A sister spot to the popular Wicker Park
store, Lincoln Park's Starfruit boasts all the colors, all the organic drinks and all the hipsters behind the counter of a typical fro-yo joint, but without the yogurt. It's not an ice cream parlor, either. Rather, the dessert Starfruit pushes is frozen kefir, a yogurt-like treat that is, according to the restaurant, even healthier for you than yogurt. Kefir's a tangy-tasting, fermented milk beverage that originated in the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, and includes 10 probiotics, plenty of calcium and protein and, supposedly, nutrients that help recoup the body after drinking booze (finally!).
At the moment, there are only two flavors Starfruit offers for frozen kefir ($3-$5) -- original or pomegranate, but you can add a topping or two (first is $1.00, each additional is 50 cents), with a long list of choices: strawberry, pineapple, Washington cherry, cocoa pebbles and Japanese mocha balls, just to name a few (although, surprisingly, no starfruit). Parfaits and smoothies fill out the selections, and there the flavors expand a bit: peach, vanilla, cappuccino and banana-strawberry, among others. It's all tasty, fresh stuff, but make sure to watch what you're spending. Its easy to buy a large parfait, add a few toppings here and there, and before you know it, you've somehow spent $9.
The most engaging aspect of Starfruit's interior is how white the walls have been painted. Between the maximum whiteness and the psychedelic fruit patterns on the walls, it's like looking into the infinity. Still, when combined with the multi-colored daisies at each table, it's an intriguing, inviting and quite colorful experience.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert