Getting frozen yogurt at Evanston’s Red Mango is a super-charged experience. The authentic, frozen to perfection, zero-fat yogurts are wholesome, yes, and the red-capped employees efficient and impersonal. Club-like music blares from the stereo and customers buzz in and out, like McDonald's on steroids.
Yet the stuff sold here is way more healthy than Mickey D's could ever dream of, and it's pretty addictive too. There are just two flavors: original and green tea, ranging in size from small ($2.50), medium ($3.50) and large ($5.50). Yogurt contains live cultures like bulgaris and acidophilus, as well as B12 and riboflavin, oh joy.
Toppings offer creative ways to spruce up dessert: fresh fruits like blackberry and mango, and crunchy things like graham crackers and cocoa pebbles. But keeping it simple goes a long way. Original topped with Ghirardelli's dark chocolate is just dandy.
The interior is pint sized, walls splashed in deep red and chocolate brown. A symmetrical line of circular lamps hanging over the counter suggests the triumph of order over chaos. Patrons are a mix of locals ranging from good-looking fit dudes to gaggles of giggling, overly excited Northwestern girls.
Red Mango is real deal yogurt, which means it's both sour and creamy. And without the heavy sensation of ice cream, cravings for more are prompt upon completion. If you want to go hog wild, try a blender – a choice of yogurt mixed with three toppings you can slurp down on your way to the gym or some such activity.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Marla Seidell