It took me well over a year to check out Pinkberry, but when I did I was hooked. While a fan, I am not a close-minded loyalist (no names mentioned). In fact, I want to see the wide-spread adoption of the phenomena that I credit Pinkberry with creating. The health craze around frozen yogurt has some room left to innovate, to bring prices down, etc. I am also convinced that I have yet to taste the truly hands down best fro yo in town.
So here is the kick off of the challenge: let all the pretenders be tested against the best. And if you look at the multiplicity of frozen yogurt knock offs that have popped up like cudzu weeds in LA this is going to be a 12 round battle. When I first learned of Rosegreen I was a bit suspicious, since most of the pinkberry online discussion is pretty combative and, honestly, mean. There's Kiwiberry vs. Pinkberry anger over at Coleen Cuisine that makes me almost want to swear off the yogurt, were it not as good as it really is.
Let the fro yo comparisons begin!!
Round 1: Pinkberry vs. Roseberry
(this ongoing contest assumes an intimate familiarity with Pinkberry...)
Roseberry is now called Rosegreen which makes me laugh. WTF does the name mean...it's like a game of telephone where the ending sentence means nothing. The word rose must have been chosen because it is basically a similar color to pink and berry? well that is the same word. What is amazing is someone who is so hell bent on ripping off Pinkberry would get cold feet along the way and decide to change the store name as to, I assume, avoid a lawsuit. I mean seriously, what is the easiest thing to jettison? The ripped off name or the ripped off product and store aesthetics?? Clearly the name could be spared.
I have mixed feelings about a store that so clearly is trying to capitalize on the success of another. There is virtually no innovation at Roseberry (I think I will continue to call a spade a spade by using the old name). Nothing about the experience is different, well except the lack of a line to place an order. Oh and instead of really cool indie rock and electronica that plays at Pinkberry, Roseberry was tuned into power 106 where hip hop lives. Barf. Clearly the high schoolers who work there have control over the radio. what no super cool iPod playing the good fringe of the KCRW sounds??
On to the actual food. The most salient points to compare a Pinkberry to a Roseberry are: price, serving size, toppings and taste. Pinkberry and Roseberry are the same price. Both have a small, medium and a large and they escalate at the same rate. Both are on the spendy end of treats. Pinkberry and Roseberry each have only two flavors of yogurt: plain and green tea. Not that anyone would care, but the green tea choice is less expensive than at Pinkberry. I'm not sure why green tea flavor is more expensive than plain at both establishments, but it is. Weird. Both establishments have 5oz / 8oz / 10oz sizes but Roseberry seems to provide more yogurt per order. It is possible that this is just psychological, since the employees don't weight the yogurt to make sure they aren't giving you enough. I've always felt like there was a bit of a Fro Yo Nazi air about at Pinkberry. That does not exist at Roseberry. The topings at Roseberry are virtually identical to Pinkberry which is a minus for Roseberry because it wouldn't take more than 1 teenager to suggest a novel topping. And since there are no "rice cakes" aka "mochi," Roseberry doesn't even carry my favorite Pinkberry topping. Boo! Roseberry may have a few toppings Pinkberry doesn't have but an extra fruit choice or M&Ms doesn't register for me. I think I'm bitter about no mochi. And the sign that declares "no double or triple serving of berries" strikes me as weird. Why can't you have Roseberry with two orders of raspberries? Ok so how does Roseberry taste? Pretty good actually. The real difference between the two stores is noticable but not very significant to me. I think Pinkberry may be a little sweeter and Roseberry a little tart-er but unless you go to either every day, the difference is not that big a deal really. The real big significant difference is something I still need to investigate. I think Roseberry is LOW FAT yogurt as opposed to the NON FAT yogurt at Pinkberry. The differnce gives Roseberry a creamier texture and a more substantial density. I think that is why other reviewers think that Roseberry portions are more substantial. It melted a bit slower too, but that could be because of the fat content.
A bonus category exists: location and parking. Frankly, going to PInkberry is a pain in the ass. No matter which one I go to there is never any parking and I have to travel some 15-30 minutes depending on if I go from work or from home. The extra edge of "did I get a parking ticket" doesn't really make the experience better for me. And Fro Yo at $5 a pop is expensive enough. I don't need a $50 parking ticket to go.
So the winner is... well I think it is a draw really. Pinkberry may be inspired by a store in Korea, but I've never been to Korea so I consider it an orignal and an institution. Roseberry shows very little (aka no) originality which makes me feel a bit like I am cheating when I go there. But the convenience to my house (and it is right across from the yummy Porto's Bakery!) make Roseberry my top choice. A somewhat reluctant top choice. If Pinkberry to a Roseberry were to add mochi and play better music and innovate somehow, that may put me over the edge.
Roseberry is located at:
312 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203