There was a time when anything associated with the word “yogurt” would have set my teeth on edge. During my upbringing, yogurt was what I was fed when I was recovering from any sort of intestinal distress.
That era’s yogurt was off-white, room temperature, tasted of soured milk and had the texture of wallpaper paste. Oh, how far we’ve come in fifty years.
Nowadays, yogurt is the “sensible” dietary alternative to a lot of foods. Especially ice cream, a big “like” of mine.
My current sensible alternative of the frozen variety can be found at The Frosty Parrot, a frozen yogurt shop next to Earth Fare market on West State of Franklin Road. The second store in our five-state area, (the first being way up in Blacksburg, Va.) Frosty Parrot is squeaky-clean from the front door on in. There’s plenty of room for customers in a strikingly-tiled dining area populated with primary-colored furniture. There’s something for every set of taste buds here, as I found out when I stopped in one afternoon.
As I arrived Byron, Frosty Parrot’s “Mr. Freeze,” gave me a smile as he was wiping down the toppings counter. Byron said that making your selection is simple — just check the menu for what flavors are on offer for the day. Then grab a cup, bowl or cone and stroll over to the battery of dispensing taps along the back wall of the business.
Down at the far end was a Valencia Orange Sorbet the color of Neyland Stadium on Homecoming Day. I flipped the tap lever and got a billowy squirt. Next up was Birthday Cake. I’m not a cake fan; pie’s more my style. Next to it was Cookies ’N’ Cream. A squirt here revealed a brilliant-white frosty delight flecked with chunks (yes, chunks) of Oreo cookie. Next to that, Irish Mint Crème. Yup.
Triple Chocolate S’Mores? Oh, yes. Caramel Craver? Of course. By now my 12-ounce cup was getting pretty full, so I turned toward the toppings counter to finish my creation off. That is, until the Strawberry Shortcake got my attention. Flipping its tap lever surrounded me with an aroma of fresh strawberries. OK, one more.
Lugging a creation more multi-hued than a Van Gogh painting, I made for the toppings counter. There, a still-smiling Byron inquired as to my selections and made several suggestions for the finishing touch on my masterpiece. I opted for the fresh-sliced strawberries and a light sprinkling of mini chocolate morsels down one side.
My masterpiece (sold by weight) was just under $8, tax included.
Grabbing a spoon and a couple of napkins, I sat down to enjoy what I had created. The Strawberry Shortcake was excellent, even more so topped with sliced fresh strawberries. The Caramel was good. There was a mild metallic overtone to the caramel flavor itself, but otherwise well-blended. However, my taste buds were still recovering from a recent head cold, so that may have had something to do with it.
I had no problem tasting the next flavor layer. Triple Chocolate S’Mores should be served by itself. Its chocolate and marshmallowy flavor became so cloying it overpowered every selection I’d eaten before, including the strawberries. The Irish Mint Crème’s cool mint flavor calmed and even complemented the Chocolate S’Mores, especially with the added mini morsels.
At this point, I was beginning to get the first inkling of “Brain Freeze,” that headache you get from eating or drinking something that’s really cold. I had to slow down when I hit the Cookies ’N’ Cream layer. And yes, there were chunks of real Oreo cookie in it.
Finally, I finished the palate-cleansing Orange Sorbet and sat back, teeth ringing from the cold, a contented smile on my face. An idle glance at the menu board brought realization that I’d barely scratched the surface of Frosty Parrot’s frozen offerings. I risked a chronic Brain Freeze condition if I tried to do it alone.
Hmmm, I wonder what the dine-around bunch will be doing tomorrow night?
The Frosty Parrot, 1735 W. State of Franklin Road, Johnson City
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.—10 p.m.
Sun. 12:30 p.m.—9 p.m.
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Credit cards accepted