Get Your Yogurt, 39 Cents an Ounce

I'm a huge fan of the tart, almost acidic yogurt served up by the likes of Pinkberry and its numerous imitators. There's something terribly refreshing about eating a cold, puckery frozen yogurt on a hot summer day: no sticky, sickly, sweet taste left in your mouth afterwards, only the pleasant feeling of having your palate cleansed and your appetite appeased.

I'm also a huge fan of The Yogurt Spot (10623 Bellaire Boulevard) in Chinatown, in the same massive shopping center as Kim Son, Seoul House, Crawfish & Noodles, Tony Thai and Chez Beignet. The Saigon Plaza is like a one-stop shop for tasty eats, and was even Chinatown's sole possessor of a Starbucks until it was shuttered in one of the coffee company's massive closures in 2008.

The Yogurt Spot gives you ultimate control over the yogurt concoction that you make. It's almost a grownup sense of being a kid in a candy store. Want to make a suicide mixture of all the flavors in one cup? Go for it. Want to top your yogurt with Fruity Pebbles and tapioca bubbles? You can do that, too.

Best of all, the yogurt is only 39 cents per ounce.

On a recent visit there after dinner at Seoul House, my dining companion and I tried two different flavor mixtures: I partially filled my cup with a swirl of strawberry and cheesecake, while he chose blueberry and vanilla. From the bar of endless toppings -- which you are responsible for depositing onto your pile of yogurt -- I chose graham crackers to complete the whole "strawberry cheesecake with a graham cracker crust" aesthetic I was going for.

The end result had the curious taste of a strawberry cheesecake made with Fage instead of cream cheese. It was wholly delicious, and I very nearly licked the bottom of my cup toward the end. My companion's blueberry-vanilla swirl was exceptionally tart thanks to the blueberry flavor, with a smooth, almost cinnamony finish from the vanilla. Both were wonderful.

I will most likely be working my way through all of their flavors this summer, including straightforward tropical tastes like mango and more exotic ones like the lychee or floral taro. I won't feel too terrible about it, either, as most servings (defined here as half a cup) have 100 calories or less and no fat. And, yes, all of the flavors are made with actual yogurt.

A second Houston outpost of The Yogurt Spot recently opened in Katy (20920 Katy Freeway), and there are two locations in Austin.

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Katharine Shilcutt