Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chillberry

I had been really excited at the thought of Chillberry for quite a while. As soon as I got word that the owners of Chaang Thai, one of my favorite restaurants in town, were opening a new froyo shop, my expectations soared. It finally had its soft opening, and I can't say I'm overjoyed.

Located downtown, it may be convenient for those already in the area, but if you're not already downtown and seeking out some frozen yogurt, I'm going to guess you'll hit up Sweet Frog or Naticakes based solely on location at this point. We all know it's a pain to park downtown, but if the restaurant is really worth it, we'll concede. This small shop may not warrant those concessions.

It's located right next to Chaang Thai on High Street. In fact, I think you can navigate from one restaurant to the other. When I walked in Chillberry, I was taken aback by the size. It is pretty small. I guess I was expecting something larger, like Chaang Thai. It's long and narrow, and the only seating is couple-seating alongside the wall.


It seems as though they have college kids staffing the joint - not a surprise here. But considering it's not even been open a month yet, you would think the workers were excited and happy. Meh. I actually felt a little awkward.

Just like Naticakes and Sweet Frog, you walk toward the back, pick up a small cup and stare down the line of yogurt options. Chillberry has, by far, the least amount of variety, with only 6 options: Chocolate, Vanilla, Cappuccino, NY Cheesecake, Original Tart and Peach-Mango Tart. Weird that they didn't have any berry flavors? These options change fairly regularly, I believe. And it looks as though they have another yogurt machine that's not quite ready for service, so that would at least bring them up to 8 when that's up and running.

One of the main differences at Chillberry is that they have dispensers opposite the wall of frozen yogurt. These dispensers have things like animal crackers, peanut butter cups and a ton of cereal. I remember looking down the wall and questioning who would want some of those things on their ice cream. Usually I'm tempted by all toppings, but random bits of hard cereal were not appealing to me.

Once I got closer to the register, I realized they had a very small selection in small compartments, like the other shops. There were a few fruits, but not a ton. They also didn't have any hot chocolate or caramel or things like that. They had a couple containers for sprinkles and M&Ms.

I got a little bit of chocolate, vanilla and cheesecake and topped it with some peanut butter cups, cookie dough bites, M&Ms and some Butterfinger. I think my total came out to $3.83 or something. It is .43/oz. Luckily, I had known about the outdoor dining area, because the girl working didn't mention it. I asked if the outdoor dining area was open, and she said yes. Then I asked how to get to it, and she pointed to the back door with an "EXIT" sign overhead.

So, we walked outside. If there is one thing that sets this froyo shop apart from the other two, it's the gorgeous outdoor dining area. It's like a garden with flowers and stones and cascading seating. You can tell they put their money in this area. You would not know you were in Morgantown, let alone High Street, with this nice area. It also looks as though they'll have a children's play area down at the very bottom.  I know this will probably appease many parents, but if I'm going to sit outside in this nice, almost romantic outdoor area, I don't want to be near a bunch of screaming kids.

We sat outside on a picnic bench, where we fought the sun in a race to consume our froyo. But the yogurt itself was kind of bland, and the toppings didn't seem the freshest. I didn't even finish mine - but that could be because there was too many toppings for the amount of yogurt I had that didn't melt. It wasn't anything great, but I'm probably very biased because hot caramel topping would've made anything taste great. I'm just disappointed in the variety offered here. To compete with the other two shops, I think it might have some trouble, unless there's enough foot traffic through the area for people stopping out of convenience.

You can tell it's still a work in progress - when we walked outside, there was a very large knife just sitting on the railing. But the outdoor area overall has a ton of private areas and seating for multiple groups of people. At night, I think there are even lights to set the mood even more. Maybe when it's more settled, I can check it out again.

Grade: C 
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