Is Orange Leaf This Country’s Best Yogurt?

Associated near the intersection of Old Sauk and Junction road, Orange Leaf stands out with its orange awning. The self-serve frozen yogurt joint, which opened mid last May, seems to always be brimming with customers, its ‘froyo’ attracting people of all ages all day long.
Immediately as you enter the store you will notice the brightly colored green and orange walls and the complimentary modern IKEA style chairs and tables. In total it gives off a lively vibe; however, the furniture seems to have been purchased for style over function. The chairs that surround the tables are hard and a little too low to sit in comfortably. There is outdoor seating that is quite nice on warm summer nights, but because the strip mall supplies it, there can sometimes be a lack of benches for everyone..
The yogurt, on the other hand, is outstanding and full of variety. The store has sixteen flavors, which change daily; however, the standard vanilla, chocolate, and orange (for Orange Leaf) are there every day. The different flavors range from peanut butter to pomegranate and back again. In addition, Spoonberry, the only made up flavor, is a constant froyo favorite. It tastes similar to fruit loops, but is also very close to blue moon, the ice cream flavor that no one can quite place the taste of. In total, there are 67 different flavors that could possibly be at Orange Leaf on any given day. All of the flavors at any particular store can be seen online or on the Orange Leaf app. You can also request flavors for the next day there, too. One criticism I do have is that not all of the flavors have been in the Orange Leaf. Every time I go there there seems to be the same flavors as last time, and if there happens to be a new flavor the flavor it replaced doesn’t always come back.
Free samples are given out by the employees allowing you to try any of the interesting flavors before deciding on any of them. Large orange bowls are provided for you to fill with any combination of frozen yogurt you choose. It seems to be a marketing strategy to make the two sizes of bowls big and huge, but they do make it easier to put the froyo you want in your bowl in a somewhat good looking manner. Also, ‘twists’ of two flavors are possible if the two flavors are situated next to each other in the dispensing machines. This is a nice way of mixing flavors, and they seem to have been put together with complimentary tastes in mind.
After deciding on what flavors to fill your bowl with, you walk down to the topping bar. By this time you need to keep into account that you are paying by weight, it’s $0.45/ounce, and lots of toppings in addition to your piles of ice cream in your cup can rack up the price of your dessert creation. The toppings seem endless. The buffet is filled with fresh fruits such as raspberries and strawberries, but also has mini marshmallows, Captain Crunch cereal, Butterfingers, Reeses Cups, and Mike & Ike’s. One piece of advice: the Cookies & Cream flavor of frozen yogurt is a little odd in that it doesn’t have any Oreos in it, but it tastes like it should. I recommend just getting Vanilla or Wedding Cake flavor and adding Oreo toppings to give your Cookies & Cream a more realistic feel.
Finally, you simply put your frozen yogurt handiwork on the scale and pay. One of the nice things about paying by the ounce is that you get to choose your own serving size. For those people who want a small froyo snack with some fruity toppings, expect to pay around three dollars. If you’re aiming for a frozen yogurt coma, the sky is the limit, but for the average froyo enthusiast expect to pay no more than five dollars. At the checkout, make sure to grab an Ounce Back Card, Orange Leaf’s rewards card. For every dollar you spend you get a point, and for every ten points you get a dollar on your card to use at Orange Leaf. In essence, it’s 10% off all the time.
All in all, the new and stylish Orange Leaf is lively and fun, a welcome hangout for froyo craving teens. The yogurt is good, but the selection of flavors and toppings is what makes the place great. So grab your friends and head out on Old Sauk until you see the brightly colored orange awning, it’s hard to miss!
Article by Jeremy Gottlieb, Photos by Monika Ford

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