Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Red Mango: A preview before it comes to Kansas City

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 3:04 PM

click to enlarge The topping bar is a staple of the frozen yogurt chain.
  • The topping bar is a staple of the frozen yogurt chain.

While waiting for my flight back to Kansas City this week, I happened on a Red Mango kiosk in LaGuardia Airport. With the Dallas-based frozen yogurt chain slated to open its first store on the University of Missouri-Kansas City's campus in May, I figured this was a good chance to get a preview.

Red Mango falls into the same category as Pinkberry or Mochi Yo: A sweet frozen yogurt with a slightly sour tang at the end, it's the gourmet version of the classic frozen yogurt shops of the '80s. What Red Mango shares with its predecessors is a commitment to a wide range of toppings including cookies, candy and fresh fruit.

Taking into consideration that most airport kiosks aren't the finest representations of their chains, here's what I learned. 

I ordered original with mango and pomegranate with cookies and cream from Red Mango.
  • I ordered original with mango and pomegranate with cookies and cream from Red Mango.

Red Mango offers three sizes ($3.25 to $5.25) and charges 75 cents per topping. Only two of the four advertised flavors were available: original and pomegranate (made with Pom brand juice). Not in stock: Seasonal and Tangomonium. Perhaps that was for the best, given that I was experiencing a weather-related flight delay and might not have been able to handle the excitement of the light citrus flavor that tangomonium promised. 

I opted for the original with fresh mango, and the pomegranate with cookies and cream. When I asked for Cocoa Pebbles, I was told they didn't serve them, though the menu said otherwise.


The original has a quick burst of sweetness and then a sour finish. After a few bites, my tongue was buzzing. The mango was slightly overripe, which meant that it clashed with the yogurt's tartness. A ripe mango would have been a great compliment.

The pomegranate tasted more of berries, although the color was a soft purple. It was pomegranate in the way that blue raspberry is raspberry. The cookies and cream -- advertised as organic? -- might have been better paired with the original, but it was probably the tastiest of the four ingredients.

Anyway, I'll definitely be willing to give it another go when Red Mango opens in Kansas City. 

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