Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eat: 16 Handles

I love froyo.  Anyone who knows me can confirm this statement, and I'm sure froyo has made its way into my blog once or twice.  It's my special treat, my pick-me-up, my happiness in a cup.  It's not the healthiest, most natural thing out there, but there are worse indulgences.  Plus, treats can be part of a healthy diet, too.  As Bob Harper explains in his new book The Skinny Rules (more to come!), splurges are an "ingredient in your diet.  When you plan something, you are in control."

To stay FitFluential, I'll take this moment to remind you to eat your vegetables, try a SPINNING class, and write down a goal. =D

Now, back to my personal vice treat: oh, and for those of my readers who are not teens or twenty-somethings living in or near a city, "froyo" is frozen yogurt.  Just wanted to make sure that was clear before we move on.

Read more for my favorites, taste-testing, fruit toppings, and the dare...

In New York City, my favorite frozen yogurt is far and away 16 Handles.  Sure, I do very much like the tart varieties and shops as well, and have the plain tarts more frequently than flavors, but the endless self-serve options at 16 Handles--the variety of flavors, both the healthy and not-so-healthy toppings, the creaminess of the yogurt itself--all make it my first choice in all the city.  Is it the healthiest or most natural?  Not necessarily, but that isn't why I get froyo.  If it were, I definitely wouldn't be scooping on some cookie dough topping, now would I?

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of sampling flavors at the new 16 Handles opening on 8th avenue at 19th street.  (See other existing locations here.)  The coordinators and the staff were all extremely friendly and helpful, encouraging us to try as much as we like.  For me, this was an exciting moment, because although I'm a fairly regular visitor (and have the loyalty stamp card to prove it), there are several flavors and toppings that I don't normally go out of my way to taste test.  Now's my chance!  

I tried their new flavor--Greek Honey--and fell in love.  This is very much like the Greek yogurt bowls I like to make myself for dessert sometimes: yogurt, a drop of honey, and usually some mix-ins like walnuts or chocolate chips.  In addition to that, I took my mini sampler cups and tried out other flavors, like some of the fruity ones I don't normally go for.  I confirmed that some of the fruity-like ones are just not my taste, but others are right up my alley, like Graham Cracker, which was new to me.  Still liked my tried and true tarts, vanillas, and chocolates.

Now, I'm not usually so indulgent when it comes to the flavors, but this was a special occasion so I was going all out.  No Euro Tart or Vanilla Sky tonight.  In the end, for the evening, I made myself a monstrous combination of not one, not two, but FOUR decadent flavors: Greek Honey, Chocolate Eruption, Birthday Cake, and Red Velvet.

Then, I did something new: selected toppings to match each yogurt flavor, and put those toppings only on those flavors.  Interesting and successful!

Blueberries on Greek Honey,
Yogurt chips on Red Velvet,
Banana on Chocolate Eruption, and
Cookie dough on Birthday Cake.

These were matches made in heaven.  I also went back after to taste the wet walnuts--YUM!!!!.  They'll go VERY well on the Greek Honey next time.

Do you like frozen yogurt?  What's your favorite store? flavor? topping?   

Dare you to try 16 Handles if there's one near you.  I also dare you to include some healthy toppings on whatever frozen yogurt or ice cream you get.  Blueberries, Banana, Mango, Strawberries, Pineapple, Almonds, (non-wet) Walnuts, ... just a few of the healthier options out there. Give em a try. Don't be blinded by the M&Ms and chocolate chips.

Another happy customer!


  1. I love the idea of putting separate toppings on each flavor! It makes you not have to worry about all of the flavors necessarily "going together". I love froyo but don't really have a favorite place - whatever is closest to me at the time usually suffices!
    I will say, however, that I worked at an Italian Ice / Ice Cream shop over the summers when I was in high school so I know how fun it is to try all of the flavors =) This place had over 100 Italian Ice flavors and I had tried them all!!

  2. I absolutely love Frozen Yogurt! We have a Yogen Fruz here, where I live. No FroYo! Same idea though!

    I love the tarty tasting flavors. My fave blend (you have the option of blending your fruit and yogurt together) is the melon ball! Cantaloupe and Honey Dew! Yummmm!

    1. Ohh yes that sounds good!!!! I enjoy tart flavors, especially with fresh fruit. Haven't tried melon yet, although I love cantaloupe and honey dew. Ought to try it soon!

  3. You introduced me to 16 Handles two summers ago! Glad to see its still your favorite :)

    1. Haha yes, we made the trek in the pouring rain. Good times :)

  4. mmmm... I LOVE FROZEN YOGURT! This post made me so happy.
    Some people may call it an "addiction."
    And it is.
    But I don't like toppings. I think it gets in the way of the flavors. I always try to pick up the smallest cup available at 16 Handles (let's be honest, the "small" can probably fit the circumference of my face, and I overflow that sucker anyway), and mix in Coffee, Euro Tart, and, when available, Mint and Graham Cracker. Those flavors are just super tasty, and muddling up the flavors with the fruits and cereal and baked pieces and syrups just overwhelms the taste.
    The only problem with 16 Handles is that it is SO expensive! A native West Coaster, I've been spoiled by cheap, refreshing froyo. The YogurtLand chain is also a pay-by-weight chain, and I believe they charge about 29 cents/oz (opposed to 49 cents/oz). That makes a HUGE difference! But my favorite is the Bigg Chill in LA. They rotate the flavors there every couple of days, and serve really generous portions.
    Numnum I could go for some of that right now. Mer, you're making me hungry!

    1. Yesss haha I try to go with 'small', too, because it's never truly that small. Yep, price is definitely a factor. Frozen yogurt is my spending vice. Some people have their daily Starbucks. I have my froyo :)

  5. YOU ARE SO LUCKY. 16 handles rocks.

  6. Fun! I love any kind of coffee flavored fro yo... add a little bit of vanilla fro yo in the mix, some carob chips, and hot fudge and call it a day. Wait, was this supposed to be a healthy treat? Oh well, looks like I'm running more miles in the future.

    1. hahah yepppp. And I only discovered carob chips from froyo stores! They're good!

  7. Alright, I need some vegan fro yo! ;) All this talk has me wanting to try it with all of those yummy toppings. Yum!


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