Before we return you to our regularly scheduled programming, we wanted to introduce you to Erin Zimmer, who will be checking in weekly with notes and news from the greater D.C. area. Welcome, Erin! We're looking forward to your dispatches from the nation's capital. —The Serious Eats Team
Oh wait. Here's a little known fact—even to longtime D.C. residents. We kinda are. Tasti D-Lite actually has a long-lost cousin in College Park, Maryland, at the center of the University of Maryland's campus. It opened in 2005 and is just a few Metro stops from D.C. proper. The location is so enigmatic, though, that a Google search isn't much help, and even Tasti D-Lite's corporate website doesn't mention it.
The story gets stranger. The store temporarily closed earlier this summer, during prime time fro-yo season. Apparently the loss of full-time UMD students hurt business and it plans to reopen once the academic year begins.
So what's a Washingtonian to do in the meantime? In a city where fro-yo options hardly exist? Unlike New York City, where Tasti D-Lite is based and where there's one on every corner, and unlike the Pinkberry thing in Los Angeles, D.C. ice cream shops just offer nonfat flavors in the humdrum vanilla, chocolate, or swirl. (Big deal.) And they're always listed at the tail-end of menus, after all the fancy schmancy ice creams.
Will we ever get our own Tasti D location? Or a Pinkberry? One that's actually open during summer? A couple weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times did a huge piece on the Pinkberry craze, which makes me wonder whether frozen yogurt shops could eventually replace, or at least challenge, coffeehouses as the trendy, go-to destination for a quick buzz, relaxation, and socializing.
Fro-yo shops such as Pinkberry and Valley Village's new Menchie's are attracting crowds that previously hung out at Starbucks or the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Actual "scenes" are developing at some locations—partially because of their interior design, as well as customers' increasing appreciation for the health benefits of eating yogurt over, say, drinking a Frappuccino.
Who knows if Washington will ever see a real-life fro-yo war. Maybe we don't have the right clientele—not enough of those twenty-something girls in big sunglasses on their seven-calorie lunch diets?
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.