Fraîche redux  »

Okay, first of all, you’re probably thinking, “why the HELL are you reviewing a FROZEN yogurt place in December? Haven’t you been outside lately? I’m already frozen enough.” But some of us are crazy. For some of us, a frozen treat on a freezing night is homeopathic, fighting the cold by embracing the cold. Or maybe it’s that a smooth dessert with infinite toppings is always nice no matter what the season.

What I do know is that walking into Fraîche is like walking into a hug. The heat is blasting (and I mean seriously blasting, they must crank it up to 80), the doors stay shut, and the counter people are immediately friendly. And it’s not just me. On weekends, this place is PACKED, even on the coldest winter night you can imagine. It’s like an oasis of summer, where for just a few moments, you can discard your winter coats and mingle with/silently scorn the Blairs and Serenas of Pacific Heights.

When I set out to review Fraîche, I hadn’t read our previous review of the Palo Alto location. Either the power of Vegansaurus swayed the owners to shape up, or the San Francisco location is run by completely different and far superior people. Because the situation for vegans is vastly improved.

Let’s get some basics out of the way. Yes, the soy frozen yogurt is vegan. Yes, there are vegan  toppings. Yes, the staff knows which are which. Yes, the granola contains honey. Yes, the shaved chocolate, pictured here, is vegan. Unlike our Palo Alto experience, if you ask if something is vegan, they will answer confidently or find out.

If you already like frozen yogurt or remember it from the last froyo craze in the ’80s, go here. Everything you remember about it is still good, and this time it’s vegan. And don’t miss the Wall of Health Claims, a laminated poster devoted to various unlikely facts about frozen yogurt, including my favorite about how you’ll lose weight if you eat it every day. You can basically ignore everything the Wall of Health Claims has to say. I’m sure a tiny cup of frozen yogurt topped with fruit is better for you than eating a pallet of Twinkies until you collapse into a diabetic haze, but when you get down to it, you’re really just eating soft serve ice cream with a probiotic twist. There’s nothing magical about it. If you like the idea of soft serve with delicious toppings, Fraîche will scratch that itch. But you probably won’t lose weight. Also who cares, it’s dessert!

Frâiche is open until 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends, which makes them my new best friend. Find them at 1910 Fillmore St. in SF. In addition to the Palo Alto location, they’re also right on the Stanford University campus.

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