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A-list lines up for Pinkberry

I think we've known each other long enough now that I can tell you about my guilty pleasure. I like gossip magazines.

I think we've known each other long enough now that I can tell you about my guilty pleasure.

I like gossip magazines. One of my favourite ways to relax at the end of a busy week involves a hot bubble bath, a glass of Cab or Merlot, and some (very) light reading. I like to see what the celebs are wearing, who is a "hot new couple," and of course, what they're eating.

For years now I've noticed that along with their Birkin bags, iPhones and Lilliputian dogs (or babies, depending), the starlets all seem to be carrying cups of frozen yogurt from Pinkberry.

The chain of pastel-hued froyo outlets - complete with Philippe Starck furniture and natural pebble floors - got its start in West Hollywood in 2005, and has since grown to more than 100 stores and accrued a legion of "groupies" that yes, includes plenty of celebs. One of them, Vancouver-raised actor Cory Monteith, hit the Village at Park Royal last week along with his band Bonnie Dune, for the opening of the very first Pinkberry in Canada.

I can't believe I missed it. The Glee actor would undoubtedly have enjoyed a hard-hitting interview with the food editor of the North Shore News, but despite my best efforts to juggle my schedule I had more important prior commitments (as in: picking my kids up from summer camp).

Instead of attending the party, I rounded up those same offspring, along with my hubby Big J, for a trip to Pinkberry on another evening that was more populated by North Shore A-listers than by Hollywood ones.

The queue appears to be constant. It was 12 deep on a cool and cloudy weeknight, so I can only imagine how we'll line up if the thermostat on this season ever gets repaired.

The staff handle the crowd with ease though, and still patiently answer questions about flavours and toppings.

According to the writing on the wall (literally), Pinkberry's yogurt is made with all-natural ingredients. Current flavours at the West Vancouver location include Original, Pomegranate, Chocolate, Mango, Coconut and Watermelon frozen yogurts. There is also a cornucopia of dry and liquid toppings, including fresh fruit, almonds, chocolate chips, Cap'n Crunch, Cocoa Pebbles, coconut shavings, gummy bears, Fruity Pebbles, granola, chunks of chocolate bars, shaved milk chocolate, shaved white chocolate, yogurt chips and more. There is also a Fresh Fruit Parfait and smoothies.

It's a bit overwhelming, to be honest. And with the lineup clamouring at my back and my own kids squawking requests I was starting to lose my cool. Thank goodness for the staffer helping me. He suggested flavours, explained how many toppings you get (as many as he could squeeze on there) and let me sample mochi, a tiny Japanese rice cake, before I decided to add it to my order.

I went for the original flavour, topped by mochi, tiny cubes of Coffee Crisp bar, and chunks of fresh strawberries and mango. The yogurt itself is icy, creamy and has a flavour not unlike mild cream cheese, known as Pinkberry's "signature tang." While that might sound off-putting, it's not. In fact, while researching this column I noticed very few people seem to dislike it (an "I Hate Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt" group on Facebook has just 33 members).

The other thing I noticed is that Salted Caramel is currently a flavour in U.S. stores. What the what? How do I get my hands on some of that?

In its absence, we sampled a mini size of Mango with gummy bears, Fruity Pebbles and fresh mango slices; and a chocolate with gummy bears, chocolate bar and white chocolate chips. Big J went for a decadent, mediumsized Coconut with praline hazel crunch, milk chocolate crunch, almonds, Coffee Crisp bars, coconut flakes and chocolate shavings. I'm trying that one next time.

The bill for our treats was $18.37 including HST. Pinkberry is pricey, but fun. If I can figure out how to keep it from melting I'll have that in my next bubble bath instead of wine.

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