Monday, July 30, 2012

Fab Find: Red Mango

When I was little, I thought it would be the COOLEST thing to work in a place that had soft serve ice cream dispensers. To me, she who dispensed the ice cream held the power. When we would go for family dinner to Old Country Buffet, I couldn't wait for it to be dessert time so I could fill my little bowl up ALL BY MYSELF (let's not lie. I could never wait for dessert time, regardless of what was being served).

I was easily impressed as a child.

Then, last year when I went to Wilmington, we found an awesome little frozen yogurt shop that was self-serve, and I was six years old again, and excited that I got to fill my bowl up ALL BY MYSELF. Not to mention the array of toppings they had. It was glorious.

When we got back to Chicago, Emily, my darling baby sister, discovered a place locally called Red Mango that was essentially the same concept - self-serve soft-serve, all frozen yogurt, all the time. Then suddenly it was winter, and I had no desire to eat ANYTHING frozen, and then I was diagnosed and frozen yogurt was the last thing I was thinking about as I struggled to find *real food* to eat.

Summer rolls back around, and my sister texts me one day that Red Mango has gluten free flavors. I put it on my list to check out, and even ALMOST made it in a couple of times, but got sidetracked, most likely by something shiny.

Last night, as we settled in to watch the Olympics, it just seemed to be a fro-yo type of night, so Em and I trekked to Red Mango, finally.

I did my research before we went, and was thrilled to discover that ALL of their frozen yogurt flavors are gluten free, and that they work with the Gluten Free Certification Organization to make sure they are certified. The toppings, not so much, but since you get to serve yourself out of the little soft-serve machines, the risk for cross contamination is so small I was willing to risk it. Plus, they have loads of great flavors that rotate out seasonally (I think I may live in the shop in October when they bust out the pumpkin spice flavor), and you can mix and match whatever flavors you like. Last night, I opted for a vanilla-mango mix, but Emily had some sort of fruity lemonade concoction.

Unfortunately, there isn't one of these too close by me, but there is one not far from my parents' house, and in downtown Naperville, which we frequent on shopping trips. And a new one is being put in nearer to my house ... across from a new Whole Foods opening this fall. That sounds dangerous to me. Also expensive. But very delicious.

So, Red Mango is getting a thumbs up from me. The best part? The "normies" can eat there, too.

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