choose, of course.

    I do want to point out that the Grown Up Easter Egg Hunt in Troy is happening on Saturday and I have a feeling a lot of the same people will want Fro Yo AND adult treats.

    Something I found out about AFTER I picked those dates. :) Either way, I’ll see you all that weekend!

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