April 1, 2013


With the coming of spring and the promise of warmer weather, the recent opening of a new frozen yogurt shop right off of South Street is rather timely.  We're pretty addicted to Rita's custard, but we're always open to trying new frozen treats.  We popped into Igloo to check out what they have to offer.

The space is incredibly clean, sleek, and modern, with stainless steel fixtures and white flooring and seating area- a little harsh and aseptic, but bright.  There are currently 8 flavors available on the self-serve machines- these work just like any other fro-yo place.  Grab a cup at the front and mix and match flavors.  Each flavor had a description as well as flavor pairing and topping recommendations.  Of the 8 flavors (a mix of fat-free and low-fat), two were "sorbets" and one of these was dairy-free (strawberry!).

My one complaint (and this is true for almost all fro-yo shops) is that the self-serve cups are ENORMOUS.  Which of course makes you buy more (sold by the ounce!) and I prefer to keep my fro-yo consumption in check (at least to some degree). I added three flavors (strawberry sorbet, dark chocolate sorbet, and peanut butter yogurt) as well as a sprinkling of chocolate chips to fill my cup about half-way.  The chocolate was reminscent of Capogiro's dark chocolate gelato (the perfect mix of sweet and bitter), while the strawberry maintained a great creamy texture and vibrant fresh flavor, despite its lack of dairy products.

Igloo offers a relatively limited number of toppings in gravity-controlled distributing containers.  Lift the handle slooowly (we saw one customer dump a serving of M&M's into the bin below, completely missing her cup) to release the contents.  The chocolate chips on the other hand, required a pump action with only a few chips coming out each time.  What's wrong with the usual bowl and spoon??

While I put together my cup of soft-serve, A was checking out the "specialty" items offered from behind the counter.  Igloo offers a soft-serve version of FAGE's Greek yogurt as well as a salted caramel gelato.  A grabbed a sample cup of the gelato and shared it with me- the caramelized flavor was most prevalent- almost like a burnt sugar.  The salt helped balance the sweet, but overall I felt that it was pretty overwhelmingly rich.  Probably wouldn't want to eat a whole cup of it.

We were definitely the most curious about the frozen Greek yogurt (it's 2% fat, our favorite).  A small serving (comes in small, medium and large) with one hot topping is the best way to enjoy this tart, extra thick fro-yo ($3.25).  The hot toppings include the typical hot fudge, but also pistachio and lemon options.  We were intrigued by the lemon (imagining a hot lemon curd!) but the day we visited, it was replaced by warm honey.  The generous drizzle of honey slowly hardens after contact with the yogurt, making a sticky, chewy candy-like substance... amazing!

There are also a number of cold toppings- fruits, nuts, sprinkles, and the like.  As you scale-up the amount of yogurt you order, you get more options for toppings (ie one hot + two cold for a "large").

Before we left, I wanted to try a little sample of one more flavor from the self-serve machine- the Tahitian Vanilla, which apparently is one of their most popular so far.  I'm a sucker for anything with a really pure vanilla flavor, so this bean-flecked yogurt held a lot of promise.  It wasn't quite as rich as I had hoped, but it definitely had an extra depth of vanilla that most plain Jane styles don't provide.  I'll definitely be getting more Tahitian Vanilla when we return!

This area of the Grad Hospital neighborhood needed a little dessert action (the closest place I can think of is Magpie) and the super unique frozen Greek yogurt definitely qualifies as a special treat.  Plus, it's less expensive than the popular Yogorino spot closer to Rittenhouse, with more generous servings.  Even though it's a few blocks further away than our beloved Rita's, we'll be adding it into the dessert rotation.

The Igloo
2223 Grays Ferry Ave


  1. So glad you posted about this! I've been passing it every day (it's like TWO doors from my office! Have you seen my office yet??!) and meaning to go in.... but until today I felt like it just wasn't warm enough. Of course, I didn't make it in today, but now it's even more on my to-do list. That frozen Greek yogurt with honey..... OMG.

  2. I've driven by your office but never walked by to peek in! I wish it would hurry up and warm up a LITTLE more, but it's still worthwhile to stop in on a cold day :) I would be so hooked if I worked around the corner!

  3. I've been anticipating this store's opening and have been dying to try this out ever since! So glad to have read your post on it, and that hardened honey on the greek yogurt froyo looks to die for.